Think you have a good business idea and ready to get started? Here are simple steps to take to legally register your business and get up and running.
For those seeking to launch a startup or home-based business, there are steps you will need to take in order to operate your business legally. Each state has its own requirements for registering your business. It is important to visit your state’s homepage and follow specific guidelines for registering your business. Refer to the Resources section of this page for a link to your state’s page.
Registering Your Doing Business As
Register your business name by visiting your local County Clerk’s office and filing a Doing Business As (DBA) certificate for a nominal fee. Your DBA name, also referred to as “fictitious name” or “assumed name”, is the name your business will operate under.
Obtaining Employer Identification Numbers
Contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain an EIN. This is also referred to as your Tax I.D. You will also need to contact your state revenue agency to obtain a state Tax I.D. By requesting an EIN, you are registering with the government and your state as an operating business.
Permits and Licenses
In addition to registering your DBA and EIN, some states require you to obtain a permit or license before operating a business. This depends on your business and services. See your state’s requirements by referring to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) website listed in Resources and view [your] state page on permit and license provisions.
Incorporating Your Business
Decide if you will incorporate your business. Consult with an IRS agent or accountant to determine the legal structure best for your business. You will need to consider whether you will operate your business as a sole-proprietor or if you will have business partners. For example, sole-proprietors may wish to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC), while if you are a partnership or interested in raising capital and having many business partners, you may choose to form a corporation. There are two types of corporations: S Corporation and C Corporation. The two types of corporations differ in their individual tax structures. Choosing the legal structure best suited for your business is a decision that should be made carefully.
There are advantages to incorporating a business, such as legally safeguarding the personal property of business owners in the event of a liability. Incorporating a business requires an application process. Visit your state’s web page to obtain the application. See the USA.gov link under Resources to incorporate in your state.
We wish you luck with launching your startup or home-based business! Please comment to let us know if this page was helpful.