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Registering your business: Four key steps

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Business Law - Starting a Business

Starting a business requires a significant amount of time, work and resources. To get your business off the ground, you will need to fine-tune your business plan, evaluate your finances, select your partners, decide on the business structure that works for you and more.

One of the most important parts of starting a business is registering it. Registering your business allows you to build credibility and trust because it shows that you are a legitimate entity. You may also gain access to funding and resources and apply for business lines of credit and loans.

Below are four key steps you need to remember when registering your business:

Choose your state of domicile

Simply put, this means choosing the state where your business location operates from. It may not be the same state you live in.

After deciding where you want to register, you will need to file the formation paperwork with the secretary of state. An attorney can help you sort the paperwork so you can ensure that everything is as it should be.

Register your business name

The next step in registering your business is to register your business name. This is automatic if you are an LLC or a sole proprietor.

You will need to check your business name’s availability before anything else. You may choose a Doing Business As (DBA) name when you register, or you can opt to register as a trademark. Your other options include registering as an entity name or as a domain name. Each option offers various levels of protection.

Register for taxes with the IRS

After incorporating your business, you will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your tax forms. The EIN takes the place of your Social Security number (SSN) when filing taxes.

However, if you are a single-member LLC that is not taxed as an S corporation, you will file your taxes using your SSN.

Apply for licenses and permits

Finally, you will need to apply for licenses and permits. These will depend on your industry and how you intend to operate. You will need to clarify your business operations to obtain the licenses you need to operate legally.

Registering your business can be intimidating. Consulting an attorney can help you understand the process better, cut down on the time it takes to complete the process and avoid potential mistakes.