An important aspect of starting a new business is getting the business registered with the proper state and local entities. The Small Business Administration maintains that there are five steps when it comes to registering your new business. The first step is determining the structure of the business, if you have not already done so.
The structure can range from a sole proprietorship to a corporation. There is no single correct business structure as it really depends on the person and the business. Each structure type has different tax and liability considerations. If you are confused about the various business types and not sure which structure to select, your local SBA office can assist you with this decision.
Once you have a business structure selected, the SBA advises that you register the name of the business. The name you register will be the legal business name, but you can also register a “doing business as” (DBA) if you want to operate under other names. Generally you must register the business name with your Secretary of State office in your state. Registration fees vary.
When you have the business name registered, you can apply for your employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. This can be done on the IRS website or over the phone. You do not have to pay for the EIN.
With the EIN, you can register the business with your state revenue agency. This gets the business set up so that you can pay business taxes, collect sales tax and get any required state licensing.
Depending on the type of business and your location, there may be other types of licenses and registrations that you might need to complete to full register the business. The SBA suggests asking your state agency about any industry specific licenses that you might need.