Getting Started

You have an idea and decide to start your own business.  Some work from
their home, some find office space and get started.  Regardless of where
your office is located, everyone must follow the same path to put your
business on the right path.


Business Plan

You have an idea, but do you have a plan?  Writing a Business Plan will
help you set goals for the next 1, 2, or 3 years.  Getting started involves
writing a “living” Business Plan, a plan that is not set in stone, but evovles
as your business evolves.


Business Structure

So many choices, Sole Proprietor, LLC, LLP, Partnership, Corporation,
S-Corporation.  Which one is right for you?  Each structure provides
different levels of protection and requirements.  Getting started requires
that you determine which business structure fits your business.


Business Name

Depending on which Business Structure you choose, you may be required
to register your business name.  It is your responsibility to check with your
local, county/parish, and state government office.  Never assume that you
are not required to register.


Employer Identification Number

You have a Social Security Number, your business requires an Employer
Identifcation Number, sometimes referred to as an Tax Identification
Number or a Federal Identification Number.  Apply through the Internal
Revenue Service.  This is the number you give your vendors when
required to complete a Form W-9.  Your bank will want this number when
setting up bank accounts in the name of your business.

You can apply for your EIN number for free on the IRS website.


State and Local Taxes

You are responsible to contact your local, county/parish, and State
Department of Revenue to determine which taxes your are required to
register for.  There are taxes that are industry specific, so make sure you
register for the correctly. Each state is different, this site gives an
overview of the taxes you might be responsible for.

 

Business License and Permits

Not only may you be required to register for various tax obligations, you
may be required to purchase business licenses and permits.  Each local,
county/parish, and state is different.  For those businesses that operate in
many different locals, you are responsible to verify if you need a business
license and/or permit to operate within their jurisdiction.  You are
suspectible to being fined for not purchasing the correct license and/or
permits.

Use this tool offered by the SBA to determine what licenses and/or permits
you may need to purchase.


Employees

You must register with Federal, State, and possibly local authorities when
you have employees.  You are responsible for federal, state, and local
withholding taxes, federal and state unemployment taxes, employee
eligibility verification on the federal and state level, and workman’s
compensation.  This list may not cover your state entirely.  


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