Making it official might seem like a lot of work, but don't worry -

this customized checklist tells you step-by-step what you need to do and where to go do it.

What state will you operate your business in?

  1. Choose your business name

    You need a legal name to fill out your official paperwork and registration. You also need to pick the names your customers will know you for: your “doing business as” name (DBA for short) and your domain or website name.

  2. Choose your legal structure

    You have to register your business as a legal structure, which affects things like legal liability and taxes…but don’t be intimidated, it’s something you can change if you really need to.

  3. Fill out the paperwork

    Once you’ve figured out what name and structure are right for you, you must fill out two forms: one for your legal name and structure and one for your DBAa form for your legal name and structure. To file, you’ve got two options:

  4. Get your EIN number

    Once you’ve picked your your name and legal structure you can file for your Employer Identification Number. Your EIN identifies your business for tasks like getting a business bank account, filing taxes, applying for licenses, or paying employees. And good news…it only takes a few minutes to apply.

  5. Get your bank account

    Cha-ching! Now that you have an EIN you can get a business bank account! It’s good to separate your business and personal finances. Make sure to bring your number and all official registration paperwork when you go to the bank.

  6. Check for other tax requirements

    Based on your city, state, and industry, you might have additional tax requirements. You can fill some of this out with the {{}} state government, but double check with your county clerk about any local requirements.

  7. Apply for licenses and permits

    Based on your city, state, and industry you will need to get certain licenses and permits to run your business. Some permits, like a reseller’s permit, are common to many businesses while others are very specific to your industry. To apply for licenses and permits you’ve got two great options: