Once you decide which type of business you want to create, you'll need to register your business with local, state and federal agencies, and get the required licenses, permits and certifications. Here's an overview of the process you may need to follow:
- Pick a business name
- Draft governing documents
- Register your business entity with a state
- File a federal tax election form (optional)
- Get tax identification numbers
- Obtain the required licenses and permits
Some of these steps may happen at the same time. For example, the form you use to register your business with a state could be the same form you use to formally request the business name you chose.
The process doesn't necessarily happen in this order, either. You could get a federal tax identification number before registering with a state. However, if the state rejects your application because the business name you want is already in use, you'll have to cancel the tax identification number, re-file with the state and then get a new tax identification number.
While the order isn't set in stone, this order makes the most sense for many small business owners.