A Guide to Start A Business

Too often many are seeking to start a business looking to dive all in without knowing how to legalize a business. First things first research is key and vital. Don't get wrapped up in the business cares such as colors schemes and products for the business without taking into consideration the actual start up cost.  

Yes, you can go buy products to sale, create a business name and purchase business cards. Subsequently, you must take into consideration the cost associated with registering  a business, obtain the necessary business tax license and permits. It is disheartening to know that there a people creating videos, posts and telling people that they can start a business with $50. I have seen many videos like this on social media sites which is misleading; especially, for those young and most vulnerable who do not to take the time to do the necessary research. While it brings in many viewers, the viewers are not given the full truth in order to start off being successful.

Now that we have that out of the way first you have to search the Department of State in your particular state. This website usually has the Start a Business section that provides General Information as well as Available Resources. It provides the Type of Business Entities/Structures such as corporations, partnerships, general partnerships, limited partnerships and sole proprietorship. You must know what business entity/structure you want to set your business up as. Once you have determined this it's on to the next step begin to Form Your Business. 

With forming your business there is the Profit and Non-Profit Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Partnership. You must know the difference as each one has it's own set of fees and they do vary. Now that you have this information and know the type of business you want to create the Articles of Organization. This entails providing a start date for your business, the name and the actual principal place of business, mailing address, names and addresses of a registered agent for your business. A registered agent is the person that will accept service of process on behalf of your business entity. It can be an individual or another business entity with an active filing with your state.

During the filing process it will tell you about the Notice of Filing an Annual Report for your business and there is of course a fee associated with the filing so keep this in mind. If you file late you will incur a late fee and in most states depending on your form of business that fee can be up to if not $400 or more.  Trust me you don't want to have to pay this fee. I know from experience because I forgot to pay it on time!  I was not a happy camper at all as this could have been money that could have gone to products and branding. 

Make sure that you have reviewed all of your information and pay the fee associated with the filing. You will receive an email notification pertaining to your filing. Once you have received your documentation you can now proceed to contact your county, town, village or city where you reside to complete the necessary filling paperwork and fees with them as well. I know some may think once you register with your state now you are good to go...not! Make sure you take your paperwork received from your state with you to your local government angency to obtain your business receipts. 

Please be advised that even though you bring your paperwork your local government agency will log on to the states website to verify that your business is active.  

It sounds like a lot but it's not. It's just the initial process and once you get through it the first time it will be a breeze the second time. As a result your local government agencies will send you notices out in advance either via mail or email with the due dates to file and the pay fees for the appropriate filling year. It is your responsibility to set up a reminder for yourself therefore you know when to file, pay and avoid additional late fees. 

  1. Research your States Department of State Website 
  2. Search the site to ensure that your business name is not already being used by another business.
  3.  File your Business Entity/Structure and pay associated fee. 
  4.  Apply for your Business Tax Receipt with your local government agency;       whether it be a county, town, village or city once you have received your   official documents from your Department of State. 

Now that this is complete and you have filed, paid all fees it's time to get searching vendors if you have not already done so. Most vendors will require you to upload  your permits to ensure that you are active and are a legal business. While there are some that do not require this information it is beneficial for those that have it as you don't have to pay sales taxes on the items you buy to resell. But keep in mind you must pay taxes to the Department of Revenue for your state. This is for another blog post. 

I wish you well on your future endeavors and success in your business success.  If you don't know what to do to start there are agencies within your area that offer services for small businesses some may be free and others may require a fee for assistance.

"Never be afraid to do your own research to ensure you are on the legal and right path."


Elegance By Destiny 

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