Why should you register your business with the government?
- To open a separate business bank account to manage your biz finances separately
- To establish history in case you ever need to apply for a business loan to grow your biz
- To have legal documentation of your business name
- To collect and pay the appropriate sales & income tax (remember that thing about death & taxes?)
- To purchase tax-free wholesale goods or products for your business or resale
- To separate your personal tax record from your business tax record
- To get the appropriate tax deductions that come with running a business
- To have the peace of mind that you are indeed making your business a legal entity
What will you need to register your business?
- Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Business Name (aka DBA: Doing Business As)
- Defined Legal Structure (Sole Proprieter, LLC, S-Corp, Inc. - this may change as your business grows)
- Business Address (may be the same as your personal address)
Register for your U.S. Federal EIN (Employer Identification Number)
- By Phone w/ Human Assistance: 1-800-829-4933
- Online w/ Computerized Assistance: https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp
Determine Your State & Local License & Tax Requirements
- Online Resources:
- In Person Resources: Search for your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Administration to schedule an appointment with someone who can help you find all of the resources you need to register your business on the local and state level. Local and state laws vary greatly when it comes to operating a business, so it's important to seek out your local resources for the most relevant and localized information.
Register your Trademark, Patent, or Copyright:
Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years practing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business. She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems. Follow her on Twitter to see her daily adventures and thoughts.