Business Registration (Sole Proprietorship)

Business Registration (Sole Proprietorship)

You've decided to sell as a sole proprietorship!  Now it's time to register with many places (this is fun....or something).

If you are using your own name to conduct business, then, huzzah!  You don't have to register your business name.  If you choose to have a different name than your own, then you'll need to check with your county and/or city to see what their requirements are for registering your business name.
*Side note, a handful of states actually register at the state level, so if you can't find it on your city/county website, check the Secretary of State website and search for "how do I start a business".

After you've started the name registration, it's time to get your *FREE* EIN from the IRS.  This number effectively is your business' social security number and keeps you from sharing your own social security number.  It *is* free, so if you are looking at a fee owed, you are not in the right place (go here).  Obtaining the EIN does not mean you have to file anything or pay any taxes.  Again, this is only a identifying number (and, no, you do not have to have employees to get this number).

After obtaining the EIN, hop on over to your state's website for taxes.  This is usually the Department of Revenue, but can also be called the Department of Taxation, Comptroller, or some other name.  Search for "Sales & Use Tax".  You will use this number to collect state sales tax from customers in your own state.

Also after obtaining the EIN, you should go open up a business bank account.  It's not required, but it does make life significantly easier.  It keeps your personal and business funds separated so that you always have a good idea of how your business is doing.  Additionally, and probably the biggest reason, having that separate account makes an audit go by faster.  You don't have to search through and try to separate personal vs business transactions, you already have it properly split.

Finally, check your city/county for other requirements for Property Tax, Zoning, and other License requirements.



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