It appears the toughest part of starting your own business is just figuring out where to start. Often people have the idea, the resources, and the know how, but just don’t know how to begin. I am frequently asked if an attorney is needed to get this process started. I would say if you have the money to get an attorney, then sure use one, but you are definitely able to do it on your own. With technology today, most of this process can just be done online. I am guessing that most states are similar, but will be focusing on Nevada for this post.
Business Plan – This is a piece of the process that is optional. There isn’t a requirement to do a business plan, but I will say that it makes it easier. It is almost like a blue print for your business. If you are looking to get lending for your new business, SBA requires you to have a business plan. You can do this on your own or Google business plan and find a template.
Determine the Type of Entity – Are you going to be a Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or some sort of variation of the above. Each of these have their own requirements, but should you choose a Corporation or an LLC you will also need to file Articles of Organization. Again, this can all be done online through the Secretary of State website.
File your Fictitious Firm Name – If your business will be titled under anything other than your personal name you will need to file a fictitious firm name with the County Clerk. This is a fairly easy and painless process, so you just need to go on for Clark County Clerk or Washoe County Clerk and fill out the form and pay the $20 fee.
State Business License – Once you have determined the type of entity you are going to operate as, then you need to obtain a state business license. This will again be done through the Secretary of State website. When opening bank accounts and/or obtaining loans you will be asked for a copy of this, so before hanging it on your wall at the new business take some photo copies to have on hand.
Local City or County Business License – You will also want to contact your local county office and see what requirements you have for county and city licenses depending on where you will be located. They will be able to lead you in the right direction for this component.
File for your EIN Number – Your Employee Identification Number is very important. As a business, you are required to have an EIN number, which kind of acts as a social security number for your business. You will need this to open bank accounts and loans, as well as for tax purposes. You can file for your EIN number here.
There may be other components that come along the way in this process, but this should be a quick roadmap to guide you in the right direction. Any answers you need should be just a quick Google search away or utilize your banker, CPA, or attorney to help.
Please leave a comment or contact me with questions.