I'm back with another post for the Small Business Series! For previous blog posts in this series you can click here or use the Small Business link on the side bar. Now on to how you can register your business!
Once you've written your business plan and decided on your business structure, the next thing you need to do to start operating legally is decide on a business name, register the business name and register the business with any US state agencies if necessary.
Your business name is a big deal! This is going to reflect your brand identity and be the first introduction the world has to your new venture. But before you decide on a business name, here are a few things to think about:
- Will your business name appeal to your demographic?
- How unique is it?
- Is the web domain available?
- Has it already been trademarked by someone else?
Once you've answered these questions you can go ahead and register your business with your respective state. Your business name which will be known as your trade name, fictitious name or DBA "Doing business as" name.
At this point you should also apply for a business tax ID or Employer Identification number (an EIN in the US) if you are required to do so based on your business structure type and if you will have employees. Also, if you are a non-profit organization, a partnership, an LLC or a corporation you might need to register with specific state agencies.
Don't forget to reserve your business name on the various social media outlets by creating your accounts in advance of when you'll be ready to start your awareness and marketing campaigns and posting information about your business online. Some social media outlets that are very popular these days are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Periscope.
Below is a resource I've put together to help you with each item I've mentioned above:
- Registering your business name:
- Your individual state's government website - Business /Taxation sections
- Checking trademarks nationally in the US:
- US Patent and Trademark Office - Trademark search
- Determine if you need one and apply for an EIN.
It's important to you take the right steps to set up your business correctly so while each step requires some time, it is well worth it!
Bola Onada Sokunbi