Starting a business requires energy, ambition and a head for detail. It’s often an exciting and challenging experience, and one which pays rewards in the long run. As part of the process of setting up a business, getting it officially registered is a crucial step that no entrepreneur should ignore. This guide aims to provide an overview of what’s needed to go from company conception to registered business.
Finding the perfect name for a business is often top of the list for any business owner. Doing the necessary research to make sure no other companies are using the same or similar names is vital. It also helps to be aware of prohibited words or phrases that may not be allowed in certain countries for certain types of business. Following these research steps will help ensure that a business name is legally valid, and suitable for the company in question.
Research the business name
After taking the time and effort to find a suitable business name, the natural next step is to register it with the relevant state services. The registration process can differ slightly depending on the type of business being created, as well as the specific country or state within which it is based.
Make sure no one else is using the name
Checking if the proposed business name is available is the first step to take after thinking of the perfect name. Searching online is a good starting point. Doing a basic online search will help determine if the name is being used by any other businesses. It’s also worth searching for similar names, for example, a single letter variation, a different order of words or a misspelled version of a name can be already taken.
Check for prohibited words
In some countries or states, certain words and phrases may not be allowed to be used in a business name. This is due to regulatory reasons, and should be looked into to make sure the chosen name is acceptable for use. The restriction of certain words or phrases can depend on which type of business it is, so it’s worth doing double-checking.
Register the business name
Once it has been established that the name is legally valid and acceptable, the next step to be taken is to register the business name. This is usually done with the state or country you are located in, as well as with the federal government. It is important to note that there are separate processes for each of these steps.
Registering with your state
The specific state or country in which the business is based will have variations when it comes to registering the business. Necessary forms have to be filled in and submitted, often along with the necessary fees. There may also be regulations when it comes to business formation, such as the need for a registered office address, which is usually a physical address which has been approved by the postal service. Other information such as virtual office address and contact details of the directors has to be provided. Once all of the relevant information has been supplied and checked, the business will be registered.
Registering with the federal government
It is important to remember that setting up the business within the state or country is only the first step in the process. The next step is to register the business with the federal government. This is done by filling in the EIN form which can be found on their website, and giving the necessary details such as the business name. Depending on the type of business, there may also be certain other forms to complete and regulations to follow. Once the forms have been filled out and the relevant fees paid, the business is officially registered at a federal level.
Registering with the IRS
Once registered with the federal government, the next step is to register with the IRS. This process involves filling out relevant forms and providing information to the IRS. This information is generally all the same information that was submitted when the business was first registered. The IRS will issue an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which is used when filing tax returns. In some cases, registering with the IRS can also be done online.
Set up structures and processes
Having officially registered the company, the last step is to set up the models and processes necessary for the company’s success. The following steps can help ensure the company is ready to start trading and doing business.
Create a business plan
Creating a business plan is a key step for any business, no matter the size. A solid business plan should include information about the products or services the business is planning to offer; how it’s planning to reach customers; how it’s going to raise capital; who the key stakeholders are and how it plans to make a profit. Having a business plan helps to ensure the business is ready and able to achieve its objectives.
Set up a corporate bank account
Setting up a corporate bank account can help provide the business with added legitimacy. It is a useful tool when it comes to managing finances, offering the ability to easily track income and expenses. Most banks will offer business accounts, along with options such as online banking and credit card facilities.
Obtain necessary licenses and permits
For certain types of business, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is an essential thing to do. This is usually dependent on the product or service being offered, and can vary from country to country. It’s important to do some research beforehand to ensure all necessary documents are in place, or else a business could face fines or having to cease operations.
Getting a business registered is an important step for any entrepreneur. However, ensuring the registration is done in a legally compliant way is absolutely essential. This guide has outlined the process for research, registration and setup that a business should take when entering the world of enterprise. Following these steps will help to make sure that the journey of setting up and running a business is an enjoyable one.