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What Paperwork Do You Need To Start A Business?

Aug 17, 2007
As a home business owner, your first step to getting a business license is to have the location that you plan on working from inspected. This is because you need to adhere to specific zoning requirements. After the inspector gives you the go ahead, you can apply for your business licence by filling out a form. Forms are usually offered by municipalities of cities.

1. What Information Should You Have Ready?

- The top three preferred names for your business
- Your legal structure
- Your address
- Type of business industry
- Number of employees
- Expected gross income

2. Business Is Mostly Fiction

The purpose of the DBA is to inform the general public that you are beginning an operation under an assumed or fictitious name and that you are the individual who will be conducting that business. It must be published in a general circulation newspaper in the county where your business is located. The ad generally must run in four consecutive issues. During this time, anyone may challenge your right to do business under that name. Following publication, verification must be filed with the city or county clerk.

3. Permit To Sell Goods

Believe it or not, you can't even sell goods without paying for a permit first. An example of a taxable service would be clock repair. The labor or repair is not taxable, but the parts may be. A seller's permit is obtained through the state agency responsible for the collection of sales tax. Most often it will be the Department of Revenue.

4. Setting Up A Business Bank Account

Don't be fooled into setting up a business under your personal bank account. It is extremely important that you keep your personal and business finances separate. Not only are business accounts necessary for credibility when dealing with other businesses, but people will have no confidence in you if you pay them with a personal check rather than a business check. When you go to the bank, make sure that you have all business documents and other information with you. They will want all of it before they will open an account for you. Make sure you check out different banks and their many different business plans. Banks seem to charge a lot more for business transactions than they do for personal transactions. It's important to research the bank before deciding which one to go with. You may be surprised at the differences between what each bank charges for account fees.
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