After deciding what field you are going to open your business in, you will need to choose a name. This may seem like a simple task, but in many cases it is very tedious. If you plan on only offering one service or one type of product then you may want to nail it down in your name somehow. For example: If you are going to open a grocery store than you may want to name it something that has the word groceries or super market in it. However, if you are going to offer more than one service or more than one product, you may want to keep your business name a little broader. Just remember to keep in mind what your business is about now, and what you want it to become in the future when you choose a title for your business.
Now it is time to choose a business structure. There are a few to choose from. The easiest is a sole proprietorship; however there are some drawbacks to this type of business model. If you choose to open your business as a sole proprietorship there will be no separation between you and your business, in essence you will be the business. This means that if someone takes legal action against your business, or your business defaults on a loan, then they can go after your personal assets and such.
Then of course you have your general partnerships. These operate in much the same way as a sole proprietorship, except that there are two or more people running the business. You still have no separation between the business and the owners though.
There are some other choices you have such as limited partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC), s corporations, and c corporations. These are a little harder to set up, and run on a completely different set of rules.
Before you decide which business structure you are will use, do your research and make sure that it will fit your business plans for future years. Don't rush into this decision for it is important, but also know that you can change your business structure later, if the need arises.
When you have chosen a name and business structure you will need to register your business with your state. The way you register your business will depend on the business structure you chosen. Going to your states website is a great way to find out how and where to register your business.
When you have done all of that, you will need to register for a sales tax number and an employer identification number. Make sure that you have everything else done first, so as to make this process easier. You will go to your state site for your sales tax number, and to the IRS for your employer identification number.
While you are doing all of this, be sure to consider where you want your business to be 3 years from now, and even 10 years from now. Do your research to make sure that you choose the right business structure for your needs. After doing all of this, you will be ready to start