Once you’re done with the big picture of planning, the next step is to get down to finer details. As a starter, you will definitely face more legal hoops and paperwork than at any other stage of your business. It may not be fun, but it is worth it because you don’t want to be taken to court down the line for operating an unregistered business. Although the process for business registration may vary with jurisdictions, here are some simple steps.
Obtain a License
Many jurisdictions will require you to get a license or permit for your new business before you kick-start your operation. While there is a generic license which applies to every business, some companies, especially those that are highly regulated, require special permits to operate.
Register the Business Name
Your business name is as essential as the business itself. It is what identifies your brand; it is what says it all about your business. It has to be a unique name, as no authority will accept a business name which has already been registered. Wondering how your business name could be unique? There will always be a name search to determine if that particular name is already registered. If it is, then you will need to choose another one. So, relax.
Choose Your Business Structure
Your business structure is crucial because it determines a lot of things. First, it determines who will be held responsible in case of a legal suit against the business. It also spells out the roles of other members and determines how much tax you will pay. This is one area where you may need to consult an attorney. The most common business entity structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S-corporation, and Limited Liability Company.
Register for Any Patents or Trademarks
If your business is revolving around some new invention, then you will need protection for your intellectual property. You can acquire this protection by registering a trademark. Depending on the jurisdiction, obtaining a trademark may take months or even years, in some cases. Thus, if you will really need a trademark, it is vital to make the application sooner rather than later. You don’t have to wait for the trademark to start your business necessarily, but you may not be protected for as long as your application has not gone through.