- Patrick Muir
- On January 7, 2015
- 0 Comments
Name Your Business
You need to give your business a name, and make sure the name is not already in use. Each state has an online database you can use to search for the availability of the proposed name. It’s generally found on the Secretary of State’s website. Since I incorporated my business in Georgia, I Googled, “Georgia Business Names” and it was the first site that popped up.
Quick Tip: Sometimes your state will ask you to reserve your business name, but this step is unnecessary. It’s confusing and can cause further confusion when you go to register business because then you will be asked to provide proof you reserved the business name. I recommend skipping this step.
Build the Governing Documents
- Governing documents for corporations are called bylaws. In an LLC, these governing documents are called operating agreements.
- The governing documents are not filed with the government. They act as formal guidelines for how your company handles disputes, ownership percentages, profits, and anything else that comes up. If the business has multiple owners, it’s important to come to an agreement.
Submit the Paperwork to the Government
This step officially forms the corporation or LLC in the state. On your state’s website you should be able to download a copy of the articles of organization/incorporation and step-by-step instructions to help you fill out the form.
Each state varies the ways you can file your articles of organization/incorporation, but your best choices should be online or in person. Also, each state will vary on the information required, but common basic data points include: company’s name, mailing address, registered agent name and address, the purpose of the LLC or corporation, and the names and addresses of the directors, officers, or members forming the business.
Once your business paperwork is accepted, you will get a confirmation.
Quick Tip: Most state agencies have consultants that can help you fill out the paperwork properly. If you get confused or have questions, give them a call or send an email.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number
The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required by every business. It’s a straightforward process online and you can file online at IRS.gov. There is no need to fill out a Form SS-4 anymore.