I can tell you there is a lot that goes into starting your own business.
As a business owner, there are tons of things you will need to remember in order to manage your business. When I was in law school, I found acronyms to be extremely helpful with assisting me in remembering things I needed to keep with me forever.
In fact, I find them so helpful I’ve established a few acronyms to assist business owners as well.
Let’s take starting a business, for example. There are a lot of things you will need and steps you need to take to form a business in the United States
I, however, have broken these things down into one simple world BUSINESS. If you just remember the word BUSINESS, you will always have the details of what you need to set up shop in the United States.
Here’s a breakdown of my version of the BUSINESS acronym
- B is for Business Concept
- U is for Unique Business Name
- S is for Structure
- I is for Identify Business Location
- N is for Notations and Paperwork
- E is for Empowerment
- S is for Setting Up the Books
- S is for Setting Up the Taxes
See? Just remember the word BUSINESS and you are all set.
Email me at email@example.com if you’re looking to start your business
B is for Business Concept
The very first thing you need after deciding to start a business within the United States – regardless of if you are or are not a U.S. citizen – is a business concept.
You need to ask yourself what type of business you are interested in and whether you think the business idea will generate profit.
Now, let’s look at myself as an example for a second.
I’m a business attorney. Back in 2013, I decided to go down a slightly different path an open a virtual business law firm.
Why did I make this decision?
Because it allowed me to help more people instead of being “stuck” to a specific region.
You start by having an idea based on things you are good at or interested in. And then you find a way to expand it into something that can be profitable.
U is for Unique Business Name
Once you have a business idea in mind you believe will make money, you need to name that business. For me this was easy, I followed the usual go to for law firms and went with my name as a law firm.
Depending on what type of business you are setting up, you may not want to name your business after yourself.
You, however, do need to pick a business name that makes sense. When people see the name, they should have some idea of what it is they are dealing with.
It is important to differentiate between what type of “unique” I’m referring to.
You want a unique name that isn’t claimed by another business, not a unique name that is so creative it is going to confuse people.
I highly recommend picking a few name ideas you like and then ranking them by which one you like the most.
You will need to do a check to make sure the name is not claimed by other businesses already registered in the state.
If your name is available, you can file the necessary paperwork to register your name with the county clerk’s office.
S is for Structure
Once the ball is rolling, you need to decide on a business structure.
Fortunately, I’ve written up a pretty extensive guide that details each business structure option, the benefits, the drawbacks, and how to determine the right option for you.
I highly recommend giving my Types of Business Structures guide a read when you reach this point to make an educated decision on the right option for your business.
Even with my guide, deciding on a business structure can be confusing. There is no harm in sending a message to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to evaluate your options and make a decision together.
I is for Identify Business Location
Whether you are located in the United States or not, your business is going to be. So, you need to identify where exactly.
If you are already in the U.S., you should just set up business locally.
If you are not a U.S. resident, I highly recommend forming your business in the state of Wyoming. It is the best and cheapest state for those who are not U.S. citizens.
N is for Notations and Paperwork
As you’ve probably picked up by now, setting up a business within the United States is a straightforward process. You follow the steps I’ve given to you, and you’ll be fine.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but there is a fair amount of paperwork that goes into forming a business within the U.S. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to gather in terms of paperwork.
Articles of Incorporation or Organization
Determining whether you need to file articles of incorporation or articles of organization depends on what business structure you selected.
Corporation, for example, need to file articles of incorporation. An LLC structure, on the other hand, needs to file articles of organization.
Both types of articles require you to include the business name, the business purpose, the mailing address, and managers.
Typically, you are going to benefit from reaching out to a business attorney – such as myself – to help you make sure you get this paperwork filled out and filed properly.
Certificate of Assumed Name
While I rarely recommend the structure of proprietorship (because it doesn’t offer any separation between your assets and your business assets), it is appealing because it is the easiest type of company to form.
If you decide to go with this structure, you must fill out and file a certificate of assumed name and pay a fee.
From this point on, you operate as a business under the assumed name you filed.
Just keep in mind if you run into any legal issues your personal assets will be at risk as this business structure offers no liability protection.
Employer Identification Number
Employer Identification Numbers or EIN for short are issued by the IRS. This number is the equivalent of a social security number for a business or a nonprofit entity.
An EIN is important because when you go to set up a bank account for your business, the financial institute will require an EIN to do business with you.
Fortunately, obtaining an EIN is a simple process. You just need to fill out Form SS-4 and file it with the IRS.
Just answer a few simple questions and the IRS will send you a letter with your assigned EIN.
License and Permits
Depending on what type of business you are setting up, there may be certain permits or licenses you are required to have in order to legally do business.
Child care providers and private investigators, for example, are required to have a license. And if you plan on selling or serving alcohol, you also need a liquor license.
Not having the proper licensed and permits can put you in some serious legal hot water.
If you need assistance with obtaining the right permits and licensing, I’m just a few clicks away via email@example.com at any time.
E is for Empowerment
Empowering your business is largely amount taking the information I’ve given you thus far and executing it.
You empower your business by:
- Filing for that EIN we discussed
- Obtaining proper permits and licensing
- Investing in proper insurance including business, liability, property, and even employee-related such as health and disability
S is for Setting Up the Books
You need to establish a record keeping system that works for your business. If you don’t have experience with accounting and record keeping, I highly recommend hiring a professional that does.
A lot of business owners also find merit in investing in business accounting software to simplify the process.
S is for Setting Up Taxes
As a business attorney, I do not give my clients tax-related advice. This, however, does not change the fact that there are a lot of taxes involved in setting up a business.
You must become familiar with taxes related to the business structure you selected.
Again, I highly recommend reaching out to a professional because taxation isn’t something you want to do wrong.
What To Do Next
See? Now, all you need to remember is the word BUSINESS to know everything you need to form your own company within the United States.
One of the key points to take away from this guide of mine is not to take on everything yourself.
Don’t have experience with accounting? Hire an accountant.
Find taxes confusing? Hire a tax expert.
Most importantly, a wise business owner never goes into business without having an experienced business lawyer on their side.
Fortunately, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking to start your business.
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