Part of starting a business is being sure you have fulfilled all of the legal requirements. This involves a lot of research at the state, county and local level. The first task is to decide what type of business to form. I must admit that this was daunting to me. Should I form a corporation, a limited liability corporation, or a sole proprietorship? Each type requires different forms, different fees, and different insurance requirements. I spent a lot of time on the internet researching the pros and cons of the different paths I could choose. I also conferred with other business owners, an accountant, and an attorney. Eventually I came to the decision that a sole proprietorship was the best fit for what I wanted to accomplish.
Now for the paperwork! I live in California and so needed to get a state-issued reseller’s permit. This was pretty easy. It was done online and only took an hour or so. I also needed to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the county. Yes… This sounded really sketchy to me, too. But it is required if you want to use a name for your business other than your full legal name. This required a trip to the County office to file the paperwork, pay a fee, and provide identification. I also need to post a public notice about the name for four weeks in a local newspaper. This is in progress.
The last piece of paperwork I needed to file was a Business Tax License with the City. This was the biggest hurdle – mostly because the website did not work very well and I had to start over several times. All in all, it was not too arduous once you knew what you had to do.
If any of you have gone through this process I would be interested in hearing about any issues you had. Send me an email or submit a comment.