Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What do I need to do to start a business?

To start a compliant business, there are a number of things you must do. You need a company name that does not infringe another person or company's trademark. You need to form a business organization to provide limited liability to your company. You need separate bank accounts for your business affairs to maintain limited liability. You need to create an operating agreement or bylaws to provide the ground-rules for the day-to-day operation of your business.

You need to get a tax identification number from the federal government. You need to get set up with an accountant. You need to get any applicable licenses, depending on the type of business you have. You need to determine whether you will have employees, independent contractors or franchisees. If you have franchisees, you may need to file an irrevocable consent to service of process with the secretary of state, depending on the state in which you are located.

On an ongoing basis, you may need to develop confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements for employees, independent contractors, customers or suppliers. You may need employment contracts governing the creation of intellectual property by company employees. You need licensing agreements for the license or transfer of any intellectual property.

You need to file biennial reports to avoid dissolution of your business. You need to file taxes, sometimes quarterly.

Obviously, it all starts with a good idea for a product or service your company will provide. You need a website, and you need a marketing plan. As far as advertising; just do not lie. If you claim something on your website or in your company brochures or catalogs, be able to prove it. If you cannot prove a claim or assertion, you probably should not be saying it.

Every industry is different. What is required for one company in one industry in one state will be different from what is required of another company in another industry in another state. There are a lot of requirements in getting a business up and running, but it sounds worse than it is.

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