Setting Up Your Business Legally
You’ve thought of your next biz idea, validated it and you are ready to move forward. Before you get too ahead of yourself, you need to make sure that your business is set up legally. There are a few different things to get covered, but always check with a lawyer if you have a question!
Decide on what and where you want to be
Are you going to operate as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC) or corporation? Each organizational structure has its own unique setup, legal items, taxes and more. Take some time to do your research to see which one is right for you. Also think about where will you be operating your business. This will determine which state you will have to file paperwork in when you decide to incorporate your business.
Get your goodies
Take to the internet to search your business name. Make sure that you are not the only one using it. If your name is available - awesome! Go ahead and purchase the domain name, grab those social media handles and any other goods you will need. Find out your name is taken? No worries. Try brainstorming a few different variations or dream up a new name that fits with your idea and is available for the taking!
File your paperwork
Find your local state agency that handles business filings. Do your homework to make sure you have the necessary materials to file everything properly. Nothing worse than going downtown, finding parking after 30 minutes of circling the building and realizing you forgot a form you needed. Heads up, you will also need to pay a filing fee. Depending on the state you are filing in, this fee will vary. Also make sure to double check if you need any licenses or permits. This will also vary by industry and state!
Set up your finances
Creating a business bank account is a must. You will need a separate bank account from your personal account. This will help you track expenses easily and have a go-to place to receive invoice payments and more. You will need an EIN number or a federal tax ID number to open your bank account. When heading to the bank to set up your account, budget a good amount of time to complete this task. It will take some time for the bank to get everything properly set up and created for you.
Get your business covered with contracts
Sure you are good to go from a legal standpoint when it comes to licenses, banking and incorporating your business - but it is time to protect yourself and your business when it comes to clients, customers and more. Not all business will need extensive contracts, but it never hurts to make sure your business is protected. It is better to be safe than sorry! We love The Contract Shop for all things contracts for creatives! View their ready-to-roll contracts to see if one can work for your business.
Complete these items and you are well on your way to getting set up properly and legally. Have any questions about this process? Again, talk to a lawyer!
At Mavenly + Co., we focus on helping women work for themselves. From free resources and podcasts to private coaching and events, our team is here to help you take your career + business to the next level. Whether you are a freelancer, side hustler, or full-time business owner, we want to help you succeed in your work. Want to learn more? Click here!