What you need to get your biz legit.
So this blog post actually started as a freebie, my most popular freebie in fact. I turned it into a full lesson in my signature program Unf*ck Your Biz (which opens for enrollment twice per year).
I decided to basically turn that whole lesson into this blog post. It's a checklist of what you may need in your business.
Use it to take an inventory of what you don't and don't have.
First, you have to form your business entity or at least determine which type of entity is right for you. If you're not sure, start with this blog post. These steps assume that you're starting with a sole prop and moving to an LLC. Some items are required regardless while others are based on the type of entity you have.
You'll also find that I have additional resources on many of these items. They'll be hyperlinked.
Get a registered agent
Each LLC must have a registered agent. Your registered agent is responsible for receiving service of process for your biz.
Check biz name
After you choose your biz name, you'll want to check if anyone else in your area is using it. Also check to see if the LLC name is available.
Determine entity and file
Decide if you want an LLC or if you're sticking with a sole prop for now. If you opt for an LLC, form that before you do the next steps.
Get Your EIN
It's totally free. Think of the EIN as your business's social security number. You'll need it to open your biz bank account. I have a step-by-step video tutorial in the Vault.
Get Your Seller's Permit
Most states require a seller's permit if you are subject to sales tax. You'll need to determine whether your sales are subject to sales tax.
Most cities require a business license to operate. Some cities call it a business tax certificate. These two terms are used interchangeably. Check your city's rules and file online.
Get Your DBA
If you need a dba (or two), now is the time to get those. This one requires ID, so it may not be possible to do online. I usually just go in person to do mine, but check your local requirements.
Statement of Information
Not all states require a statement of information, but check to see if your state has a similar requirement. Some call it an annual report.
Annual Franchise Tax
Franchise tax is basically the annual fee for the LLC. Think of it as the cost of owning an LLC. Some states may also call it an annual fee or something similar.
After you have opened your bank accounts and have your processes in order, you can put yourself on payroll as an s corp owner.
Not totally sure if you need an LLC?
Download the 5 Layers to take my LLC Risk Assessment.
How I teach the small biz blueprint
Inside of my 10-week, group program Unf*ck Your Biz, I teach the comprehensive version of the Small Biz Blueprint. The Blueprint is actually Module 3 in the program.
I placed it there because first I believe that it's crucial to learn about key concepts like how taxes work and how liability should be handled in business. So that's module 1.
The next step is the unfuck section where students tackle back taxes and formation mistakes.
The goal is to make sure everything is clean, tidy, and correct before moving onto the blueprint.
These three modules make up the first three steps of my signature framework.
The Next Steps
After you implement the Blueprint, you're ready to set up your cash flow, banks accounts, and systems like bookkeeping and contractor management. If you want more info on the cash flow process, check out the freebie below.