Small Biz Blueprint - The Legal Stuff Your Small Biz Needs

Small Biz Blueprint - The Legal Stuff Your Small Biz Needs

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. Check out this blog for more info.

Get Your Seller's Permit

Most states require a seller's permit if you are subject to sales tax. Not sure if you need to collect sales tax? Start with this podcast.

Business License

Most cities require a business license to operate. Some cities call it a business tax certificate. These two terms are used interchangeable. Listen to this podcast for more info.

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.

Operating Agreement

If you have an LLC, you need an operating agreement. Partnerships need a partnership agreement. I have templates for these in Profit Rx.

Meeting Minutes

LLCs and s corps also require, at a minimum, annual meeting minutes. I have templates for these in Profit Rx.

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.

S Corp Election

If you decide that an s corp is the best route for you, you can file your IRS form 2553, s corp election after first forming your LLC. Then, move to the next two steps.

Bank Accounts

Once you've completed the first 12 steps in the Blueprint, you'll be ready to open your bank accounts. Check out my cash flow system for more details on this.


After you have opened your bank accounts and have your processes in order, you can put yourself on payroll as an s corp owner.


How I teach the small biz blueprint

I teach this full process in my program Profit Rx. And I teach a modified and more simple version my course Legally Launched, which is geared towards creative in year 1 of their businesses. Check out the courses to see how you can get step-by-step directions to make sure your business is compliantly setup.


Have questions on the blog? Need more small biz friends? Join the Facebook Group, Braden's Besties to connect.