Starting a Sole Proprietorship

By Lanee' Blunt

A sole proprietorship is a business that is owned by one person. Starting a sole proprietorship is easy and the start-up cost is low. You may be working as a consultant now and want to register your business as a sole proprietorship. It will require very little legal work. It will depend on the type of business you have if you will need a seller’s permit. If you are running a service business you won’t be collecting any sales tax.

Register your Business Name
Doing Business As, “DBA” and Fictitious Name are terms used to describe a business that is registered under a legal name. If you want to register your business under another name other than your own name you will need to apply for a DBA. You have to file a “Fictitious Name” or “Doing Business As” (DBA) registration form. In some states you register a DBA with the county clerk’s office or with your state government. You will need your driver’s license or state ID card with your application.

Obtain your Tax ID
If your new business has employees or is going to have employees you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Fill-out the necessary forms and send them back to the federal government and they will return it to you with your EIN number.

Resale Permit or Sales Tax Permit
If you plan to sell products you are required to collect sales taxes you will need a Sales tax permit or a Vendor’s license from your state or local government. Apply for a sellers permit with your State Revenue Agency.

Business Bank Account
Set up a checking account for your new company. This is optional. Print business cards. Start a website that you can direct your customers to and build a strong about-us page for your new company. Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you by setting up an email account. You may want to get your customers to subscribe to your website so that you can capture email addresses and send them your newsletter.

In some states you may apply online or download an application and mail it back in. Check with your state website or go to the sba.gov website.

SBA: 5 Steps Registering Your Business

Entrepreneur: The Skinny on Sole Proprietorships; Lydia Dishman; 2010


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