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IMPORTANT: First select your business entity. Entities: Sole Proprietor, LLC, Corporation or Partnership.
All Businesses, (very small, home, online, mobile included) MUST:

First Select a legal Business Entity Structure such as Sole Proprietor, Partnership, LLC or Corporation.

In general, filing as an LLC beats all other types of structures. However, you can start as an LLC or as a sole proprietor and later change to other structures.

If you are sure that your company will succeed and make more than $50K per year, start with an LLC (especially if your business is succeptible to law suits from customers and or employees, such as a restaurant business). It is the right decision in most cases.

  • Selecting a Business Structure First is IMPORTANT because all tax and permit registrations will be filed under the entity type and the entity's name.
  • Example 1: You start an LLC as "Exquisite Online Boutique, LLC". An LLC certificate of organization must be filed with the state and an LLC operating agreement must be executed. In addition, selling boutique merchandise requires a seller's permit and a business license. An LLC requires that you also get a federal Tax ID.
  • You can register an LLC or any other business license and tax ID, here online.

  • Example 2: Sole Proprietor consultant "John Smith" is doing business as (DBA) "John's ExperTax Consulting" with two employees. John Smith MUST register the business name with a DBA Business name certificate (DBA), and obtain a business license. In addition, being an employer requires a Federal EIN and a State EIN registration. Finally, John may form an LLC or incorporate and he will not have to register a DBA.

  • Retailers / Wholesalers ( i.e., selling anything online or from anywhere), need at least Seller's Permit, & a Business License.

  • EXAMPLE: "Best Widgets Company," is selling/leasing equipment, merchandise, food/drinks online, from home, or a mobile cart.

  • Best Widgets MUST register a Seller's Permit to buy or sell wholesale in large amounts and sell retail in small amounts, it MUST also register a Business License and MUST register a DBA. "Best Widgets," MAY form an LLC or corp, as well, instead of filing a DBA.

  • Employers, i.e., if you will hire employees, you will need a Federal ID EIN (Fed ID) , a State Employer ID in addition to all other licenses mentioned.

  • Corporations & LLCs MUST obtain at least a Corporate Certificate, a Federal ID & a Business License.
  • NOTE: A corporation or LLC is not EIN or federal ID you have obtained.
  • A corporation or LLC is a State Create Business Entity with bylaws and or an operating agreement plus it needs all licensing, such as a seller's permit (if applicable), a federal ID and a business license like any other business.

  • Sole Owners Need a Business License and a Trade Name DBA ( That is the business name you Do Business As (DBA)).
  • For example, "John's Fashion Store," is a Business Name. So if you are a Sole owner, and you do business as ( DBA) "Joe's Ebay Store," you MUST file a DBA unless doing business as their full legal name.
  • On the other hand, if your name is "Jane F. Doe," and you are doing business as "Jane F. Doe," you are not require a DBA Doing Business As filing but you could file your name as a DBA if desired.

  • Sole Owner's Business ID
  • All businesses must be identified by a Fed tax ID, except a sole proprietor who can use his social sec. number as a business tax identification.

  • (However, IMPORTANT, you still need all licenses and other tax IDregistrations as described above.
  • A federal tax ID number is recommended but NOT required for sole owners NOR does a federal tax ID registers your business in any way except that you can use it in the place of your social security number).
  • It is recommended that you obtain a fed ID to use as a business id.
  • Otherwise your social sec. # will be all over the place in gov't and business applications.
  • At any rate, if you are getting a seller's permit, most states require you to get a Federal ID before they issue the seller's permit.

  • Sole Owners (one person business) can Incorporate or form an LLC, instead of filing a DBA. I.e., instead of just registering the sole proprietorship business name.
  • Note that if you form an LLC or incorporate, you will not need to file a DBA if you are required to file one as a sole owner.

  • Any Business, including sole owners, can use home address as a business address.
  • In addition, you cannot use a P.O. Box, as a business address.
  • It must be a physical address. You can use a P.O., as a mailing address, however.

  • Partnerships need a Federal ID, a Business License, a DBA but can incorporate or form an LLC instead of just filing a DBA.

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    Business License Video

    Applying for your own small new business license, tax ID, and DBA or fictitious business name certificate. Applying and getting own (web, internet, online, home) business LLC, documents and seller's permit ID and other business permit numbers online.