Laws + legalities are the more mundane tasks associated with starting your own business, but that doesn't mean it's less important in any way. In fact, the only proper way to becoming your own buss is by ensuring that your business is legitimized. Here are four things you must do to legalize your business FAST:
- Figure out your business structure: The legal structure of your company dictates many factors regarding how your business will function. Will you be a sole proprietor, in a partnership, an LLC, or incorporation? Although it's possible to change your structure in the future, there may be some restrictions or financial penalties; therefore, it's critical that you carefully evaluate your vision + goals, as well as thoroughly reviewing the rules + regulations for each legal structure.
- Acquire your legal documents: Every city, county, & state has their own regulations + procedures on how new companies are supposed to register & file, but for the most part, it's the same process. The three most common documents include a business license with your city/county/state (might be only one, might be all three!), a seller's permit, & building/home-office permits. Please, please, please DO YOUR RESEARCH!
- Set up your financial management system: Once you've filed the necessary documents, you can obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Then, after you get the EIN, you can open a business bank account (although it's not mandated by law, it's a great idea to separate business & personal). After you have an EIN + business bank account, you'll need to find a payment processing system & bookkeeping system.
- Take on your first client (& keep going!): Congratulations, your company is official! Once you have everything legitimized & finalized, you can comfortably begin to take on clients. Utilize your online presence, & don't be afraid to market yourself (Pssst: Visit my complimentary Graphic Design Checklist if you want to create professional graphics in-house.).
Although these four steps are things to legitimize + legalize your business, remember that doing these things alone will not suffice. There are a few other things that you must do to secure your business (& brand)--get more information here.