Yeah, so, this won’t be super secret very much longer.
I’m starting a business with one of my friends. Have started actually. At this point we’re just trying to get all of our ducks in a row before our grand opening/press opening/three cheers for social media opening. That means making sure all of our i’s are cross and our t’s are dotted…. erm something like that.
The name started as a joke, but now sounds wildly formal. It’s a neat trick.
I don’t know how manic I’m going to be about this, but I’ve already put in several long nights and I know they’re just going to get longer until we get staffed and organized.
Businesses are a tricky little critters. There’s a lot of local laws, so your mileage may vary, but I’m going to talk a bit about nuts and bolts here. I’m based in Virginia – as you may have guessed. We have different laws than say, Rhode Island. The tax codes are different and such.
The first thing to understand is that it is disturbingly easy to start a business. To make it successful is a pain the ass, but to start it? No worries. I’ve started three now. My father had his own business too. I started this latest one (number 3) on the basis of a snowballing conversation and a handshake.
Come to think of it, I started number two that same way. Scary. Different partners though and completely different businesses.
First thing is to come up with a name and make sure that no one else has it. Google is your friend, but you’ll need to check with your county/state as well. People may have registered a business and done nothing with it. The name still belongs to them.
Once you have your name, you should probably do this in the right order as I did not – get a trade name document. This is an “also known as” or a “doing business as” or a “fictitious name” document. In my county, it costs around $10 and takes about ten minutes to do. (Remember to fill out the paperwork ahead of time.) Then, get an FEIN from irs.gov. That takes about ten minutes – longer if you need to fax in the paperwork, but that only happens in specific instances. Most people won’t have that issue.
Once you have the all important FEIN (trust me, it’s more than just giving the government dosh, this can save you big bucks in the long run), you have to register with your local state authorities. Say, another 10-20 minutes in Virginia.
There we go. The business is started.
Business license you say? Check your local codes. I didn’t need to file until I started making over 10K gross. That’s not going to happen this year on my newest business, so I’m not worried about it.
Well, wow, I’d forgotten that I love business. How did I forget that? I got so focused on what I wasn’t going to blog about that I forgot that I’ve got 1, no 2 very interesting things I can talk about on a regular basis.
Viva la new businesses!