Ready for the Next Steps?
Did you move ahead with the first three steps? Good work! See - you can do this! Here we go:
Determine any permits you may need for your particular license. Consider both state and federal level. I got a city business license, using my home address.
If you have a partner or group of partners, you may want to organize a corporate structure. Since I was a sole proprietor, I kept my DBA for 3 years before becoming an S-Corp. As a physical therapist, I cannot operate as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) but this is the least complicated and most affordable. An S-Corp has similar taxation as LLC with a little more protection. A C-Corp is the most costly, and highest cost, but if you plan on getting investors, you will need to be a C-Corp. This can be done after you get investment, so I would advise saving your money in the short run. In order to form a corporate structure, you could use a lawyer (you will need to for a C-Corp) or you can save some money with some paralegal services that specialize in this or even the online legal services.
Now you can open a business bank account. I did this with my DBA, and then closed that account when I incorporated, and had to open a new one when I got my Federal Taxpayer Identification number and State Identification number as a corporation.
You have your business name – do you have a logo? Think about what you want the logo to portray. Find a graphic designer to draw up some options to choose from. You’ll know the right one when you see it. Once you have this, you can make business cards! Doesn’t this feel official??
Take as long as you need to look make these moves, and I'll give you the next couple of steps to get your business to be "real."