So here's the boring part about being an entrepreneur, all of the paperwork. I swear I thought I would drown in paperwork when I started. And just wait until you hire employees - pure torture. But for the sake of brevity, today I'll discuss the paperwork you need to become a company (as a sole proprietor).
Basically there are two main forms you need:
1) Business license (often with city, state and county)
2) Registered business name
And we'll add in:
3) Domain name for your website.
Don't panic! These forms are very easy to fill out and obtain. As you research the forms, you'll see lots of references to an EIN (or employee Id number) you don't have to have this if you are a sole prop. You can use your SSN instead. If you don't feel like using your SSN, you can apply and receive an EIN as a sole proprietor. It's up to you.
Business.gov has a terrific link to each state's online directory for both determining how and where to get your states business license forms: http://www.business.gov/register/licenses-and-permits/
And obtaining a registered business name form: http://www.business.gov/register/business-name/dba.html
In addition, visit www.godaddy.com to see if your domain name ( or website URL for your business) has already been taken. If not, you can buy it on the GoDaddy site.
Business.gov is going to become your new homepage, ladies. Truly. It's a great site for the new business owner.
If you are going to form an LLC, corporation or any other entity beyond a sole prop., you will need a whole host of additional forms. Which you can easily find on business.gov.
Boring? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. Fill out your forms today so we can go on to more interesting stuff in the posts ahead.