Deciding to start a business is an exciting time for an entrepreneur. The empowerment of being your own boss and the excitement of creating something that is your own is challenging but exhilarating.
But before you can start your business, there are several things that you must take care of first to make sure that you comply with the law. Below is a list of the first five steps that you should take when you are forming a business in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Talk to a business lawyer. There are many things that you are going to need to do before you can form your business, and a business attorney can help guide you through the entire process so that you don’t make easily avoidable mistakes. Depending on your business you may need to consider zoning restrictions in your area, whether or not you need to secure certain licenses for your business operations, and what kind of taxes you are going to need to be concerned with. As an experienced Business Attorney, I can help you sort this information out for your particular business circumstances.
- Choose the best business form for income tax purposes. Every business owner wants to make a profit. When a business makes a profit, it will pay tax on those profits. How much tax is paid is calculated by tax elections the business makes. These tax elections are often limited by the type of business form that is chosen. The basic tax election options can be explained during a consultation with your business attorney. It is often best to make the final decision on these matters with an accountant in conjunction with your business attorney.
- Form your business. You must form your business in order to operate and there are certain formalities which must be met depending on the type of entity you choose for your business endeavors. For a sole proprietorship or partnership, formation of the business is quite simple – you simply start conducting yourself as a business. However, if you choose to form your business as a limited liability company (LLC) or as a corporation, there are more formalities which needs to be satisfied, such as filing paperwork and paying fees. An experienced business attorney can help you with the formation of your business.
- Get a name for your business. Every business has a name and your business will need one too. First, you must conduct research to make sure that the name you want for your business is available and can be used in North Carolina. Next, your business name must be registered according to proper procedure based on the type of business entity you have. For instance, corporations and limited liability companies are required to register their business name with the North Carolina Secretary of State Corporations Division, while sole proprietorships and partnerships are only required to register their business name with the Register of Deeds in the counties where they plan to conduct business.
- Get a tax number(s). Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to get a tax number at the state and/or federal level. For instance, if you have or plan to have employees, you need to secure both in North Carolina Withholding tax number and a Federal Employer Identification number for employee tax-withholding purposes. Another example would be a sales and use tax number if your business conducts sales.
- Get all licenses or permits. Certain types of business require specific local, state, and/or federal licenses in order for a business to operate. While the City of Raleigh no longer requires businesses to secure a business license in order to run a business within city limits, a business still might need to secure other types of licenses and permits.
Contact An Experienced North Raleigh Business Attorney
The sooner your business is up and running the better off your business will be. If you are getting ready to start a business, contact Business Attorney Robert Morton to learn what initial steps you need to take to form your business.
North Raleigh Law is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and serves clients throughout the Triangle Area in Wake County, Durham County, Orange County, Chatham County, Vance County and Franklin County, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Zebulon, Wake Forest, Fuquay, Cary, Clayton, Henderson, Oxford, Pittsboro, Apex and Holly Springs.