Friday, October 17, 2008

From needle and thread to “business as”….... Part 3: Checklist of To Dos

The next thing I went searching for in my quest to start my own business was what I had to do for it to be a legal business. The books I had read covered this pretty well, so I summed it up here in a checklist for you. (This information is specific for the USA, but it could still be helpful as a starting point for those in other countries) I was able to obtain all of this online.

1. Local level: Is a license for your business needed for your city? - check with your city and if it is not needed, check with your county, then with your state

2. Check your zoning if the business will be home based (through city or county)

3. File with the county clerk a DBA (“Doing Business As”) aka - your biz's name...if it's just your name or a variation - it probably won't be needed (like if mine wasn't TiLT creations but was Jane Smith's creations, a DBA would not be necessary)

4. Seller's Permit (thru state) aka Certificate of Resale - for state tax collection on sales

5. Federal tax ID (FEIN) website You will need one if Sole Proprietor (meaning it's just little 'o you)

other things to consider:
>Home insurance - if need optional riders are needed to cover tools, equipment, material, inventory, etc
>trademark (if have one you want to register it to protect it)
>separate phoneline for biz (can be your cell phone - possible write off )
>bank account for your biz - need DBA for most business accounts, it is technically illegal to use your personal account for your biz
Links to federal gov’t sites:
IRS tax info for businesses
IRS forms and publications

My state and local links are here…yours will of course be different, but from these you can get an idea of what things are:

I hope this helps you in your journey
next time...more on pricing. still to come: fairs, marketing & promos, useful sites


  1. Excellent information. These steps sound so basic, but are so very important to know before you plunge in and start a business. Thanks so much for sharing this checklist!

  2. Great info!
    As an artist I am paperwork challenged, but somehow I manage to plug through it all.

    I look forward to the marketing and fairs blog!

  3. Thank you for sharing your research. You certainly made it simple for the rest of us.


  4. I have a Oklahoma sales tax permit, and use my personal SS# with it - they said that was OK. Wonder what will happen when I go to file federal taxes - I'm going to leave it up to the accountant!

  5. Thanks for sharing such great info!


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