How to establish a business in the United States

Establishing a business requires careful planning, meticulous effort, and thoughtful preparation. One of the most crucial steps in the process is registering your firm. In the US in 2023, there will be over 20,000 major enterprises and close to 33 million small businesses, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the number of new business registrations will rise yearly.

Registering a business might seem like a daunting task if you’re just starting out. This is a step-by-step tutorial that explains how to register a business in the United States, including the necessary stages and considerations.

Read More: USA company registration

Select a structure for your business.

The first step in registering a business in the United States is selecting the appropriate business structure. The management structure, tax responsibilities, and legal liabilities of your company will all be impacted by the structure you select. There are several business structure options available, each having pros and cons of its own. The most popular company structures to think about are as follows:

One-person business

The most basic type of business structure is a sole proprietorship, which is run and owned by only one individual. All business obligations and responsibilities are directly borne by the owner, who also files business profits on their personal income tax return.


Two or more persons hold a partnership and split earnings and losses. Every partner declares earnings and losses on their individual tax return, and each is individually liable for the partnership’s obligations and liabilities.


A corporation, which can be either a C or S corp, is a privately held company that operates as an independent legal entity. Its profits are taxed differently from the owners’ personal income, and it is accountable for its own obligations and responsibilities. Additionally, corporations provide their owners with minimal liability protection.

Company with limited liability (LLC)

A combination of a corporation and a partnership is an LLC. It provides greater administrative and tax structure flexibility while providing the same limited liability protection as a corporation. Profits and losses are disclosed by owners on their individual tax filings.

The ideal organizational structure for your company may be evident in certain situations, but it may not always be. Consult with your cofounders, hired attorneys, and trusted consultants. Selecting a name for your company is the next step after deciding on your business structure.

Obtain an EIN.

The next stage in registering your business in the US is to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which comes after deciding on a business name and structure. Getting an EIN, which is a distinct nine-digit number issued by the IRS, aids in proving a company’s legal existence. It functions similarly to your company’s social security number. In addition to being necessary for banking and tax purposes, an EIN can shield your personal assets from obligations and liabilities incurred by your business.

Via the IRS website, you may submit an online application for an EIN. You must submit an application and provide some basic information about your company, like its address, legal name, and organizational structure. Information on the person who will be in charge of the company’s tax affairs must also be provided.

Your EIN will be sent to you as soon as the application is finished. When opening a bank account or paying taxes, for example, you will need to provide your EIN. Make sure you keep it secure at all times.

Obtain business permits.

To lawfully run your business, you might need to get a number of permissions and licenses, depending on your industry and area. While the procedure for locating and submitting an application for a business license may vary significantly depending on the region, it is generally the same across the United States:

1. Determine which licenses are required.

Determine which licenses are necessary for your business depending on your industry and area before submitting an application. Permits for corporate activity, industry-specific licenses, and professional licenses are typical examples.

2. Verify the issuing organization

Once the necessary licenses have been determined, validate the application procedure and particular requirements with the granting agency. Depending on the state, county, or city, this might change.

3. Compile the required records.

You can be required to provide several kinds of documents, such as certification of insurance, zoning approval, or educational background, depending on the license.

4. Finish the application.

You can finish the license application when you have obtained all required paperwork. Depending on the issuing organization, you can frequently do this by mail or online.

5. Cover the application cost.

The majority of licenses come with a cost. Depending on the kind of license and the organization granting it, the sum could change.

6. Await authorization

Once your application and payment have been received, you will have to wait for the license to be authorized. It is vital to prepare ahead as this might take many weeks.

7. Show off your license

If it is mandated by law, you might have to publicly display your license at your place of business when you acquire it.

You may find a wealth of information to assist you in determining which licenses your firm need. The Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State’s office in your state are excellent places to start. You may also look for required licenses by state and industry using online resources like the SBA’s permit and license guide.

Recognize your tax responsibilities

The money that companies owe the government is known as their tax liabilities. These include sales tax, payroll tax, excise tax, and income tax. The financial health and long-term viability of a corporation are greatly impacted by these commitments.

Understanding tax responsibilities is crucial for a number of reasons. First, there may be fines, interest, or legal action if taxes are not paid on time or are filed incorrectly. By being aware of your tax responsibilities, you may keep your company compliant with current tax rules and regulations and avoid penalties and legal repercussions.

Since taxes have a big influence on cash flow and financial stability, businesses also need to plan ahead and get ready for their tax responsibilities. It’s critical to include tax responsibilities in your financial planning to guarantee the accuracy of your financial predictions and the availability of sufficient cash to pay taxes and maintain your stability.

Businesses may maintain compliance with changing tax rules and regulations by being informed about their duties. Additionally, by doing this, companies may build a reputation for fiscal discipline and compliance, laying the groundwork for potential future expansion and commercial prospects.

Fulfilling your tax responsibilities might open doors to partnerships and financing. Businesses with a solid tax history and compliance record are frequently sought after by lenders, investors, and business partners.

Investigate the tax laws and regulations that are relevant to your business in detail, taking into account the differences in each state where you are required to pay taxes, in order to determine your unique tax requirements. To be sure you’re not overlooking anything, it’s a good idea to speak with an accountant or tax specialist (or to recruit these positions inside).