Among other tasks, every new business must take five initial steps in establishing itself.
1. Choose a Business Structure
All businesses must choose a business structure for tax and other legal purposes. Each business structure holds certain advantages and disadvantages in terms of costs, taxation and liability.
Small Business Association - Guidelines on business structures
2. Register Your Business
Register your business with the California Secretary of State Office, the City of Emeryville, and with any other city in which you intend to conduct business. Home businesses must register, as well.
State of California Secretary of State Office
City of Emeryville Finance Department
3. Register a Fictitious Business Name
You must legally name your business. If you plan to name the business a name other than your legal name, you must file for a fictitious business name with the County of Alameda.
Alameda County Clerk
4. Establish a Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN)
Your business may need an identification number for tax, employment and other purposes. Contact the IRS to determine the requirements for your small business.
US Internal Revenue Service
5. Open a Business Checking Account
A separate business checking account allows you to separate your business funds from your personal funds. Consult your current financial institution or another financial institution for business account options.