Making Your Business Legal

Making Your Business Legal

Use the following checklist to ensure you have covered the bases when it comes to making your business legal and accessible.

Business name

Say the name aloud to make sure it is easily understood and pronounced. Have the name pass muster - including a spelling test - with your family and friends.

Check your local Yellow Pages and business authority to make sure the name is available.

Do a trademark search. File your DBA (doing business as). Register your trademark.

Business licensing

Obtain a city business permit.

Determine whether you need professional licensing from your state.

Inquire as to any other permits you might need, including a fire inspection or sign permit.

Determine the proper amount of sales tax you need to collect and obtain a "seller's permit."

Other legal tasks

Determine if your neighborhood is zoned for home businesses and if you need to be aware of any regulations (parking, signage, etc.).

Find an attorney who specializes in small businesses.

Decide which business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability partnership, limited liability company) you desire for your business, and contact your attorney to get the paperwork underway.

If you plan to hire employees, obtain an employer ID from the IRS and any forms you and your employees need to fill out. (Also inquire at your local INS office for an Employment Eligibility Verification form [Form I-9], which proves your employees have the legal right to work in the United States.)

For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at for more information. 

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