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Checklist for Creating a Business Entity in California

Top view of office workspace with scheme from idea through the planning, strategy, marketing, finance, to realization and market success.

Congratulations! You’ve had a million-dollar idea and you’re ready to put pen to paper and establish a business entity in California.

Now where exactly do you start?

There’s a particular set of steps you must complete in order to start up your business properly, so we’ve compiled a simple checklist below.

 

How to Create a Business Entity in California

Follow these steps to start your California business off on the right foot!

1. Write a Business Plan

Having an idea is one thing, but turning that plan into a great business is another, and writing a business plan is the first step. This includes things like calculating your start up costs, market research, competitor analysis, and figuring out funding. If your idea doesn’t survive the business plan stage, it’s most likely not a strong enough idea. It’s okay to go back to the drawing board and start over again!

2. Decide on Your Business Entity

One of the most important decisions you’ll make in the startup process is deciding which entity is right for your business. The business entity you choose will affect your business’s taxes, liability, and estate planning. It’s in your best interest to consult with a tax and incorporation professional at this stage to help choose the best fit for you.

Learn more about the different entity types.

3. Contact a Business Professional

Once your business plan is completed and your entity is decided on, it’s time to contact a business professional like Robert Hall & Associates. We can assist with the next several steps of creating your business, like registering your business with the secretary of state, filing your DBA, applying for your Federal Employer Identification Number, obtaining requires licenses/permits and more!

Read more about our Incorporation Services.

4. Register Your Business with the Secretary of State

Once you’ve decided which type of entity is right for your business, you have to file the right form according to State of California guidelines. There are different forms based on the entity you choose to incorporate as, our experts can help you determine which forms are necessary to fill out.

5. File a DBA Name If Necessary

If you plan to operate under a different name than your registered name, you’re required to file a DBA form with the California Secretary of State. Our experts can determine if your name of choice is available and complete a Name Reservation Request form on your behalf.

6. Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

Your FEIN is a nine-digit number the IRS uses to identify a business. When you work with an incorporation specialist like Robert Hall & Associates, we can apply and submit the paperwork on your behalf so you can make sure these forms are submitted correctly and promptly.

7. Obtain Required Licenses & Permits

Depending on the types of goods or services you’re selling, Federal Law and California State Law may require you to hold certain licenses or permits to operate. Our business experts will research which licenses and permits are required for your type of business and assist you through the application process.

8. Establish a Separate Company Bank Account & Credit Card

One of our top tax advice tips for small businesses is to separate your business and personal expenses as early as possible. Setting up a separate company account and credit card when you create your business will prevent yourself from combing through your personal accounts at the end of the year and trying to sort out business and personal expenses.

Ready to Create Your California Business Entity? We Can Help!

Creating a business entity on your own can be a confusing process. And unlike other things you do in life, if you don’t cross your T’s and dot your I’s when it comes to filing legal paperwork with the federal government, your new business could face civil penalties and fees by the IRS which could put you in the red.

That’s why if you are considering creating a business, it is best to start off on the right foot and seek the advice of a professional–especially one who’s an expert in your state and knows all the state-specific laws pertaining to establishing a business.

Robert Hall & Associates Tax Consultants logoIf you’re looking to start a business in California, Robert Hall & Associates can file the necessary paperwork to incorporate your business, and help you take advantage of the built-in tax benefits for your chosen structure. Call us today at (818) 242-4888 or schedule your free 30-minute consult now.

Have tax questions? Ask Us.

The first step to hassle-free accounting, tax returns, and tax planning starts by reaching out to one of our representatives.

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Robert Hall and Associates Tax Consultants