What Should I Do Before Opening a Business

Consult your trusted advisors, i.e.: business attorney, accountant, industry expert, business broker, financial planner.

Choose the legal structure, i.e.: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, Corporation or Sub Chapter S corporation. File with the state.

File for corporate Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).

File for your Fictitious Name with the state, unless you are assuming an existing fictitious name.

File for state sales tax, if applicable.

Register your professional registration with the state, if applicable.

Check with state for any rules on change of ownership.

Open a bank account and order checks.

Open a merchant’s credit card account, if applicable.

Order business cards.

Check out state worker’s compensation requirements.

Check out state law for new hire reporting.

Prepare for Occupational license with the county and city.

Occupational application, zoning and fire inspections need a sketch of the building in addition to the parking. If it is a shopping center you need the whole center layout. Occupational license is usually final after closing.

Hotel & Restaurant Application need a Plan Review if changes are being done to the inside of the building, such as remodeling or equipment moving. Otherwise you need to prepare for the inspection. In most counties, you need to have your Hotels & Restaurant License before they issue the Occupational License.

Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco Application will need a Sales Tax sign off, a Zoning sign off, and a Health Department sign off. Also required are fingerprints and a lease. You may need to hire a permitting and licensing professional for assistance with the bureaucracy.

Change electric, telephone, cable, internet provider, etc. to new name.

Buy insurances, i.e.: business liability, professional, automobile, building, etc.

Assume 401k, health care, or other employee benefit programs as necessary.

Start payroll service and worker’s compensation insurance.

Continue current advertising, white page listings, etc.

Change billing address for web site manager and obtain new owner email, etc. Update the website.