Legal Requirments To Start a Business?

10 replies
Are there any good tutorials that give a step-by-step guide on how to start a business--focusing on the legal aspects?

-LLC vs. INC vs. etc. ?
-How to hire independent contractors?
-How to write job postings (Most job postings I see have the same structure which makes me doubt they are independent written)
-How to get rights to all these templates (such as job posting templates, independent contractor templates, etc.)

I'm looking for an all-in-one tutorial. I've done some searching but it's driving me nuts putting it all together. I just want to take action but then again I don't want to get sued or anything!
#business #legal #requirments #start
  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Originally Posted by sexyandiknowit View Post

    Are there any good tutorials that give a step-by-step guide on how to start a business--focusing on the legal aspects?

    -LLC vs. INC vs. etc. ?
    -How to hire independent contractors?
    -How to write job postings (Most job postings I see have the same structure which makes me doubt they are independent written)
    -How to get rights to all these templates (such as job posting templates, independent contractor templates, etc.)

    I'm looking for an all-in-one tutorial. I've done some searching but it's driving me nuts putting it all together. I just want to take action but then again I don't want to get sued or anything!
    I am not a lawyer so these are the only things I can share.

    How to Start Your Business: Your Legal Requirements | Small Business BC
    Follow These 10 Steps to Starting a Business | SBA.gov
    Checklist for Starting up a Small Business
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by sexyandiknowit View Post

    Are there any good tutorials that give a step-by-step guide on how to start a business--focusing on the legal aspects?
    They vary hugely from country to country. Inside the US, they vary quite a lot from state to state and the licensing regulations can even vary from city to city.

    Just a suggestion, but in an international forum like this, it might be easier for people to advise you if either your profile or your post mentioned a location.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      They vary hugely from country to country. Inside the US, they vary quite a lot from state to state and the licensing regulations can even vary from city to city.

      Just a suggestion, but in an international forum like this, it might be easier for people to advise you if either your profile or your post mentioned a location.
      ^^^^ This...

      If you're in the USA, contact your closest Small Business Administration office and ask for their schedule of seminars and workshops. Also ask for a meeting with a SCORE volunteer. You'll get a one-on-one with someone who has been there and done that.

      This will give you a start. Explore the whole site, as there are a ton of resources:

      The U.S. Small Business Administration | SBA.gov

      Starting a Business | SBA.gov

      [SCORE = Service Corps of Retired Executives, businessmen and women who volunteer their time, contacts and expertise to help small business owners be successful.]
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Maybe go talk to your local SCORE office. They can potentially offer free business consulting, face to face, basically.
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    • Profile picture of the author ResultsDriven
      Originally Posted by Michael55555 View Post

      Maybe go talk to your local SCORE office. They can potentially offer free business consulting, face to face, basically.
      I'd be curious to know if anyone here has actually done so. I remember when I was starting my first business I was hearing talk about SCORE, but I never got around to asking them and honestly... I liked making the mistakes I made when I made them and wouldn't trade those lessons for anything.

      Legal requirements to start a business?

      Decide on your tax structure? Sole Prop? LLC? C or S Corp? Partnership? Check with your local jurisdiction about local, state, and federal tax reporting as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author joolkano
        This site may give you what you're looking for.
        biztree [dot] com/

        I'm not an affiliate for this site.
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        There can be no great success without great commitment.
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        • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
          If you're in the USA, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in your state is the "go-to" place for starting a small business in the US. They're a joint venture between the SBA and local junior colleges to provide assistance for small businesses. In fact, if you contact the SBA, they'll probably refer you to your state's SBDC network.

          The SBDC's also work closely with SCORE which, as mentioned before, is another excellent resource.

          Hope that helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
    You need to talk to someone local.

    In order to run a home business here, I needed a zoning permit (just to legally have a home office in my own home!), a local business license, to prepay the first year's business privilege taxes, to register and prepay estimated local services tax, to file articles of incorporation with the state and register for a state tax ID, and to register for a federal tax ID.

    Every year I have to file 7 different tax returns (federal income tax, state income tax, state franchise/corporation tax, state use tax, local business privilege tax, local income tax, local service tax), and make quarterly estimated payments to 3 different governments (federal, state and township).

    Hiring independent contractors also comes with a bevy of legal responsibilities. You need to collect Form W-9s from them so that you can send them and the IRS copies of Form 1099-MISC to report their income. If you treat your contractors the wrong way, they will become legal employees no matter how explicitly your contracts call them contractors, which means you'll be fined and audited by your state and the IRS for not collecting and paying appropriate payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, overtime pay, etc.

    You CAN take care of all this yourself, but it requires some legwork: read your city/township's website, look for the business or taxes departments, and read everything. Go to your county's website and look for the same, and read everything. Go to your state's website and read their revenue/small business section. Read the IRS publications about small business taxes and independent contractors. You'll probably have to pick up a phone and call your township/city/county too to get forms and more details. You might even have to read local bylaws themselves.

    You can probably fly under the radar for a little while just operating under your own name, but if you want to keep things legal, then you have to do the work. Around here, you only have 60 days from opening a business or moving into the area to pay for a business license and prepay your business privilege tax... or else you're in violation of local law and they can start fining you for every day you remain in violation.

    It seems ridiculous, but I have to have a business license posted conspicuously on the wall of one of my bedrooms just to have a PC in there used for a home business. So I framed it, right alongside my two college degrees and my ACM and IEEE professional membership certificates. Never know when a local tax collector will come by to inspect the premises.
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  • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
    Originally Posted by sexyandiknowit View Post

    Are there any good tutorials that give a step-by-step guide on how to start a business--focusing on the legal aspects?

    -LLC vs. INC vs. etc. ?
    -How to hire independent contractors?
    -How to write job postings (Most job postings I see have the same structure which makes me doubt they are independent written)
    -How to get rights to all these templates (such as job posting templates, independent contractor templates, etc.)

    I'm looking for an all-in-one tutorial. I've done some searching but it's driving me nuts putting it all together. I just want to take action but then again I don't want to get sued or anything!
    I don't know your location, but I would say any good legal business book should help you understand the basics of starting a business. I don't know if they still do business books, but Nolo press comes to mind.

    I'm no lawyer, but llc vs corp can be complicated, the basics will be a good start, talking to a few lawyers will help more.

    Personally if it is a small business I would just start out with a doing business as, or assumed name, or tradename, again this status can vary from state to state.

    Things to think about is an llc is a partnership, depending on how it's setup you and the partner could be responsible if something goes wrong. I'm really not up on the llc other than knowing you can issue shares with them. They will also vary from state to state.

    A Corp on the other hand could lead to double taxation if it's not done right. Also, could change status depending on the number of share holders. Best to at least consult with a lawyer on that as well. I know you would hate to start a small business and find out all of a sudden its public or got the wrong calendar tax year/business year.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Make sure you get a business license. I had to get a zoning permit also.
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