Starting a small business is something many people only dream of during their lifetime. If you plan to act on that dream, you will find that there are numerous steps you will need to take before you can officially open your doors for business. Because we understand how much time it takes just compiling a list of “business planning steps,” we compiled one for you. Every business venture is unique. Your business may require additional steps beyond those we have included; however, most small business will need to go through at least the following steps:
Choosing a Name
- One of the first decisions you will need to make is to choose a name for your business and make sure that name is available.
- To find out if your chosen name is available, go to the State of North Dakota New Business Registration website.
Deciding on a Business Entity
- The type of business entity you choose will have a direct effect on things such as your personal liability, taxes, and how attractive your business is to investors.
- The three basic business entities are: Sole proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers explanations for the various types of business entities.
Obtain an Employer Identification Number
- All businesses will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Think of this as similar to a Social Security number but for your business.
- Apply for your EIN on the IRS website.
- There are a number of taxes that your business may need to pay to the U.S. federal government.
- The IRS website’s “Business Taxes” section explains the most common types of taxes your business might encounter.
Register with the State of North Dakota Tax Authorities
- As a new business in North Dakota you will need to register to pay a variety of state taxes, such as sale and use tax and income tax withholding.
- More information can be found on the NDTax “New Businesses” website.
North Dakota Licenses and Permits
- Your business may need to obtain a license from the State of North Dakota, such an alcohol, contractor, or gaming license.
- Information regarding state licensing requirements can be found on the “Licensing Requirements” section of the State of North Dakota website.
Obtain Local Licenses and Permits
- You may need to obtain permits and/or licenses at the local level.
- Links to city, county, and tribal government websites where you can find more information are available on the North Dakota government website.
- If you plan to hire employees, even part-time or seasonal, you will likely need to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
- The North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance website can provide you with further information.
- You will also be required to pay into the North Dakota unemployment insurance system if you have employees.
- Additional information can be obtained from the “Unemployment for Business” section of the Job Service North Dakota website.
Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks
- If you wish to copyright work, patent an invention, or obtain a trademark for a business name and/or logo you must go through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Contact Us for Business Planning Assistance
If you have additional questions or concerns about business planning in the Grand Forks, North Dakota area, please contact the experienced business planning attorneys at German Law by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.