All startup businesses face a number of administrative tasks that must be done before you can start your business. This article focuses on 5 key tasks associated with starting your business.
Name of your business
Registering your business
Applying for a Federal Employee Identification Number
Applying for a Minnesota Tax ID
Opening a bank account
Naming Your Business
Choosing a name is one of the most fundamental steps in starting a business. Besides reflecting the unique identify of your brand a good name should be available for use on the web and social media.
When selecting a name ask the following questions:
· Is the name unique from your competitors?
· What image do you want to communicate?
· Is the name available to be registered?
· Can the name be misunderstood?
Remember to avoid any potential trademark issues.
Register Your Business
All businesses in Minnesota must register with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Before registering your business, you will need to decide on the legal structure of your business.
· You can register online with the Minnesota Secretary of State
· Your first step should be to verify the name of your business is available
· Then fill out the application.
· The cost to register your business is approximately $135
Apply for a Federal Employee Identification Number
A Federal EIN is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS. It’s used for tax filling and reporting purposes.
· You can apply for an EIN online at the IRS
· The IRS requires an EIN for businesses with employees
· Many banks require you to have a Federal EIN before they’ll set up a bank account for your business.
· There is no cost for applying for a Federal EIN.
Apply for a Minnesota Tax ID Number
A Minnesota Tax ID Number is a seven-digit number used to report and pay Minnesota business taxes.
· You can apply online for a tax ID at the Minnesota Department of Revenue
· A taxpayer ID is required:
* For income tax purposes,
* If you have employees,
* Makes taxable sales, or
* Owe use tax on your purchases.
· Many banks require you to have a Taxpayer ID Number before they’ll set up a bank account for your business
· There is no cost.
When you have finished registering your business and applying for your ID’s you should open a business checking account.
Open a Checking Account
It is important to keep your business banking separate from your personal banking. It's not enough to just keep separate records. You should actually keep the money physically separate in different bank accounts. Co-mingling funds can result in losing owner liability protection.
Establishing dedicated finances makes it easier to monitor your cash flow and present a more professional image to your clients and vendors. It also helps build a credit history in the name of the business that’s essential for future borrowing.