I decided if I’m going to start my business, I need to get my stuff together and do it the right way. Sure I can design for my buddies for cash, but if I want this thing to take off and land serious clients, I need to set myself up as a serious business.
Getting started might seem overwhelming, but it’s not. After going through the steps, I found it pretty easy.
You could check out internet services or your lawyer for all of this; however, it will cost money. That money would benefit me more to invest in a better camera. I’ve been eyeing a Nikon D3300 for some time.
I live in Connecticut and this was my process.
- Choose a name
First, you’ll have to think of a name. If you have a great idea for a business name, awesome! Make sure it isn’t already taken. I live in Connecticut, so I searched here.
- Articles of Organization
You can file out the Articles of Organization. You can download the form for Connecticut, here.
Box 2. DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS TO BE TRANSACTED OR PURPOSE TO BE PROMOTED – is confusing. But, the state doesn’t need to know what you’re doing so you can just say, “To engage in any lawful act or activity for which a limited liability company may be formed under the Connecticut Limited Liability Company Act.”
Below is a great video on YouTube that I found helpful when filling out the Articles of Organization:
Fill out the form and mail it in to: COMMERCIAL RECORDING DIVISION, CONNECTICUT SECRETARY OF THE STATE, P.O. BOX 150470, HARTFORD, CT 06115-0470
Include a check for a nominal fee, and you have your LLC. Again, you’ll have to find out where to send your paperwork if you’re outside of CT.
- The Feds
Oh yeah, Uncle Sam will want his cut of the action, therefore you’ll need an EIN number. An EIN will allow you to set up a business bank account. You should have a separate bank account for your business. You can get an EIN number online, here.
- State Taxes (CT)
You will need to register for a Sales and Use Tax permit and file Sales and Use tax returns on most likely a quarterly basis. You can find the REG-1 form, here.
Be sure to check with your town for zoning issues. For now, I’ll being running things out of my house. Unless I decide to put up a neon sign and turn my front yard into a parking lot, I think I’ll be OK.
I’m starting a design business and don’t need any licenses, but if you’re looking to do something different with your LLC, now’s the time to get that.
Call your homeowners insurance company and make sure you have it added to your policy that you have an in-home business. Hopefully your agent can help decide how much coverage you need for the type of business you’re running. I’m going to look into liability insurance. I’ll let you know how that goes.
*I’m not a lawyer or a CPA but these are the steps I took to set up my gig in CT. The process will different from state to state, but I’m sure you can find answers with some quick Google searches and YouTube videos.
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