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How To Start A
Small Business

by Jay Lindsay
Copyright 2013, National Business Reports, All Rights Reserved


Establishing ones own business is not nearly as difficult as one might imagine. The start up process for a simple business can be completed quite quickly with just a bit of study and by filing some papers. When talking basics there are only three ways under which a business may operate.  They are:

  • A Sole Proprietorship
  • A Corporation
  • A Partnership

A Sole Proprietorship:  This is the simplest method of business where you, the individual, are the sole owner of the business. Often you hear this referred to as doing business under a D/B/A (Doing Business As) or operating under an assumed name. Generally, you start your business by registering your intent to operate with the records office of your county courthouse. There is a small filing fee (usually less than $10.00 or $20.00). This is simply a matter of putting a notarized document in the public files stating that you will be doing business using the name of XYZ Company (the name you have chosen). You may have to check with the county court house in advance to determine that the name you have chosen is not already in use by someone else.

A Coproration:  This is a more complex manner in which to do business. You are required to file legal documents, normally with the state in which you reside, that attest to the fact you are operating a corporation within that state. You are often required to have officers of the corporation, there are different income tax considerations and other requirements which are too lengthy to discuss here. If you consider this method, it would be wise to do a considerable amount of additional research or seek legal counsel.

A Partnership:  In most states you will find that the requirments for starting a partnership is very similar to starting a sole proprietorship. You simply file papers with the authority at the courthouse in your county. The big difference is that two or more people own the business. Might I suggest that if you want to be in business for yourself in the worst way, forming a business partnership with anyone is the worst way. Over many years I have observed many partnerships dissolved within a short time of formation because of an unexpected squabble between partners. In my opinion one of the main problems of partnerships is simply the fact that you can't have two captains of a ship. Also, I witnessed several instances where one of the partners emptied the bank account and left town and I understand that legally there's not a durn thing the other partner can do about it. Most attorneys strongly advise against this form of business and I suggest you listen to them!

Yes, there are other ways a person can set up a business operation. For information on these I can only suggest you contact your attorney for advice.


Disclaimer: This brief report should be considered only as information. We are not giving legal, tax or financial advice.  We suggest you consult a professional if you deem assistance is necessary in any of these areas.


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