Registering Your Small Business and Obtaining Licenses for the Sale of Goods

Many amateur entrepreneurs are confident that they can find success in a small beading business, but there is more to operating a self-owned company than just coming up with a name. Once you have created a business plan and located the financial needs to launch your company, the next step is to move toward registering your service.

Registering your small business will help you determine legal and tax matters throughout the existence of your company, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Once you have done so, you can move forward with obtaining business permits to start offering services and products to consumers. Licenses are necessary for all business owners who want to legally operate a company.

The first step in registering your small business is to determine whether it's a corporation, nonprofit organization or limited liability company. Regulations vary by state, which can all be found on the SBA website. If it is a sole proprietorship, you will not have to register your small business at the state level. However, some regions require sole proprietors to use their own name for their companies.

After you have fit your business into one of the three categories, you can register your business name. "Doing Business As," or DBA, is the common term used to describe a business entering the registration process. By default, your full name will be used as the title of the business until it has been registered.

The SBA notes that the process for registering a business name varies according to state. All of these regulations can be found on its website as well.

Once you have made your name official, you will use this on all documents for business operations. Tax files and government forms should also have this name on it as a representation of your company, according to the SBA.

You will need certain permits to operate your small business.

After you have established your company name, the next step is to obtain a federal tax identification number. This number is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify a business and a tax-paying entity. The IRS allows small business owners to register for a tax ID number online, by phone or mail.

The tax ID number can then be used to register your business with the state you live in. Your state revenue agency is responsible for providing you with the tax information and regulations in regards to doing business in the region.

Once you have reported to the agency, you can move forward with the permit process. Many entrepreneurs need permits and licenses to sell their products and services to consumers. Depending on the business, it may be licensed at the state, federal or local level.

Types of businesses that require federal licenses are companies that are supervised or regulated by a government industry. For instance, vendors who sell alcohol or produce crops might need this specific license. The SBA website has a list of industries that typically require intervention from the federal government in order to operate.

Information on state regulations can also be found on the SBA website. Limitations will vary according to the region, but there are offices across the country dedicated to helping entrepreneurs register for the proper licenses.

Failing to obtain a business permit can put an entrepreneur at risk of losing the opportunity to sell products and services. Individuals who do not apply for the proper permits and licenses can face fines from the federal government.

Once you have received the proper permits and licenses to operate your small businesses, you must work to keep them intact. Many permits expire and require inspections to remain valid. Complying with these demands will play a role in your success as an entrepreneur. If you do not update your permits, you may be forced to close down your business until you have been re-approved.

The SBA suggests keeping hard copies of your permits and licenses for your own documentation purposes. Remember to display any permits that must be visible to the public. If your business quickly sees success and you end up considering expansion, you may need additional permits. This may require you to fill out numerous forms in order to comply with regional and federal demands.

To exercise your permits and increase your company's chance of long-term success, consider keeping a calendar nearby. Jot down the renewal dates of your permits and licenses to make sure you don't miss a beat. Organization is not only necessary at the storefront, but behind closed doors as well.

If you are interested in learning more about permits and licenses, consider visiting an SBA branch in your region. A professional can help you understand the regulations you must comply with in order to operate your small business.