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Starting a Business

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Register With State Agencies

Register Your Business With State Agencies

Some business types require registration with your state government:

  • A corporation
  • A nonprofit organization
  • A limited-liability company or partnership

If you establish your business as a sole proprietorship, you won’t need to register your business at the state level. However, many states require sole proprietors to use their own name for the business name unless they formally file another name. This is known as a your Doing Business As (DBA) name, trade name or a fictitious name.

Select a state to find out about specific filing requirements in the state where you will form your business.

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Guam

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

U.S. Virgin Islands

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

Changing Your Business Type

Your initial choice of a business type is not permanent. You can start out as a sole proprietorship, and if your business grows and your risk of personal liability increases, you can convert your business to an LLC.

If you change your business structure, follow the Internal Revenue Service's instructions for Changes in Ownership or Organization.

You will also need to file new documents with your state government, and depending on state and local laws, you may also need to obtain new business licenses.

 

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