Hey hey hey there Business Bitches – today we’re talking about something that gets a lot of people hung up in the getting started phase:

Which is actually registering their business.

When I started in business, I was the kind of personality who would “do now & ask permission later” – but I appreciate that some of you are more responsible than that…. and even I had to be a lot more responsible than that when I started Business Bitch and got the legal foundations going for this company.

And when I talk to a lot of first-time entrepreneurs, this is inevitably one of the first questions that comes up.

But when they’re asking me about registering their business, I often find they’re really asking one of two things:

  • Where & how do I legally register my business?
  • Where do I register online & what are the “rules” for that?

And in today’s video, I’m going to answer both.

 

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(You can scroll to the bottom to catch the full video transcript, if you prefer to read.)

 

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Full Transcript

But before I answer, let me say: I AM NOT a lawyer or an accountant.

I will answer these questions based on my experiences & the best practices I’ve seen from my clients & entrepreneurial peers over the years… but that doesn’t mean you can take me at my word for “official” legal or financial advice. Things vary from state to state & country to country… and I’m not even 100% schooled on all the regulations in my own state…. I hire an accountant and a lawyer to do those things for me.

But usually, both of these things are done pretty easily, without a lot of time or unnecessary hoopla.

So… where and how do you legally register your business?

If you’re in the United States, you do this with your Secretary of State’s office… usually located in the capital city of your state.

But that doesn’t mean you have to road trip it out to the capital just to start your business… you’ll be able to print the paperwork you need off from the secretary of state’s website, fill it out, and mail it in. Some states (North Carolina included) will even let you submit the paperwork online, making it even easier and quicker.

And while there are a lot of different types of businesses you can file as (like a sole proprietor, LLC, different types of corporations and so on), unless you’re a non-profit I’d suggest filing as an LLC. (Again, if you’re unsure, consult an actual lawyer or accountant.)

The reason I’m a fan of an LLC is because it gives you more legal & financial protection… so if things go south in your business, your personal financial aspects are still protected.

BUT taxes are still fairly easy with an LLC, because if you’re the only owner, you can treat it as a flow-through tax entity (or something like that, don’t quote me), where you don’t have to do so much complicated tax filing, which is great.

After earning a certain amount, it may make sense to upgrade your LLC to something like an S-Corp, which is what I did with Copy Power, but that’s something you can worry about later once you’ve got some traction & are making some money. (And something any good accountant will be able to easily give you advice on.)

Plus, the fees for establishing an LLC are pretty low.

In North Carolina, you pay a one-time $125 fee, and then $200 every year after that for an annual report.

Beyond that, if you want an EIN, (which is like a social security number but for businesses), you can register for one with the IRS after your LLC is established. I did this online at the IRS website, and it was free.

Okay, got that, but Where do you register online & what are the “rules” for that?

Okay, so now that you know where to file your business as a legal entity, what about registering online? What are the rules for that?

The great thing here, my babe, is that if you don’t want to register online, you don’t have to.

Of course, it’s a good idea to have a website & an online presence, and that’s what we’ll talk about – but it’s not a requirement. If you want to do business 100% offline, you can.

If you have a location-based business, go ahead and register it with Google My Business.

This will make sure you show up in Google Maps, help people in your area find you, and will allow you to start getting Google reviews, which are great & really important for Google rankings.

But if you just want to “register” your website… it’s really easy, especially if you use a service company like SiteGround. (And if you’re on my blog watching this & not on YouTube, I’ll put my affiliate link to them below.)

All you do is find an available URL that’s either the name of your business or something similar, buy it, and host it. For example, for Business Bitch, I bought businessbitch.com, but for Copy Power, I didn’t want to pay $5,000 for the URL, so I bought getcopypower.com. Just pick something easy & within your budget.

You’ll pay a yearly fee for hosting, but it’s usually not very high…. and most companies like SiteGround give you a great deal on your first year of service… but even after the price goes up, it’s not that expensive… it’s really negligible.

After that, if you want to “register” your business or your website on different directories or social media websites, you totally can, but again, it’s not 100% necessary, and there are no “rules” to say you have to or that you can’t. It’s your business, and you can do what you want.

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Alright lovelies, so does that answer your questions?

Registering your business—whether it’s with the government or the internet—does not have to be hard… and once you know what to expect, you can do it fairly easily.

If you’d like more helpful advice like this… from beginning a business from scratch to advanced marketing tactics to behind-the-scenes looks at what it’s like for me to run two businesses, sign up for my weekly Business Bitch Dispatch. (The link is somewhere around this video… and if nothing else, it’s pasted in the description below.)

The dispatch is sent out every Sunday at 9 am Eastern, and it’s high-quality and full of great advice.

In fact, as soon as you sign up, you get the first dispatch in your inbox that includes one of the best (free!) hacks on the internet to making passive income so, so easy… AND a typing trick that’ll help make your copy more interesting & engaging with more of your readers. (It’s really easy, and you’ll love it even if you’re not a writer… promise.)

You can sign up for that at BusinessBitch.com/dispatch, and I’ll see you in you inbox on Sunday!

Muah! 😘

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