You are finally ready to start that business you’ve been dreaming of for years. You’ve done the necessary market research and financial projections, and you are ready! But wait, there is more to starting a business than conceiving the idea, having the plan, and financing. For your business to have certain rights, be recognized and advertised on platforms and television stations, and enjoy other benefits, your business has to be registered. If you plan to kick off your business properly and legally, you should be ready and willing to register it under the proper authorities. The processes involved in registering businesses are different, notably when choosing a business name. This largely depends on the type of operation you intend to start, the technicalities involved, how big the business will be, and the state in which you live and operate the business. All of these have to be considered, pursued, and met in full before you can commence with your business. There are basic steps that are mandatory in a bid to register your business. This article is aimed at educating you on those steps.
How Do I Get My Business Registered?
There are a lot of processes that have to be passed through to register your business, starting from decision-making down to the registration itself. A couple of these processes include:
Choose Business Structure
This is the first step, and it is a very important step in registering your business. After deciding on what business, it is necessary to decide a business structure. The business structure, which is also called a business entity, is important because the structure you choose will always reflect on your business. It affects how you file for taxes, your day-to-day operations, and how much your personal assets are at risk; if your business fails. You can read more about that here. The business structure you choose to work with can potentially make or destroy your business. It is vital to do it first as it is a great determinant of how things will turn out.
Find A Location
After the tough decision-making in selecting the business structure you want to operate with because it works best for you, and you find it easier and more flexible, the next most important thing is to choose a location. That doesn’t mean your business has to have a permanent location. This implies that as your business registration goes, this will be the address you use for tax filings, receiving important documents from government agencies, or your business bank account.
Register Your Business Name
The next important thing on your to-do list should be registering your name. Registering a business name is usually part of the process of registering separate entities like LLCs and corporations. But in a situation where you are starting a sole proprietorship or intend to delve into a partnership operating under a name that is not your own. For example, if your name is John Doe, but you would rather your business name be something else, you may need to file a DBA (a “doing business as” name).
It is also important to note that existing LLCs and corporations can also use a DBA to register other businesses under them. For example, if you already own a jewelry store and intend to open another one under an entirely different name, you must file for a DBA. Doing this helps keep both the first and second café as one legal entity but operate under two different names. It’s important to learn more about how to protect your business name.
Although a couple of states may not require a DBA as part of your business registration process before registering your name, you must ensure that it is free, does not have another owner, and is eligible for use. You may also want to trademark it. This will make it unusable by another company, brand, or entity, considering the fact that a DBA does not automatically offer the name any form of protection, which means it does not stop it from being reused elsewhere.
Get a Business Registration Number
BRN, which is short for Business Registration Number, follows a very unique number(that is assigned to only you). This number is usually assigned by the IRD and is your tax identification number (TIN). The BRN is important as you will need it when dealing with different government agencies, such as filing annual returns and paying your taxes amidst other things. Therefore, the BRN is essential for legal business operations and tax payment in Hong Kong, and its importance cannot be overemphasized.
Register With State and Local Agencies
Once you are done registering your business at the federal level, you still have a couple of things to do as your registrations are not yet done. You need to register your business with one or more agencies in your state or local government, such as revenue offices. If you plan to run a payroll, you will also need to register with your state agency to file payroll taxes, among a host of other things.
Apply for Licenses and Permits
This is last but not the least. Before you commence your business and open for operations, you have to make sure that you have all the proper licensing and permits that are required before starting. You need this in your possession before you begin serving customers and operating for your business, not to get into potential legal trouble. Each industry may have different requirements, and you must fulfill each of these requirements before starting because Hong Kong has serious laws against offenders and unlicensed practitioners. Thankfully, the Internet and other companies have comprehensive and easy-to-use means for you to properly search for the permits and licenses you need by entering your location and type of business.
Once you conclude making your business legal by registering it, you can finally start operating because your business is fully registered and because you have in your possession all valid documents, paperwork, licensing, and permits that assure you of your ability to operate freely. You can then proceed to focus on the fun part of your job and running your business. Remember to offer good and quality services because failure to do so can make everything you have strived hard for revoked.