Business registration is an essential step in the journey of any successful startup. It involves strategic planning, detailed work and considered preparation. While it may seem complex and daunting at first, it’s actually quite simple if you follow the five steps in this article.

1. Determine what type of business you want to register. The structure of your business will influence how it is taxed and its legal responsibilities. You can choose between a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) and a corporation. Businesses can also be for-profit in nature and exist to make money or non-profit organizations that support a humanitarian cause.

2. Register with your state’s government. The specific requirements vary by state and business structure, but you can expect to submit paperwork such as articles of incorporation or an operating agreement, as well as pay any necessary fees. You might also be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and register for any local, state or federal taxes that apply to your business.

3. Set up dedicated business bank accounts. Separating your personal and business accounts will protect your personal assets, simplify bookkeeping, and save you time at tax time. 4. Designate a registered agent. The agent is the person or address that will receive official notices from the state and other government agencies on behalf of the business. It should be a physical address where someone is available during business hours. You can find a list of registered agents on your state’s website or use an online legal service such as IncFile. register a business