There are several steps to registering a business, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ll walk you through the process so you can confidently register your pet care business and start serving your furry clients.
How to Register a Business
When getting started with your business, you will need to select a business name and location, management structure and ownership, and collect registered agent information. Depending on your business structure, you will need to provide certain documents and information to the state or federal agency. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will have more information about what is required to get your business up and running.
You’ll need to file with federal agencies so you can get a federal tax ID. You’ll need to register with federal agencies if you'd like to trademark your business or file for a patent. A state agency will be needed if you are registering an LLC or the like, and you will need a registered agent in your state before you file so they can assist you with the legal documents on behalf of your company.
The good news is that the total cost to register your business will be less than $300! Make sure that you stay up to date with registration requirements—like federal and state agency requirements. (And how that will affect how you file your taxes.)
Different Types of Businesses
The next step is deciding what type of business structure you will set up, you have many choices of corporations, DBA or an LLC. You will need to figure out your business structure and operations, location, number of employees, and a few other items to know which type of business you will register your pet care business. Let us tell you a little more about each structure, so you can select the right one for your business.
Doing Business As
DBA stands for “doing business as.” If you are starting out small with little to no employees, you should consider registering your business as a DBA. Your location and business structure will determine whether or not you need to register your business as a DBA. Doing business as allows you to create a business bank account, write checks, and enter contracts. Take a look at this link for more information about creating a DBA. C Corporations, S Corporations, Nonprofits, and LLCs can also be set up under a DBA.
C Corporations are the most common types of corporation in the U.S. because they offer unlimited growth opportunities through stocks, which means that investors can get involved in your business. With a C Corp, there is no limit to the number of shareholders that your business can have. There are also certain tax advantages that a C Corp business owner can take advantage of. However, a C Corp does have some disadvantages. It is expensive to start because of the fees required, there are several regulations and formalities, there is double taxation, and there is no deduction of corporate losses.
Setting up a C Corp requires choosing and reserving a legal name, filing an Articles of Incorporation with your Secretary of State, issuing stock certificates, applying for a business license, filing an SS-4 form, and applying for any other ID numbers required by the state and local government agencies. To learn more about this, take a look at this web page.
An S Corporation, similar to a C Corp, offers investment opportunities, but can only have up to 100 shareholders. Along with this, S Corps only have to file taxes yearly and are not exposed to double taxation. However, S Corp business owners are limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and there are ongoing expenses. With an S Corp, there is also closer IRS scrutiny.
Setting up an S Corporation is similar to a C Corp. The only difference is the last step—a 2553 Form from the IRS must be filled out and submitted within 75 days of the corporation formation. To learn more about S Corporations, read this webpage.
A nonprofit organization allows a business owner to keep their personal assets separate from their company’s liability. Along with a nonprofit organization comes limited liability protection, perpetual existence, and eligibility for grants. Depending on location, the nonprofit organization owner may have to file for state-level tax-exemption, and the IRS requires them to file a 1023 Form.
Nonprofit organizations can also file for 501(c) status. This type of organization enjoys several advantages—tax-deductible donation, enhanced credibility, tax-exempt status, reduced postage rates, and more. To learn more about nonprofit organizations, read this web page.
Limited Liability Company
An LLC is the most simple business structure because it is flexible. Business owners choose to form an LLC for their business because there is no residency requirement, legal protection is provided, there is enhanced credibility, and they are benefited by pass-through taxes. However, LLC owners cannot issue shares of stock, there is a lack of uniformity, and they have to take care of self-employment tax.
If you plan on hiring several employees at the beginning and doing all taxes and expenses separately, you’ll want to consider forming an LLC. You will need licenses or permits from your county or city if you are registering as an LLC. You’ll have to get in touch with your local government for more requirements to make your pet care business a registered LLC.
Next, you will need to get federal and state ID numbers. Your federal tax ID number is also known as your employer identification number (EIN) and enables you to pay federal taxes, hire employees, and open a business bank account. You will also need to file Form SS-3, or apply online at the IRS website.
All of the above steps are essential for an LLC. If you need additional help, don’t be afraid to hire a lawyer and/or an accountant to get started. You can also learn more about LLCs from the IRS website.
How to Register a Business Name
Whether you’re registering a business name as a DBA or an LLC, you will need to think of a creative, original name. The name you want may already exist or be taken by another company, so keep an open mind when you are selecting a name. You’ll want to make sure that your business name is memorable and relevant to the services you will be providing. Perhaps you’re starting a pet sitting business—consider using the words “pet sitting” in your business name.
The SBA states that there are four different ways to register your business name. Each way serves a different purpose, and is not required by each location or business structure. They are as listed:
- Entity Name: protects you at a state level
- Trademark: protects you at a federal level
- Domain Name: protects your business website address
- DBA: doesn’t give legal protection, but may be legally required
You may be thinking, “How can I register a business name for free?” Unfortunately, in order for your business name to be recognized as officially registered, you will need to pay a small fee. This fee will depend on the state where you live. For example, in Utah, it costs $22 to register a business name.
Get Online and Get To It
Now that you know the requirements for registering a business, it’s time to get started! The longer you wait, the higher your chances are that your desired business name is already taken. Make sure you do thorough research so you know the requirements for the size, location, and structure of your business. Make sure you register your business properly, register as an LLC or DBA, and select an appropriate name to get your business registered. We wish you the best of luck!
To learn more about how to get pet care insurance for your business, take a look at the Pet Care Insurance website.