I'm going to be starting as a reseller soon, and need help with some legal issues.
Step 1: I live in Ohio, so I take it I'll need to register this business name form here: http://www.state.oh.us/sos/aspfiles/form.asp?num=12 . That will register my as a sole propitership, correct? What else needs filed to get me registered with the state?
Step 2: Checking account. Is the above what I need to open a business checking account?
Business licenses are usually different than registering a business. A business license is basically a fee that you pay to your local city or county for the "honor" of doing business within their area.
Alright, thanks. I've tried to track that down for my city/county and have had no luck ("business" even returns 0 returns on the Summit County website ). You say it's nessecary for a banking account, but I've decided to skip on that until I've decided to commit for the long haul. I'll use my personal account until then.
Where do I go next, provided I get that name registration taken care of ?
I don't know the law in your state but these are the places you need to check to see if you need a license to do business:
1. The State itself; your state may require a license you should call the Department of State or Corporation Bureau for your state and ask them.
2. If you live in a county call the county and ask them.
3. If you live in a township, borough, or city ask them also.
Chances are you will not find this information on the web as county and township/borough/city information is generally behind the times. A quick phone call is usually faster.
There is a chance that you will not be required to have any business license in your state for a sole-propriership. This will not prevent you from opening a checking account in a business name however (although banks will vary). I live in a state where I run a sole-propiership and do not require a license. When I opened the bank account they just wanted the name and a federal tax id number--this is something you should get by the way... (A federal EIN number is basically a social security number for your business--a quick one page form filled out and you receive it). If you think you might need a license for a bank just call the bank and ask--its their rules so they will be happy to tell you.
As for name registration this is going to be dependant on what your state law says. Chances are you need to record that you are doing business as "DBA" with the state if you are not using your last name in the name of the business. For example, if you run a business such as Smith Hosting, and you name is John Smith, then you might not need a DBA statement. If you are running a business where your name is not in the title of the business then you will probably (dependant upon your state) have to register the name. Call your state's corporation bureau or department of state and ask them--chances are that is the only way you are going to know for sure.