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How do I file a sole proprietorship under the same name?

By: Bill Wortman




Sole proprietor formation: You can review the other basic steps to forming a sole proprietorship in your state through the following government and business resources, which include these considerations:

1. File for a fictitious business name (optional)
2. Obtain Licenses, Permits, and Zoning Clearance
3. Obtain an Employer Identification Number
4. Open a business bank account.
5. Obtain general liability insurance

Business licensing and registrations: You can research the applicable business license and other registration requirements for your planned business activities and location and locate filing resources through your city, county, and state websites.

Tax identification numbers: A sole proprietorship is not required to obtain a Federal Tax ID number, also known as a Federal Employer Identification Number or EIN, from the IRS unless the business pays wages or is required to file pension or excise tax returns; however, we generally recommend that a sole proprietorship or similarly taxed LLC have an EIN for the business in order to establish a history of business transactions for commercial purposes. Federal Form SS-4 is used to apply for an EIN, so before contacting the IRS to obtain an EIN you will need to complete this form. Once you have completed Form SS-4, you have the choice of applying online at the IRS website, by contacting the IRS by phone, or by faxing or mailing your completed Form SS-4 directly to the IRS. You can obtain an EIN immediately by applying online or over the phone. Form SS-4 can be downloaded from the IRS website. You can also find information on EIN requirements, application forms, and filing instructions through the IRS website here:

  1. Employer ID Numbers: irs.gov
  2. How to Apply for an EIN: irs.gov
Due to the various legal and tax implications, new business owners generally use local professionals (CPA, lawyer, and business insurance agent) for help in reviewing their business plans and evaluating business entities, tax, licensing, legal, and risk management issues.
Published: May 29, 2013

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Bill Wortman

As the Chief Business Consultant at BizCoachingOnDemand.com, Bill has over 40 years of business experience. He's held multiple executive-level positions and fulfilled the role of CFO at large, publicly-held (NYSE, NASDAQA, and AMEX) corporations. In addition, he's also been an owner of several successful private ventures in real estate and in the automotive industry.

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