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: