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Small Business Hub: A Research Guide for Entrepreneurs

Register Your Business

There are a number of ways to set up a business, each with its own benefits and requirements. Common types of business structures include: Corporation, Partnership, Cooperatives, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Sole Proprietorship. New business owners will need to register their business with their county or state government. Depending on the business structure, entrepreneurs may need to complete a Doing Business As (DBA) name form, also known as "Trading As" name form, which allows a business owner to file a company under a name different from the owners. To determine if a business has already been registered with the same or similar name use a state's business entity search. Businesses also usually need an Employer ID Number (EIN) when filing taxes, which can be obtained freely online through the IRS website.

Tips

Starting points:

  1. Research the type of business you want to form, including the pros and cons.
  2. Decide which state you will register your business in, and follow that state's guidelines.

Suggested strategies:

  • Use your state's government website to find the most accurate information about registering your business.

Select Resources

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

The subscription resources below marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

These are freely available online sources provided by government agencies, trade publications, and organizations.

The following guide was created by the Library of Congress to give an in-depth list of resources on a specific topic.