6 Step Business Startup Checklist

Hi, I’m New York business attorney, media
lawyer and technology lawyer Craig Delsack and this is a quick look at my six-step Business
Startup Checklist. Step one, choose your business structure.
In New York, your options are sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or limited liability
company (LLC). You will want to structure your business to limit your personal liability
and have it be flexible as your business grows. Step two, name your business. There are numerous
regulations regarding the naming of a business including whether or not the name you’ve
selected is already in use. For instance, NY Corporations must contain the word “corporation”,
“incorporated” or “limited”, or an abbreviation of one of such words. Generally,
each state regulates or prohibits the use of certain terms in corporate names. Also,
you should be careful not to name your small business company in a way that might be confusingly
similar to an existing trademark, other business or domain name. A technology attorney can
help search to make sure you are not infringing on an existing technology or product. Step three, Form Your Business. Once you have
selected the name of the company, you need to form the business by filing the proper
documentation with your state’s Department of State. A business lawyer should be able
to conduct this filing for you. You will also need to obtain a federal Tax
Identification Number and a state employer identification number. Speak to your financial
advisor or accountant (or ask your corporate attorney for a name of one) to make sure you
are applying with the proper designation. Step four, Enter Into a Written Agreement
with your Fellow Business Owners. Unless you intend to be a sole proprietor, you will need
to enter into a written agreement with your partners setting forth the rights and responsibilities
of the owners, usually in the form of a shareholder agreement or operating agreement. Step five, Open a Business Bank Account. Once
you have your federal tax ID, you should open one or more bank accounts in the name of the
business. Consider a bank with “commercial” services — in my experience as a business
attorney its better to avoid “retail” banks that lack experience in sophisticated
business needs. Step six, Get the Necessary Licenses and Permits
Necessary for your Business. Your attorney should be able to help you determine what
licenses you may need. In New York, you can go to the New York State’s Online Permit
Assistance and Licensing website to see what permits and licenses are required. Generally
media companies will not need any special permits. Please keep in mind, this is just a brief
guide and you should consult with a qualified business attorney before taking any action. For more details on this and other legal issues
please visit my website, nyccounsel.com.

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