1. Decide on a Business Structure

 You can either become a Doing Business As (DBA), A Corporation, A Professional Corporation(PC), or a Limited Liability Company(LLC). It is a good idea to talk this decision over with an Attorney and an Accountant.

    • A Doing Business As is just a name that business partners or an individual use as their name.
    • A Corporation is a separate entity that includes shareholders, directors, and officers. This is more complex than a DBA and is used mostly for larger companies that intend to raise funding.
    • A Professional Corporation is what must be used if you are in a professional field. For example this includes Doctors, Vets, Lawyers, Etc.
    • A Limited Liability Company is a newer type of business that is both a separate entity, but provides very easy management and taxation. You don’t need directors or officers.It provides liability protection, but is much less complex than a corporation.
  1. Pick a Business Name

Make sure the name is easy to pronounce and make sure the name is unique

    • Do a trade mark search to make sure your name has no conflict with other business names. You can do a google search to figure this out. Make sure to search misspellings, plurals, and variations of spelling to be sure it isn’t already registered.
    • It’s also recommended that you check out CORPSEARCH and BUSSEARCH to verify that your business name is acceptable. A state may reject a name that is too similar to another and you will have to start the process all over, wasting valuable time.
  1. Register the Business
  • LLC/ Incorporate
    • Optional: Choose a Registered Agent Service. MyCompanyWorks, Inc. can provide you with a professional Registered Agent in all 50 States and DC. This is a person that receives official documentation on behalf of the business.
    •  File the “ Articles of Organization” HERE Your LLC must be in 2 newspapers within 20 days of the creation of the business. (Corporations do not need to be in 2 newspapers) 
    • Hold an organizational meeting to take contributions from the members, issue Member Certificates, adopt the company operating agreement and whatever else you need to discuss to be successful.
    • Optional: Elect S-Corporation Status with the IRS by filing IRS form 2553You should talk to your tax advisor about this because it adds complexity to LLC’s that many try to avoid.
  • DBA
    • *Any company seeking to use a name that is different than its legal name must file for a DBA.*
    • Check your business name by calling the County Recorder( Massena Town Clerk(315) 769-5228)
    • Obtain a Certificate of Assumed Name
    • *Note that if you are a corporation, limited partnership, or LLC, you must instead obtain a certificate complying with Section 130 of the General Business Law.
    • File these forms with the county. The fee can be found for Massena HERE. Everything else like corporations are $25 in the county.
  1. Obtain Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN or EIN)
  • This is like your social security number for your business. This is required for Companies and LLC’s but optional for DBA’s(However, if you have employees, this is required). If you are a DBA and don’t have an EIN then this is required to use your personal social security number. The EIN is highly recommended to prevent identity theft. Learn more about EIN HERE
    • To obtain you can apply HERE or you can use the IRS form SS-4
    • More information on tax laws can be found HERE
  1. Open Company Accounts: Bank and Credit Cards
  • Getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile.It is a good idea to talk with an Accountant for help in setting up record keeping and tax planning. Check out local Banks HERE
    For more info go HERE

    • This is required for LLC’s and Companies
    • To open an account call the bank you prefer and ask them how to open a business bank account. Typically, you will need your filed paperwork, your EIN, a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account( This is signed by the owners, members,officers, or directors, etc.) 
  1. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
  • Now you need to obtain a business license for your company. This authorizes your company to do business in the county. To find this visit St. Lawrence Licenses
    • For more information please click HERE
  1. Annual and Ongoing Requirements
  • DBA
    • The name will be valid for 5 years unless you change it. You can renew it with the Massena county.
  • LLC’s
    • LLC’s and Corporations must file a biennial report during their anniversary month  of incorporation.
  • Corporations
    • Companies in New York must keep complete books and records of account at their principal place of business. These records must include minutes of all shareholders, executives, and director meetings, list the name and address of all shareholders, the number of shares of each, and the date each became a shareholder. LLC’s and Corporations must pay a filing fee of $9.
  • Franchise Taxes
    • New York Business are required to pay an annual franchise based on different categories. To see what you must pay click HERE 
  • Insurance
    • Talk to an Insurance Provider for advice on what kind of coverage you will need for your business. This can include coverage for employees, product, etc.
  1. More Information