SEPARATE PERSONAL ASSETS FROM YOUR BUSINESS

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.

1. Opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.

  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

2. Getting a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.

  • Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.
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Recommended: Find the right credit card for your business. Startup Savant reviews The 7 Best Business Credit Cards for Entrepreneurs.

ESTABLISH A WEB PRESENCE

A professional website is critical to the long-term success of your business, regardless of what industry you are in. A website allows potential customers to find your business online and discover the products or services you offer, and it also enhances your business' credibility.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

  • Setting up social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

  • Creating accounts on review sites (Yelp, Google Reviews, etc.)

  • Registering for a local Google profile
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GET BUSINESS LICENSES AND PERMITS

To operate your LLC, your business must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Keep in mind that in order to get some licenses or permits, you may need to pay a fee, take classes, or pass an exam.

Research what types of federal, state and local licenses and permits your LLC needs:

  • Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide.

  • State: Search on your state's Secretary of State website for business license requirements.

  • Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
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Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business' licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top seven license research services.

REGISTER YOUR LLC FOR STATE TAXES

Depending on the nature and location of your business, you may be required to register for several forms of state tax:

  • If you are selling a physical product, you'll typically need to register for sales & use tax.

  • If you have employees, you will likely need to register for unemployment insurance tax and employee withholding tax.
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Recommended: Learn more about LLC taxes by reading TRUiC's LLC Tax Guide

SET UP ACCOUNTING

Even before you officially open for business, there are a lot of expenses to keep track of. An accounting system enables you to keep a close eye on your business finances, including bills, expenses, and income. It also simplifies your annual tax filing.

Quality accounting software makes the whole process fast and easy. Look for software that:

  • Syncs with your bank automatically

  • Matches transactions to invoices, bills, and purchase orders

  • Can be accessed from your phone

  • Makes it easy to work with your accountant

If you need help, a certified public accountant can work with you to set up an accounting system for your business. Thumbtack.com is a great resource for finding local professionals.

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