How do you start up a small business?

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How do you start up a small business?

I am looking into starting a home-based business. Would the trade-name and
trademark be the first step before filling out other applications? I am trying to
figure out the proper order I would need to do things and the forms that would be
required. Thank you

Asked on April 4, 2017 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you can only trademark names which are, or shortly are going to be, used in commerce: there is only a limited ability to trademark names, logos, symbols, etc. in advance of using them. So you want to do first is come up with a name that is not in use in your state (so you can register a business under it) and also is generally original, etc. enough to be trademarked. You can find information about trademark requirements and do a trademark search on the U.S Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) website, and should be able to see if any business are registered under that name at your state's Dept. of State website.
Once you have a name, create an LLC in your state using that name: you'll want an LLC to product your personal assets (e.g. house; car; money in the bank) from business debts or obligations. Setting up an LLC is generally fast, easy, and only costs a few hundred dollars. Then get an EIN (employer identification number; also called a tax ID number) for that business from the IRS website. Then begin the process of registering for a trademark with the PTO.


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