Important Legal Requirements to Start a Business in the United States

Are you a budding entrepreneur who wants to start a business from scratch?

The entire process can be challenging as you need to find employees, hire them, get funding for your business, and so much more.

Among all of this, the legal process can prove to be yet another roadblock.

To help you with it, I’ve put together this guide.

Steps You Need to Follow to Start a Business

Here are the various steps that you need to follow to set up your business legally.

1. Register Your Business

To start your business, you need to give it a name first. Additionally, this name needs to be registered to become official.

You should come up with a unique and catchy name that’s easily marketable too.

What’s more?

It’s also recommended that you buy a domain and get your business name trademarked as well.

2. Select a Business Structure

After registering your business name, you need to choose a business structure for it. Each business structure comes with its own set of pros and cons based on which you can choose whether to go ahead with it or not.

Here are the different structures you can choose from along with their related filings:

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): Articles of Organization
  • Corporation: Articles of Incorporation
  • Sole Proprietorship: Doing Business As (DBA) or Fictitious Business Name (FBN)
  • Partnership: Doing Business As (DBA) or Fictitious Business Name (FBN)
  • Non-Profit: Check with your state

3. Get Your Tax ID

Once you’ve selected your business structure, you need to get an employer identification number (EIN) or tax ID for it. Think of it as a social security number (SSN) for your company. Without it, you won’t be able to earn money or even hire employees.

4. Create Agreements

Yet another important thing that you need to do while starting your business is that of drafting and creating agreements.


These can come in handy if any disagreements arise in the future and will help you save a lot of money that would otherwise go into legal fees.

Here are the most important agreements you should create:

  • Employment agreement
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Independent contractor agreement
  • Corporate bylaws
  • Operating agreement

5. Open a Bank Account

The last step in starting a business from scratch is that of opening a business bank account. This account will help you keep your business finances separate from personal ones.

You need to submit your EIN, formation documents, and more for the same.

There’s a lot more that also goes into setting up a business. To understand all about it, check out the infographic below made by GovDocFiling.