An Overview of Business Registration Services
It’s no secret that the process of forming and registering a business requires you to learn a ton of things. You need to know which business structure best fits your entity and ownership needs. You have to choose a business name, state, and registered agent. You may also need to complete and file certain registration documents with the Secretary of State, among other federal and state requirements.
Following every required step to register your business can feel daunting, especially if it’s your first time or you don’t know much about business. Of course, you can always take some time to research and learn how to register a business. But if you are on a time crunch, a business registration service provider can walk with you throughout the entire registration process.
Everything You Need to Know About Business Registration Services
This article will unpack all you need to know about business registration services. You’re going to learn what it is, the solutions offered, and the fees associated with a business registration service.
What is a Business Registration Service Provider?
A business registration service provider is an organization or entity whose mandate or core goal revolves around helping people start and register a business. These entities are experts in the business registration process, and they know all the requirements needed by states to register an entity. They offer a catalog of services (at a fee) to help you start and run a business. They may also guide you on choosing an ideal business structure for your business and creating entity documents, among other things.
Types of Business Registration Services
There are many business registration entities that you can work with to register your business. The services available in each may, however, vary. Here is an overview of services offered by a business registration service provider.
The most common service offered by a business registration entity is business registration in any state. These entities can help you register any business structure, from a partnership to an LLC to a corporation. They can help you gather all the required documents and file the necessary paperwork with your state’s Secretary of State.
If you want to form a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, most states don’t require you to register your entity. You may, however, have to file for a DBA (Doing Business As) if you operate with a fictitious name (a name that doesn’t include any of the owners). Most business registration service providers also offer DBA registration.
Application for a Federal Tax ID (EIN)
A federal tax ID is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to your organization for tax reporting purposes. It is somewhat like a social security number (SSN), but for your business. You need this unique number if you plan to hire employees and file employment and entity tax returns.
Business registration entities can help you determine whether you need an EIN for your business. They can also assist you with the registration process. Some business structures may not need an EIN, for example, a sole proprietorship with no employees. The sole proprietor can file tax returns for their business with his SSN.
Application for Business Licenses and Permits
States may require you to get licenses and permits to conduct business operations. The exact ones you may need depend on your state and the nature of your business. You need to obtain these licenses and permits as soon as you register and right before you begin operations to avoid penalties and fines.
Some business registration service providers offer licenses and permit applications in their registration packages. They can assist you with acquiring all the necessary permits required for your industry, for example, zoning permits, sales tax licenses, and building permits.
Registered Agent Service
The state requires you to have a registered agent when registering your entity. This agent is responsible for receiving all the legal documents sent by the state to your entity. They need to have a physical address in that state and be available during business hours.
You can choose yourself or someone in your organization to be your registered agent. Alternatively, you can also hire a registered agent service company. Some business registration entities offer registered agent services for businesses that seek to register with the state.
Applying for Foreign Qualification
If your business conducts operations in more than one state, you will have to register your entity in one of your states of operations. Afterward, you should apply for a foreign qualification in other states where you operate.
If you don’t know how to apply for foreign qualification, some business registration entities can help with this process.
The process of dissolving an entity can be straightforward or complex, depending on your business structure. If you run an LLC or a corporation, you will have to file Articles of Dissolution, among other requirements, to close your entity.
Business registration entities not only specialize in starting and registering a business. They can also help you legally close down your organization to ensure you are no longer on the hook to pay taxes and acquire permits.
Name Search and Reservation
Your first step when registering a business is to select a business name that best describes your organization and what you offer. Your goal should be to register your business with a name that’s not already in use with another entity.
Once you find a suitable business name, you need to conduct a name search to check if the name is available. You can also reserve it with your state for a short period to ensure no one else uses it before you. Most business registration services can help you with name searching and reservation.
Trademark Search and Reservation
A trademark is a recognizable word, phrase, symbol, or insignia used to denote a product or company. This intellectual property helps protect a brand, logo, or slogan from reuse by another entity. You might find some business registration entities offering trademark search and registration services.
Creation of Corporate Bylaws and Operating Agreement
States require you to create an operating agreement during the formation of an LLC and corporate bylaws during incorporation. These two documents act as a guide for how to operate the entity. Some business registration service providers can assist you with creating them.
Staying Compliant With State Requirements
your state may require you to comply with specific obligations and requirements, although it depends on your business structure. For example, if you register a corporation, you need to appoint a board of directors that holds annual meetings. You should also record and store the minutes discussed in the board meetings.
For most registered business structures, you need to file annual returns to inform your secretary of state of any changes made in your entity. For example, if you change your registered agent, you should highlight it on your annual returns.
Some business registration entities offer services to help you stay compliant with your state’s requirements. They can help you with filing annual returns, taxation, creation of corporate minutes, and so on.
Fees Associated With Business Registration Services
The fees payable for outsourcing business registration services depend on the entity you select and the services you want. Most entities offer different packages for different services. The business registration fee is often exclusive of filing fees, among any other costs you may need to pay in the registration process.
How to Choose a Business Registration Service Provider
When choosing a business registration service provider, you may want to take some time to select the entity that’s best fit to serve you.
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a business registration service:
As mentioned above, each business registration entity has its fees and packages. Some are more costly than others. You may want to check the prices offered by different entities then settle for the one that fits your budget.
You don’t necessarily have to go for the most economical business registration entities. Sometimes the lowest price isn’t always the best value for money. Try and assess other factors besides price.
Choose a business registration entity that offers the services and solutions your business needs. For example, if you want to register a DBA, go for an entity offering this service. If, by contrast, you want a registered agent and someone to create bylaws, select an entity with these solutions.
Your aim should be to choose a business registration entity that offers all the services you may need to ensure you don’t hop from one company to another.
Is the business registration service provider reliable? How long do they take to register a business and provide other solutions? You need to select an entity that’s reliable and efficient.
For example, if your hire a business registration service to file annual returns for your organization, they need to submit this document within the time frame offered by the state.
Once you select a business registration service provider, you may have to work collaboratively with them as they register your business, prepare your documents and agreements, and so on. The entity you choose should offer multiple channels of customer support. It shouldn’t be difficult or frustrating to get in touch with them. Select an entity that offers 24/7 customer support and responds quickly to inquiries and complaints.
Business Registration Services
In the link to follow you can see which business registration services are available in your area, through the latest Google search results.
I would suggest you browse through the results and when you find a company that makes sense. Search for reviews for the company to see what others have experienced with the service. You can also check the better business bureau to see if there are any complaints filed against the company.
Once you have a list of a few companies compare the pricing and level of services to identify the best fit. I would then call them for more information and advice on the next step. If you feel comfortable with the company then you can move forward otherwise keep searching until you find the right company for your needs. See the latest Google search results for business registration services.
When registering your business with the state, you can either do it on your own or rely on the expertise of a business registration service provider. The services and solutions offered by a business registration provider are entity formation and dissolution, DBA registration, and name search and reservation. You may also find entities that offer trademark search and reservation, registered agent services, and license and permit applications.
When selecting a business registration entity, assess the price, customer support, reliability, and services available. The service provider you choose should be reachable and reliable. They should also offer all the services your business needs.
Written By Mellisa Rae