By selecting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) as your legal business entity, you will be able to enjoy some of the protections that corporations have because you will not be held liable for most debts that the company incurs or actions that it takes. Unlike a corporation, however, the profits and losses will be passed directly to you as the owner.
Setting up an LLC takes a little time and money, but it is worth the effort. Once the correct foundation has been established, your business will stand a greater chance of success and you will avoid potential future legal or other problems.
Write out a detailed plan for your business
Your first step is to determine exactly what your business will do, where it will be headquartered, who its customers will be, and how it will make a profit. Not only is this an essential first step before launching any business, but the plan will also provide details on which you will draw when you register and operate your business in New Jersey.
Establish a name for your business
An essential next step is to choose a name for your business that is not already in use in New Jersey. You can search here to determine whether your name is available.
You might want to reserve the name during the time that you begin setting up your business. That way you will be able to order signs, establish a presence online and conduct other activities prior to launch without having to worry about not being able to register your business name later. You can reserve the name here.
Create an online presence
Armed with your business name, you should establish a website dedicated to your business. At the same time, set up an e-mail address using the same URL as you have set up for your business. Doing so will make your business look more professional.
A separate online presence also will help to keep your online personal and business communications separate.
Register your LLC with the State of New Jersey
Before you can operate your business in New Jersey, you need to register it under the name that you established earlier.
For some businesses, including the sale of firearms or alcohol and commercial fishing, you are required to obtain a federal license or permit. Check out whether you are required to do so by consulting the list at the Small Business Administration’s website.
All businesses, including those who must obtain a federal license, must be registered with the Division of Commercial Recording at the New Jersey Department of Treasury. The registration will be your central point for the payment of state and local taxes. Go here for an outline of the steps you should follow to register.
In addition, you should check whether your business or your staff are subject to additional licenses and permits required by the state of New Jersey. A list of licenses and registrations is available here.
Check with local authorities
Open banking accounts
Open checking and saving accounts in the name of your company. You should ensure that you keep your business accounts separate from your personal banking accounts, in the same way as you should keep your personal and business communications separate. Mixing the two will cause confusion and will make it much harder for you to keep track when you assess how your company is faring financially or when you file your taxes.
It also is a good idea to obtain a credit card in the name of your company. Doing so will be invaluable in helping to track business expenses. Some companies provide a year-end summary of your expenses, for example.
Make sure your accounts are available online. That way, you can track your spending and pay your bills wherever you are, as long as you have a connection to the Internet.
Open the door
Now you are set to open the door to your new business venture in New Jersey.