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How To: Start a Business

Updated: Mar 6, 2018

While business ideas come from many different places, there are a few fundamental steps to starting any business. Use the following as a checklist to get you started:

  • Register a business name with the Alabama Secretary of State

  • Determine the legal structure of your business (See How To: Choose the Best Legal Structure for Your Business)

  • Register your business structure with the Alabama Secretary of State by filing the appropriate paperwork

  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS through its EIN online application

  • Obtain a sales tax number from the Alabama Department of Revenue if withholding income tax, or collecting sales or other taxes. To begin registration, go to the My Alabama Taxes (MAT) web application.

  • Obtain any required state business licenses. The Alabama Department of Revenue's Business & License Tax page provides information on the various licenses that may be required.

  • Obtain any required local (city or county) permits, such as business licenses, health permits, or occupational permits. Contact your local city and county offices for more information.

For more information on our Business Formation services, click here.


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