How to Start an Online Business the Right Way

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In today’s economy, starting an online business is all the rage.

With such, you can truly work from anywhere, set your own business hours and support yourself and your family simply by minding your online presence.

What is the best way to start an online business?

In addition to being extremely convenient for both business owners and consumers, online businesses also, generally, are inexpensive to begin.

This is perfect for those just starting out who wish to try their experiment but can’t afford to risk the house.

How to start an internet business?

Choose Your Business Legal Structure
When beginning your business, it’s important to decide how you will legally operate the business. Depending on the type of business you have in mind, it will depend on whether you should choose to be a Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, or even a Corporation.

For single individuals or married couples, the Sole Proprietor may be the best option. It tends to be the simplest form of business and there isn’t any paperwork or necessary fees in the beginning. However, there is no protection if the business has any debts or obligations.

When starting a business, many people will choose to be a Limited Liability entity to protect himself or herself as an owner. Owners of such business entities are not personally liable for the business obligations.

Decide Where to From Your Business
If you are starting a small business, it is best to file the formation documents from the state of your location. This can help avoid the high cost of registering to do business in your home state and hiring an out of state registered agent.

Choose a Business Name
Take some time to choose a unique name for your online business. When you choose a unique name, it can help in:
• Marketing your business.
• Minimize the chances of similarly named business accusing you of trademark infringement.

Increase the chance of getting a domain name that matches your business name.

Comply with state law requirements that stipulate that LLC names or corporation names are different from other entity that are already registered in the state.

After you have decided on a name, it is best to do a Google search so that you can check whether similar business names exist. It is also advisable to do a search on the website of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office for trademarked names.

Most states allow an online search of registered business names.

Get a Domain Name
After deciding on the unique name, you can register a domain name for your business.

This domain name is your Internet address and usually ends in “.com”. The proposed domain name availability can be checked by typing the name in the address bar of the browser you use and see if it already exists.

Set Up and File Your Business Formation Papers
When you form a business entity you are required to file documents with the state agency that handles business filings. You need to pay a filing fee. This fee may vary from one state to the other. After the LLC or corporation is formed, you may receive a certificate that confirms that your new business entity exists.

Set Up Your Business Financial Structure
A federal tax ID number has to be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service website.

Single member LLC or sole proprietorship can opt to use social security number. When starting an online business, you also need to open a business bank account.

If you plan to process transactions through your website, you can open an account with online payment services like PayPal and other similar payment service providers.

Understand Licensing and State Law Requirements
If you plan to sell things online, you may be collecting and paying sales tax for transactions in the state where the business is physically present.

The procedures may vary from state to state and it is advisable to learn about your responsibilities from the state taxation department or an accountant.

Apart from this, you can also check with the county or city to determine if you need a business license. Check to see if you are required to register a DBA or a fictitious business name.

Set Up Your Website
You need to get web hosting to setup your website. This is usually offered by the same service providers that offer domain names.

Hosting your website gives your business an online identity.

After you have decided on the structure of your business and where to from the business, unique name, domain name and completed all the filing formalities and licensing requirements and hosted the website, you finally have your online business up and running.

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