Starting a business is a complex process that requires strategic planning, detailed work, and considered preparation. Registration is an important step in that process that protects the business owner from personal liability and helps establish credibility with customers, suppliers, government agencies, and the public.

Business registration is a multi-step process that includes choosing the type of business entity and filing with state agencies. The type of entity chosen will impact the way taxes are filed, how personal assets are protected, and day-to-day operations are handled. The choice of structure can be a sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership (LLP), or private limited company (PLC). It is also possible to register as an S-corporation or nonprofit.

Some states may require additional registrations, such as obtaining a license to do business or registering for sales tax. In addition to registration, the business owner will likely need to obtain insurance to cover liability and meet workers’ compensation requirements. Depending on the business’s location, it may be required to register for value-added tax (VAT) and customs duty.

To avoid legal pitfalls, many entrepreneurs turn to a professional to help them with the business registration process. The attorneys on UpCounsel’s marketplace come from top law schools and have an average of 14 years experience, working with or on behalf of businesses such as Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb. They can assist with business registration, as well as other legal needs that arise for entrepreneurs and small businesses.