How to LEGALLY Start a Business [2023]

Are you thinking about starting a business this year?

Or maybe you have already started one but aren’t sure if you did it the right way?

Not to fret, in this episode we are going to take you by the hand, and walk you step-by-step through everything you need to do to make sure your business is set up for success… legally speaking of course.

Whether you have the right business model and idea – that’s up to you.


How to Legally Start a Business in 2023

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Here are the steps you need to take to get your business going. All of these are discussed in detail in the podcast:

  1. Plan out the business
    • What will you sell?
    • WHO will you sell it to?
    • How will you find customers?
    • Why will customers buy from you as opposed to everyone else?
    • Are their competitors in your field?
  2. Pick a name (for your BRAND)
    • Search the USPTO database
    • Google
    • Social Media profiles
    • Make sure it is available
  3. Sign up for a virtual address (or use your home address… not recommended for privacy reasons)
  4. File your trademark application and/or register your business as an LLC
    • If money is tight, I recommend getting your trademark app in ASAP from the beginning – you can assign it to your LLC after you form it
    • Another option to set up your LLC
    • If you have some cash to invest in your business, then I recommend setting up your LLC now, and then filing your trademark
    • What state? Where you live. Don’t overcomplicate this.
  5. Get your EIN
    • Takes about 5 minutes – go to
    • Even if you started out as a sole proprietor, this is still necessary for taxes, payroll, etc.
    • FYI, it's free
    • Can get it online so long as you have a SSN or TIN – if you are foreign, there are some additional hoops to jump through and you may need to talk to a lawyer for assistance
  6. Make sure you have your business license
    • Professions (lawyer, cpa, doctor, financial advisor, realtor)
    • Trades (barber/hairdresser, nail salon, etc.)
    • Check with your city, county and state to see what you need – this is very location dependent
  7. Register to collect sales tax if necessary – If you are only selling digital products online, I have a list of states that collect sales taxes – link below.
  8. Open a business bank account (go to a bank you trust)
    • Will need your EIN
    • Will need your Articles of Organization
    • Important so that you don’t commingle your assets (i.e. business and personal)
    • I recommend the profit first system – here’s a video I did that walks you through that – but you will need to set up 4 accounts
    • Relayfi is a good option for small business
  9. Set up a bookkeeping system
  10. Get some insurance
    • Get a referral to someone local and talk to them about what you might need
    • A general liability policy will run you a couple hundred bucks a year
  11. Contracts


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Legal Disclaimer

The content of this podcast episode is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should not rely upon any information contained on this podcast episode for legal advice. Listening to The Legal Jim Podcast is not intended to and shall not create an attorney-client relationship between you and James W. Hart or The Hart Law Firm, P.A. d/b/a Hawthorn Law. Messages or other forms of communication that you transmit to this website will not create an attorney-client relationship and thus information contained in such communications may not be protected as privileged. Neither James W. Hart nor The Hart Law Firm, P.A. makes any representation, warranty, or guarantee about the accuracy of the information contained in this podcast episode or in links to other podcasts, resources or websites. This podcast is provided “as is,” does not represent that any particular outcome will result from listening to this episode. Your use listening to this podcast is at your own risk. You enjoy this podcast episode and its contents only for personal, non-commercial purposes. Neither James W. Hart, The Hart Law Firm, P.A., nor anyone acting on their behalf, will be liable under any circumstances for damages of any kind.

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