Company registration is the process of legally forming a new business entity in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country in which it operates. Once completed, company registration establishes the new business as a distinct legal entity with its own name and rights.
The type of entity you register your business as depends on the size, nature and objectives of your company. Common entities include the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), and private limited company (PLC). Each of these types has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Once you’ve chosen the business structure, you need to register it with state governments. This is typically done by filing an application and paying a fee. Most states also require that businesses obtain an employer identification number, or EIN, for tax purposes. You may also need to register your business for trademark protection or meet federal requirements, such as workplace safety regulations set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
Some states have additional requirements, including registering as a foreign entity and registering to collect certain taxes, such as sales and value-added tax (VAT) or customs duties. Your trusted group of legal, tax and registered agent partners can advise on which requirements are applicable to your company.
In New York, for example, it is necessary to register a DBA (doing business as) before starting a company. The state also has a list of restricted words that cannot be used in company names, and requires companies to file a biennial report.