Initial Considerations & References
1. Get assistance (from SCORE and others) to help formulate your ideas. Note that this should be an ongoing process. Take advantage of these resources by getting additional assistance as you progress. At SCORE, you can return as often as you like. There is no charge for our services.
2. Review "Checklist - Am I Ready to Start a Business?"

3. Figure out how you will finance the business (your own money, friends and family, home equity loan, and other sources). It is very difficult for a start-up to get a bank loan.

4. Write a Business Plan (business concept, location, competition, marketing, revenues, expenses).

5. Choose a name. Check the NYS site that it is available. To do this, go to, Businesses, Business Search. Type in the desired name. If it comes up as "no business entities were found" then the name should be okay to use.

6. Register your business with the State (form an LLC, an S-Corp, or a different entity). You probably do not need an attorney. There are websites that will do this for a nominal fee. Examples of such sites are,,, and others. NOTE: In the case of a Sole Proprietorship, you register with the County.

7. Get a tax id number (EIN) from the IRS. To do this, go to Under File, click (in sequence) Business and Self Employed, Small Business and Self Employed, Employer ID Numbers, Apply for an EIN Online and then follow the instructions. You can also call 1-800-829- 4933.

8. Get an NYS sales tax number. You should do this at least 3 weeks before you start conducting business. It is recommended that you do this even if you do not think you have to collect sales tax (NOTE: you will then have to file returns stating zero taxable sales). To get the sales tax ID number, go to Scroll down below "Find It Here" and click on "AUTHORITY TO COLLECT SALES TAX (DTF-17)". Then click "Apply Online". You can also call 518-453-8130. IMPORTANT: Make sure you always remit these taxes when due.

9. Open a business bank account. You will need your EIN and the business registration certificate.

10. Get whatever licenses and permits are needed. You will have to check with state, county, and local governments to see what (if anything) is required.

11. If you will need employees, determine what is involved (taxes, insurance, etc).

Documents & Resources






Start a Business