Small Business, U.S. & Canada

5 Tips to Applying for a Business Online

Starting a business has never been easier. Doing business online has made starting and running your own business easier than ever before. With the growth of social media, different people from different backgrounds and geographical areas are connected regardless of their income status.

There are different ways of doing business online. You can opt to start an e-commerce marketplace or use third-party platforms such as eBay and Amazon. You might also decide to start your own e-commerce site, depending on the type of business you would like to venture in.

One of the most important aspects of doing business online is the legal aspects of a startup. Before starting a business, whether online or not, there are a few legal documents you require.

Without the legal documents, your business might not thrive as it will be operating against the law. Filing your business paperwork can be challenging, but it’s better to do so in order to avoid both federal and state laws affecting your business operations.

Top 5 Legal Tips to Apply Online for an Ecommerce Business

1. Register for Employer Identification Number

Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a business identification number comprising of nine digits. It helps the government to identify your business. Register for EIN as it is in your best interest to always pay taxes on the goods you associate your business with. Identify your business with the tax ID in all government forms.

A tax ID can help you gain credibility with your suppliers. However, international companies do not need a tax ID if they don’t have employees based in the US.

Visit your local IRS state to apply for EIN or download the application form from the website and apply. In case you don’t have employees working for you, just apply for ‘identification purposes’ to avoid confusion later.

2. Register Your Domain Name

Once you have come up with a business name, register the domain name immediately. You wouldn’t want to find out later that the name you came up with already exists.  create a domain name in line with the products you intend to deal with, for the sole purpose of being found online easily when people make relevant searches.

3. File a Fictitious Name Statement

File a ‘Doing Business As’ form to enable people to know that you and your business are one. The fictitious name statement verifies that you are the person responsible for all legal and business transactions for your business site.

4. Obtain a State Labour Agencies License

If you have employees in your online business, you have to register with the state. However, depending on the state, you might be required to register as the only employee if you don’t have one.

5. Go through Online Business Regulations

Digital taxation, security, copyright and privacy are the items that distinguish online businesses from physical stores and other forms of businesses operated offline. A lot of these regulations may affect retailing businesses.

However, even if you are not involved in retailing, ensure you go through regulations on online businesses, especially those on advertising. If you are operating your own e-commerce website, ensure you also go through the specifics of online business laws.

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