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Smart Business Essentials

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Registering Your Business

Once you decide which type of business you want to create, you'll need to register your business with local, regional and national agencies, and get the required licenses, permits and certifications. This process will vary based on local, regional and national laws. It may be wise to consult a business attorney to properly register your company.

Registering Your Business

Pick a business name
Your company's name could be your future customers' first impression of your business.

Some business owners use their own name, or a combination of the business owners' names, as their business name. Others pick a name that reflects what the business does or what it sells.

If you plan on expanding your business or think you might sell it one day, you may want to choose a business name that isn't closely tied to the owners' names. That way, the business can build its own reputation with customers.

Before choosing a business name, you should also conduct several searches to make sure the name is available.

  • Conduct an online search to make sure the name isn't already trademarked.
  • Search to see which regional government website you should use to find out if the business name you want is available and allowed in your region.
  • See if website domain names and social media names are available.

Draft governing documents
Governing documents are internal documents that say how the business will be run. They could be important if you're starting a business with someone else. If you have a disagreement over how much each partner earns, or who gets to make different decisions, the governing documents could help you avoid an argument.

Governing documents have different names depending on the type of business you create.

You may be able to find free templates of governing documents online, or you could work with a business attorney to create governing documents that are tailored to your specific needs.

Register your business entity
Each region and country has its own rules for how to create a business. Regulations can impact which business structure you can choose, and the costs associated with running each entity type. Your choices may also be limited by the line of work you're in and how many business partners run the company.

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Disclaimer: No Legal Advice Intended
This site provides general information related to creating and running a business. The content of this site is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or tax advice or opinions. The contents of this site, and the viewing of the information on this site, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this site, and Visa Inc. disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal or tax issue or problem, including those relating to your current or potential business.