Starting a business in Illinois is a big responsibility. You need to prepare and plan ahead to be able to successfully build an Illinois startup with a strong foundation.
Along with this, there are many things that need your attention and decision; for instance, incorporating in Illinois, filing important documents and going through different legal procedures and just getting everything done.
There’s no secret recipe on how to start a business in Illinois the best way, all you need is to try your best by completing all the necessary things that are required of you, including processing and obtaining all supplementary requirements in the state of Illinois. Yes, you read it right, there are still additional requirements that you need to fulfill before you can fully start operating your Illinois small business.
Since you’re reading this, I assume that you’re already done with incorporation. It must have been difficult learning how to incorporate in Illinois, and now, you have other requirements on your plate. But before you get frustrated, I assure you these “add-ons” are easier to obtain. To get you started, here’s a list of the 5 things that you need to do after incorporating in Illinois!
Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is similar to your Social Security Number. It is a 9-series ID that enables the Internal Revenue Service to monitor your business activities and state taxes.
Apart from being a requirement in Illinois, you also need this to open a business bank account, hire employees and file for income tax returns. An EIN is easy to obtain, you can get it for free at the IRS website.
Obtaining your business permits and licenses is an important requirement because it will determine if you’re following certain standards set by the state. Required permits and licenses are different from state to state, however, some of the most common ones that you need to obtain include building, health, signage, alarm and zoning permits to name a few.
To be sure, you can visit your local county clerk’s office or state office for assistance. It’s better to have a list of permits and licenses specific to your business before processing everything. Complying with these requirements can take time, you need to be patient.
Consulting a tax expert is not a mandatory requirement when starting a business in Illinois, however, it would be very helpful if you schedule an appointment with one so you’ll have a bit of knowledge when it comes to dealing with state and federal taxes. A tax professional will explain and help you understand Illinois tax regulations, tax options, benefits and deductions.
He/she will also brief you of your responsibilities as a business owner and taxpayer. Should you need further assistance, tax professionals also offer other services which include tax preparation, federal and state tax legislation compliance and tax computation.
Tax period is one of the most grueling times of the year and you wouldn’t want to face this yourself, especially if you’re a first time business owner or new entrepreneur. Seek help as early on, anyway, you can always take care of your state taxes later on when you’re more experienced.
Opening a business bank account is a recommended additional requirement but it can also be considered mandatory because it helps you establish your Illinois startup as a separate and independent entity. Most of all, it is essential that you have a separate bank account for your business because it will allow you to efficiently set your personal and businesses finances apart.
To build a credible financial history and credit line, opening a business bank account is the best way to do so. While you’re at it, you might also want to consider having a business credit card. It’s a more effective way of tracking down all your expenses because you have a record of your transactions.
While trademarking your business name may not be that important, it’s actually an essential step to protect your business name. Creating a business name is not easy and for most entrepreneurs, it’s a marketing strategy that they need to safeguard.
When you incorporate your Illinois startup, your business name will automatically be protected within the state, meaning no one can use it. However, in other states, it is not, therefore, anyone can basically use it. If you want to gain exclusive rights on your business name, make sure to have it protected in all 50 states, file for a trademark.
Starting a business in Illinois is an endless responsibility. If you really want to start on the right foot, part of that is completing all requirements. You can definitely start your business without having them, but expect that you’ll encounter countless problems as you go ahead. Unless you have obtained all these requirements, you’ll not be allowed to launch your business in the state of Illinois.
You also have to understand that managing an Illinois small business is a continuous cycle. While you may have complied with all these requirements now, you have to stay compliant for as long as your business exists. This entails renewing licenses and permits, complying with additional requirements and many others. If you’re up for the job and have a solid plan, then you’re ready to launch your Illinois small business. Good luck!