Legal Documents Needed to Start a Business

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The type of business being entered into determines what legal documents will be needed initially to open the doors. Some business ventures such as restaurants require health and fire department permits. Legal documents needed to start a business that caters to children such as a day care center are considerably more involved.


Health care related business ventures require legal documents and permits governed by health care accreditation boards. If a business is dealing with hazardous waste, legal documents and permits will include registering with various government agencies.

Legal Entity

  • Initially, the legal document needed to start a business is the basic business structure. It is not necessary for every business to become a corporation. The legal documents needed to start a business are contingent upon the size of the business and the anticipated or projected revenue.

    In some instances, a Limited Partnership License is recommended for tax and financial reasons. The legal documents to start a business that is vulnerable to lawsuits may require incorporating the business to limit personal liability.

Business Name Registration

  • Every business needs a "Fictitious Name" License or a "DBA," which stands for "Doing Business As." The DBA is the legal name of the business and is required to open a commercial banking or business account. Some entrepreneurs conduct business using only their given name as a sole proprietor.

    All legal business ventures must be registered with the local and federal government. Legal documents needed to start a business include an employer tax ID number and a local business license.

State Requirements

  • Each state requires business owners to register with the state revenue agency. The legal documents needed to register with the state revenue agency is the Federal Tax ID Number also known as an Employer Identification Number or (EIN).

    Business ventures involved in selling products must obtain a Sales Tax Permit or a Vendor's License from the state or local government they are operating out of.

Health Care Ventures

  • Health care business ventures require legal documents issued by The Department of Health and other agencies that govern health care ventures such as a "Medicare Insurance License" or nursing licenses.

Occupational Licenses

  • There are a number of business ventures that require additional legal documents other than the standard business license and tax permits. Florists, for example, must obtain a florist licensed in addition to federal, state and city permits.

    Real estate ventures require legal documents and licenses that are issued by the state the business operates in. Each real estate agent must also obtain a license to sell documents.

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