How to Start an eCommerce Store in Illinois

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Ecommerce is generally defined as a method by which to provide an integrated process-based approach for delivering business products and services. Using a combined secure and flexible Internet-based system, an ecommerce store includes the function of deploying applications specifically designed to maximize customer value through a buying and selling exchange system. Varied core digital media systems such as emailing, emarketing and efranchising are just some of the functions that may be utilized in an ecommerce system. The State of Illinois website offers an E-Commerce Business Profile that provides information on how to start an ecommerce presence over the Internet effectively.

  • Perform some preliminary market research about starting an ecommerce store in Illinois. Determine the probability of profitability for your online store by finding out what key terms typical web searchers use to find the products and services that you will be providing. Choose a name for the online business according to your findings after verifying that the name you will use has not been taken. Check the name by visiting most any web hosting or domain name registration service. You can also use the whois.net website, a lookup service for domain names, keyword searches and deleted domain names.

  • Research Illinois ecommerce web hosting companies. To do business online, it will be necessary to invest in the right kind of technology solution that includes an ecommerce component or shopping cart solution. Find a local partner that can help find the kind of ecommerce store solution that best suits your needs. Research reputable ecommerce hosting companies in Illinois by checking web hosting forums for remarks on companies you will consider. Check the Better Business Bureau for information on various hosting firms. Ensure that everything you will need to start your own ecommerce store online will be included in the hosting plan. This can all be very critical and may ultimately determine the success or failure of your online business. An ecommerce web hosting company that is based in or does business in Illinois may also have helpful resources concerning state requirements and particulars for doing business in Illinois.

  • Determine specific Illinois business requirements by checking with the State of Illinois Business Portal. Review the information assembled across the state government website and make a list of what is necessary to accomplish, such as registering a business name after determining how the business will operate. For example, a sole proprietorship will need to be registered with the local county clerk. Check with the online listing of county clerks at the State Board of Elections website for procedural details.

  • Develop an ecommerce business plan that includes registering the business. Use the links provided at the State of Illinois Business Portal website to find the necessary resources so that all of your responsibilities are met as a new online business owner. Submit questions as needed through the website, or call the Secretary of State's Department of Business Services at 217-782-6961. Also check with the Small Business Administration to ensure that you meet all of the legal requirements to start a business.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the Secretary of State's Office online database of business names for corporations and LLPs to see if your business name has already been taken.
  • Design the web site for the most optimum and professional web presence.
  • Contact the Illinois Secretary of State's Department of Business Services for structuring the business properly and to ensure that all appropriate paperwork is filed.
  • Pay all necessary business fees to avoid unpleasant business interruptions.

References

  • Photo Credit state seal of illinois image by Jan Ebling from Fotolia.com
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