How to Register a New Business in Rochester, New York

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New York requires the completion of several business registration steps.
New York requires the completion of several business registration steps. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Starting a business is exciting and completing your registration is an important step in the process. Business registration establishes legal structure, a tax account and permits and licenses. Proper registration also provides your business with several resources, such as a business bank account or access to grants or loans, that could not be achieved otherwise. Rochester, New York has basic requirements to complete the registration process and offers several resources for business owners.

Select your business' legal structure -- limited liability, corporation or non-profit, for example -- by reviewing your goals for financial, tax and legal protection. For example, a limited liability company has several advantages that protect you from legal and financial liability. Speak with a tax accountant and an attorney to guide you in selecting the appropriate structure.

Purchase a doing business as (DBA) certificate at the Monroe County Clerk's Office in Rochester (see Resources) for a sole proprietorship or at an office supply, business or legal store for a partnership. You must provide the clerk's office with three copies for a sole proprietorship and four copies for a partnership.

Contact the New York State Department of State (see Resources) to run a business name check. Corporations must complete the check to avoid trademark infringement. For example, if your selected business name and logo closely resemble an existing company's, you cannot use that name or logo. You should also run a domain name check (see Resources) to ensure the business name is available online.

Submit the Certificate of Limited Partnership or Articles of Organization for a limited liability company with the Secretary of State in Albany, New York. Contact an attorney for advice on preparing the appropriate forms.

Request your Employer ID Number (EIN) if you plan to have employees, have incorporated or registered a partnership. The EIN identifies the business and is used for several reasons, including paying taxes and applying for business credit.

Request the appropriate license or permit for your business. For example, you may need an occupational (contractor or electrician) or professional (accountant or real estate agent) license to legally run the business. Business license and permit requirements vary based on the industry.

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