It is usually a good idea to set up a legal entity when you are embarking on a new business venture. But, you have a million things to do, so this gets tacked on to the list – usually a bit near the bottom because you think it is going to take a long time.
Instead of adding this to your to-do list, just spend ten minutes knocking it out. Here is how:
- Create an account at https://ccfs.sos.wa.gov/#/UserRegistration (chose User Account > Individual)
- Create or register a business https://ccfs.sos.wa.gov/#/businessFormationIndex
- Select WA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (there are a lot of options…so spend weeks learning about those differences, or just chose LLC).
- Defer initial report for 120 days. Add a reminder to your calendar for 3 months out so you do not forget!
- Specify yourself as the executor and authorized person.
- Chose a name with LLC in it (e.g., RANDOM STUFF LLC – that is the LLC that Oliver and I set up to license PuttMate) – you may never even use this business name (you can operate under a “DBA” or doing business as, so do not spend time/energy worry about it).
- Pay $200
- Get a FEIN (Federal Employer ID Number…basically the SSN of your business) https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers
- In honor of the 1990s, the FEIN website is only open Monday – Friday, 7AM – 10PM eastern time, so tough luck you weekend warriors!
- Complete a Business License Application http://www.bls.dor.wa.gov/ > https://secure.dor.wa.gov/home/ (note: you will need your SSN as well as the SSN of any of your partners).
- Pay $20