Business Registration Form

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Business Registration Form

What is a business registration form?  

A business registration form is used to register a new business as a legal entity with a state government office or agency in which it operates. With your PandaDoc account, your business is empowered to lead a paperless, productive life by allowing you to collect contact details of business owners, learn more about their business, and streamline your workflow by minimizing paperwork with business license certificate templates we provide.

‌The business registration process allows the state to identify and recognize your business as a legal entity. Once you have filed the required new business form with the state, your business will be entitled to the legal benefits of a newly registered business. 

Who needs to complete a business registration form?

A business registration application is used to collect business information for the registration process depending on the business entity. 

‌Before you can register your business, you must decide your business structure based on your business activity. You can register your business as a sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability partnership, and limited liability company (LLC). The two most popular types of businesses are corporations and LLCs. 

What should a business registration form include?

A business registration form should include your business name, the type of business entity you wish to register for, your federal employer identification number (FEIN), and any supplemental information required. 

‌The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires businesses to obtain a FEIN, which is equivalent to a Social Security number. Your business will use this number to file all business tax return forms. Your business will also be asked for your FEIN when applying for a business credit card.

Should you use a template to create a business registration form?

If you regularly use business registration forms in your practice you will benefit from using PandaDoc’s free business registration online. Working from a template ensures that all required sections and legal elements are included. 

Your business will save a significant amount of money and employee time by removing the need to create a new form every time a different version of a business registration form is required.

How do I register my small business?

How and where you register your new business entity depends on your business structure and business location. For most small businesses, registering your business is as easy as registering your business name with state and local governments. ‌

In some cases, you can operate unincorporated. If you conduct your business using your legal name, you don’t need to register; however, as a taxpayer, you may miss out on personal liability protection, legal benefits, and tax credits. 

Most states require you to register your small business with the Secretary of State’s office, a Business Bureau, or a Business Agency. Depending on the state, you may be able to fill out your small business registration forms and register online; otherwise, you will have to file paper documents in person or through the mail.

When do I file for a “Doing Business As” Certificate?

If you conduct business without your legal name or registered name, then you may need to file for a “Doing Business As” (DBA) Certificate, typically through your county clerk’s office. There’s no difference between a DBA and a fictitious business name, trade name, or assumed name

You should file under your secondary name before beginning business activities to avoid penalties, fines, and lawsuits. Once registered, your company can use the secondary name to open bank accounts, write checks, or enter contracts. 

Sole proprietors often use DBAs because their sole, legal name is the name of the owner. However, all types of businesses, such as LLCs, corporations, and partnerships can use a DBA.

Do I have to register with the federal government as well?

Most businesses don’t need to register with the federal government aside from filing to get a federal tax ID, but some small businesses file with the federal US Patent and Trademark office to get trademark protection or use the tax-exempt status. 

If you are a nonprofit business, you can register as a tax-exempt entity with the IRS. Nonprofit organizations that qualify for exemption status include charitable organizations, religious organizations such as churches, political organizations, and other nonprofits.

What is required to fill out my company registration form?

If your business is an LLC, corporation, partnership, or nonprofit corporation, you need a registered agent before filing in your state. Your registered agent must be located in the state where you register because the agent will receive official papers and documents on behalf of your company. Under no circumstances will states allow you to use a P.O. Box for your Registered Agent address.

The online filing process is usually completed in 24 hours. If the filing is mailed, the Secretary of State’s Office will usually complete the process within two to three business days after it is received.

What is the difference between an LLC and a corporation?

The main difference between an LLC and a corporation is the tax rates. They both have similar characteristics, but an LLC has fewer restrictions on ownership. 

An S corporation must have more than 100 shareholders that have to be U.S. citizens or legal residents. S corporations are also subject to more formalities like annual meetings, an annual report, and keeping corporate minutes. 

An LLC may have higher self-employment taxes because an S corporation owner is required to pay self-employment tax only on salary but not on dividends from the corporation. 

In addition, corporations file “Certificate of Incorporation,” while LLCs file “Articles of Organization.”

  • On the Certificate of Incorporation, you will need to provide the following: 
    1. The name of the corporation
    2. The purpose of the corporation
    3. The number of the shares of the corporation
    4. The business address
    5. The county of the business
  • For the Articles of Organization, you will need to provide the following:  
  1. The name of the LLC
  2. The business address
  3. The county of the business

For both business registration certificates, you will need to provide the name and address of the individual(s) filing the paperwork. The “Incorporator” files for the corporation while the “Organizer” files for the LLC. 

What is the difference between an S corporation and a C corporation?

The IRS allows corporations to choose to file as an S or C corporation. All corporations are C corporations unless they elect to become S corporations. 

C corporations are subject to double taxation: they pay taxes on their net income and then their shareholders pay taxes on the income they receive from the corporations. 

S corporations only have one level of taxation. Shareholders still have to pay taxes on the money they receive from the corporation, but S corporations don’t pay taxes on their net income. 

S corporations are more popular with small business owners because they pay no income tax. However, C corporations have greater tax-planning flexibility, protecting shareholders from direct tax liability.