How to Register a Software Company

By Jim Thomas

Registering your software company is no different from registering any other type of business. However, there are a number of considerations involved in determining the right business entity for you. As computer law and intellectual property attorney Eric Freibrun explains, you may want to change your business entity as your software business goes from a prototype to a worldwide phenomenon. The Small Business Administration offers detailed information about the five steps you need to take to register your software business, as well as the specific registration requirements in every state.

Business Entity

Choose and register your business entity. You can operate as a sole proprietor, a partnership, a limited liability company or a full-fledged corporation. There are significant tax and liability considerations involved in the choice of a business structure. There are also significant issues concerning the day-to-day management and control of the business. When you have made your choice, contact the agency that handles new business filings in the state where you are opening the business. Expect to pay a fee to register.

Business Name

Register a business name. If you are using your precise legal name as a sole proprietor, you won't have to take this step. But if you want to use the name Sensational Software, you'll have to register it as your business name, which is known as a DBA, or "doing business as name," "fictitious name" or "trade name." Some states require registration with a state agency while other states require registration in the county where you are setting up your business. You'll want to check the state and country databases for names that are already taken; otherwise your registration will be rejected if another entrepreneur already has nabbed the name Sensational Software.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

EIN Number

Obtain an EIN number, formally known as an Employer Identification Number or Employer Tax ID, from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are a sole proprietor with no employees, you don't need a EIN number. But if you have even one employee, you must obtain an EIN for tax reporting purposes. You can go to the IRS website and obtain an EIN online.

State Tax Identification

As your business gets off the ground, you may have to register for an array of state business taxes and requirements. Some states require a state tax ID for reporting sales taxes, state income taxes and employment taxes. You might have to obtain workman's compensations insurance. And almost all states levy a business or corporate income tax. The state and local tax page at the SBA website delineates the state and local tax issues you have to deal with in each state in order to start and build your business.

Licenses and Permits

If your business is actively supervised by a federal agency, you'll need to obtain the appropriate licenses from that agency. A software business likely will require you to obtain patent, trademark and copyright registrations. The SBA's business license and permits tool enables you to enter a city, state, Zip Code, and the type of business you are starting on its website to find out the specific licenses and permits you'll need for your software business.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in North Carolina

References

Related articles

How to Register a Sole Proprietorship Business in Fulton County, Georgia

If you come up with a winning business idea, you may decide to go into business for yourself. The simplest business form to enter the business world is a sole proprietorship. Sole proprietors are basically an extension of the individual and consist of you simply executing your business plan. It lacks most of the formality of other business entities like corporations and is extremely easy to establish. Although the state of Georgia does not require sole proprietors to obtain a statewide business license, Fulton County, Georgia requires sole proprietors to obtain a Business Occupational Certificate, which is also required for other business entities like a corporation. This certificate can be obtained from the Fulton County Business Occupational Tax Division, located at the Fulton County Business License Department or the Fulton County Finance Department.

The Requirements of a Sole Proprietor in Pennsylvania

Sole proprietorships are common business entities because they are simple to set up, and have relatively few filing requirements. By definition, a sole proprietorship is owned by one person, who remains personally liable for the debts of the business. Most states, including Pennsylvania, do not require sole proprietors to register the business. However, depending on the business type, a business owner may be required to file for licenses, permits and tax registration.

How to Register a Business Name With the State of South Carolina

Your business name is more than just a few words that appear on your filing documents and tax returns; it's often your first interaction with potential customers. In South Carolina, the Secretary of State manages the registration of business names and requires that every business have a name that's distinguishable from those that are already registered in the state. According to the Secretary of State, it usually processes your registration within two business days of when it's received, but the processing could take longer if the office is swamped with applications.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How to Get a DBA in Utah

A DBA, short for "doing business as," is a trade name you use for your business when you don't want to use your given ...

How to Use TESS for Trademark

A trademark is a unique symbol, phrase or word used to distinguish one brand of goods or services from another. ...

How to Patent a Drink

A drink may be patented in the U.S. if it meets the legal requirements for patentability. Drinks are typically patented ...

How to Form a Sole Proprietorship in Ohio

Many Ohio businesses are formed as sole proprietorships because this type of business is relatively simple to set up, ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED