1. What is a Sole Proprietorship?
2. Choose a Business Name
3. File a Fictitious Business Name
4. Obtain Licenses, Permits, and Zoning Clearance

Having a sole proprietorship DBA NY is a business owner who has control over every part of the company in New York. Forming a sole proprietorship is easy, as you can begin working under your name and pay your taxes by using your social security number. Sole proprietors are considered the same as their business, as the owner and business are considered to be the same thing. Sole proprietors are in charge of any liabilities and debts that occur while the business is operating. The Department of State has regulations and rules to follow when starting your own business.

What is a Sole Proprietorship?

When providing services or selling goods in New York, there are some factors to consider before starting a sole proprietorship that's successful. A sole proprietorship can be established in New York without needing to file legal documents with the government.

The four steps to establish a New York sole proprietorship include the following:

  • Pick a business name.
  • File a name certificate with the office of the county clerk.
  • Obtain permits, licenses, and a zoning clearance.
  • Get an Employer Identification Number.

Choose a Business Name

You'll need to decide if you want a business name that's fictitious or if you want to use your own legal name to run your business. Having an assumed name is a smart way to make your business stand out from competitors. For example, someone is more likely to remember the company name "Sweeping Vista Landscaping" versus "John Smith's Landscaping." You'll want a name that people will remember while also using key terms that describe your business. The term "Family Floral" is a great name that suggests a company is family-run, family-friendly, and sells flowers.

If you want to use a trade name or assumed name, it's required by the state that it's easily distinguishable from any other current companies on record. The County Clerk's office can tell you if a name is already being used or not. The federal trademark database should also be checked to see if anyone has registered the name you have in mind as a trademark. You should also make sure that the website URL is available, as this will likely be an important part of your business.

If you find that the name is free to use, you don't have to wait until you're ready to make the website to claim it. You should go ahead and reserve it and file a certificate of assumed name. Each county may have a specific form to use for this, so talk to the court clerk to find out which one to use. The information can be typed on the form and printed out or handwritten.

It costs $25 to file the form, but may be more based on the counties the form is filed with. You should also get a copy of this form, as it's required to open a bank account.

File a Fictitious Business Name

If you decide to use a name for your business that's different from your legal name, you must file a certificate of fictitious business name. This is required in the state of New York. To file this, fill out an application from the County Clerk's office in the area you will be conducting business. How much the fee is will depend on what county you're in.

Obtain Licenses, Permits, and Zoning Clearance

It's important to get any professional and business licenses before beginning activity at your business. New York has a thorough website of every occupation and profession that needs a license by a sole proprietorship. This information can be found on the Online Permit Assistance and Licensing website. You will want to look into what local regulations are required, such as building permits, licenses, and zoning clearances. You can talk to your county and city governments to get more information on this. The Business Express website can be used to find out which permits or licenses are required.

Sole proprietors who have employees need to get an Employer Identification Number. This is a nine-digit number that the IRS gives out to keep track of business.

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