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Copyright 2006
Cornell University.
All rights reserved.


Business Start-up Checklist

After you define your business concept, there are a number of necessary steps in establishing your business in the eyes of the local, state, and federal governments for ownership, tax, and liability purposes. This list illustrates the scope of things to do. You can use it to understand how many details there are to starting a business as well as a checklist during the process.

Checklist for Legal and Tax Requirements
(Brenner, Ewan & Custer, 1990, pp.8-9)

checkbox Obtain local business license
Obtain state occupational license
File and publish fictitious business name statement, if applicable
Obtain federal license, if applicable to business activity
Comply with city, county, state, and federal licensing requirements
Comply with state and federal job safety requirements
Obtain weights and measures permit, if applicable
Notify health department, if applicable
File an application for federal employer identification number
File Quarterly Income Tax Withholding and Unemployment Insurance Returns with state
File employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return
File Quarterly Sales/use Tax Return
File Declaration of Estimated Corporation Tax if you are conducting business as a corporation
File Person Income Tax Withholding with the state
File Personal Property Statement with County Assessor
File Income Tax Return with the state
File Federal Income Tax Return
File Federal Unemployment Tax Return
Obtain Worker's Compensation Insurance or Certificate of Consent to Self-Insurance
Register as an employer with your state employment tax agency
Remit state Personal Income Tax Withholdings and Disability insurance Contributions
Remit personal property taxes
Remit federal income taxes and FICA taxes
Furnish withholding statement to employees






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