Welcome Small Business Owners!
Here’s a list of what you can do to start your new business successfully.
1) Get a DBA (Doing Business As). In Texas, you get a DBA from your county office. http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/dba.asp
Simply check on the computer at the county office to see if anyone else is using the name you want for your business. If it’s available, fill out the short form, pay around $15, and you get a DBA.
How to file an Assumed Name (DBA) in Travis County:
- Complete the Assumed Name Records Certificate of Ownership for Unincorporated Business or Profession Form. The form is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, which requires Acrobat Reader version 3.0 or higher to view or print, available free from Adobe. You may also obtain the form from the County Clerk’s office. For a nominal fee ($3.00), notary services are available on the first floor of the courthouse at the main information booth. The booth is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm weekdays.
- Visit our offices at 5501 Airport Blvd. and conduct a search of the records to determine if the name you wish to use has been filed by someone else. This will take you about ten to fifteen minutes. We will conduct the search for you, for a $10 fee (payable in advance).
- File the completed form with our office (same location as above).
Fees: $13.00 plus $0.50 for each name on the form, including the business name and each owner’s name.
Example: Filing a business with only one owner would cost $14.00 ($13.00 fee plus $0.50 for owner’s name, plus $0.50 for business name.)
Fees must be paid by cashier’s check, money order, or cash. Checks are not accepted.
- The original form will be mailed back to you in a few days.
- File a new form if any of the information changes during the next ten years. If you discontinue using the business name, file an abandonment. If you are still using the name at the end of ten years, you must file a new form.
2) Once you know the name is yours, I recommend getting a FEIN (Federal Employment Identification Number). It doesn’t cost anything, you can still be a sole proprietor, it doesn’t obligate you to more taxes. With an FEIN, you can use that number instead of your social security number so it’s safer. The FEIN will always be linked to your social security number so IRS will still be happy.Apply online and you’ll have your FEIN in minutes. This is a free service – don’t pay anyone to do this!
3) Open a business checking account using your FEIN and DBA.
4) If you want to purchase goods at wholesale prices, you’ll need a sales tax permit. This means that you’ll need to file a sales tax report quarterly. It’s a very simple, fast form to fill out and you can do it online quite easily. If you’re a home baker, you won’t be charging sales tax so it will be a zero collected sales tax form. http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxpermit/
When you apply for the sales tax permit and get your sales tax number, you can enter your number on the re-sale tax exempt form found online.
5) Please hang onto all your receipts for business purchases. You can put them in an envelope, file folder, Ziploc, whatever. Anything that you pay for with your personal funds or with cash should be given to your bookkeeper and entered as an expense. Any receipts from debit or credit cards or checks just need to be kept in case you get audited.
6) Please keep track of your income and expenses somewhere. You can use Excel or QuickBooks is easy (get a qualified professional to set up QuickBooks for you!!). If you have QuickBooks set up correctly, tax time is incredibly fast! Please don’t try to guess on this one – just start right at the beginning and everything will flow smoothly. It will cost you an amazing amount of money to clean up errors later if QuickBooks isn’t set up correctly to begin with.
7)Feel free to call or email with any questions – or anything I’ve left out!
By The Numbers Bookkeeping Service, LLC