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How to Start a Business

Corporate Compliance by Local Corporate Guides®

Starting a business isn't anywhere near as complicated as most online guides will make you think. That's because most sources online talking about how to start a business are regurgitating old ideas and ways of thinking. Starting a business used to involve a brick-and-mortar storefront, getting a loan from the bank, taking on massive amounts of risk and debt. While that certainly does still happen, and you'll want a well thought out business plan if you're taking on loans, that's not for most people. However, if you talk to any modern entrepreneur today, they'll tell you the most important thing you need to start is sales.

The Internet has changed everything

You don’t need a physical store to have a store or offer services. In most cases, they’re a hindrance if you’re just getting started. You gotta make money to start a business and have it survive. That is the literal bottom line. So if you’re starting a business, don’t wait and plan out of bunch of things that end up seeming overwhelming. Just start your business. Sell that t-shirt. Fire up that website. Make that sale. Just go. Do it. Worry about the details as you have to. Most of the things we worry about never come to pass anyway, so if you’ve got a business idea, just friggin do it! You don’t need to do anything before getting your first sale besides get that first sale. After that happens and you see that what you’re doing is actually viable, then it’s time to start reading.

That’s why we’re here. Northwest Registered Agent is at your beck and call to help fill knowledge gaps, bolster your ideas, and help you start your business. So if you’re ready to explore your options, click any state below to learn more about doing business in your state. Or scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out our articles on popular business ideas, funding, logistics, hiring employees, and paying business taxes.


More Information About Doing Business In Each State

State Pros Cons
Alabama Cheap labor ONLY state where forming a business is a two-step process
Alaska No personal income tax Makes you disclose ownership of companies as public information
Arizona LLCs don’t have annual reports New LLCs have to publish in newspapers
Arkansas Low income tax rates High franchise tax report
California Lots of potential customers $800 minimum franchise tax payment
Colorado Online filings, processed instantly Annoying annual report system
Connecticut Umm… Everything is expensive and redundant
Delaware Famous for being home of many big holding corporations High taxes for businesses actually operating in Delaware
District of Columbia Lots of potential clients needing services Dealing with the DCRA and business licensing departments
Florida No personal income tax Just don’t miss your annual report filing, it’ll cost you…
Georgia Inexpensive fees Pointless newspaper publication requirements
Hawaii Laid back attitude, easy-going lifestyle High gross receipts tax
Idaho No fee for annual reports Finding highly skilled and motivated employees
Illinois Chicago rocks. High taxes, high fees, stifling regulations
Indiana Reasonable fees, reasonable taxes None
Iowa Biennial reports, low costs Unfortunately, there’s just not a lot of business in Iowa
Kansas The SOS is fast and helpful Costs are fairly high compared to the rest of America
Kentucky Cheap place to initially start a business Redundancy, filing at the state level and then the county level.
Louisiana Friendly, helpful people Redundant, complicated procedures
Maine Reasonable fees Weird/confusing lingo about clerks and commercial registered agents
Maryland Less regulatory than DC It takes two months to process filings
Massachusetts They’re actually good with their expedited filings Their nickname is “Taxachusetts…”
Michigan Taxes are pretty low and office space is super cheap now Unless you happen to be an auto-maker…
Minnesota Does not charge domestic businesses an annual report fee Slow to process your filings
Mississippi Not a highly regulated state Horrible filing fees for foreign corporations
Missouri An inexpensive and reasonable place to do business The initial report after your initial filing is purely redundant
Montana Inexpensive, quick filings None
Nebraska Low start-up costs They require original inked signatures, so 1980’s…
Nevada Great asset protection rules It’s become very expensive and over-regulated
New Hampshire No sales tax Original signatures required, slow to process filings
New Jersey Well, at least it isn’t New York Minimum $500 tax, plus prepay 1/2 for the next year
New Mexico Great laws for LLCs Their foreign corporation annual reports are awful
New York There really aren’t any… It’s the second worst state to do business in
North Carolina Umm…. They deny some filings for weird reasons
North Dakota Lots of opportunity these days Their infrastructure has yet to catch up
Ohio No annual reports The Department of Revenue is confusing
Oklahoma A reasonable and cheap place to do business Some confusing regulations, filings and procedures…
Oregon No sales tax High income taxes
Pennsylvania No annual reports Lots of high fees and paperwork
Rhode Island Really, there aren’t any High fees, high taxes, minimum tax payments
South Carolina Low taxes, no annual reports They’re kind of slow, and require original signatures
South Dakota No personal income tax Very aggressive Department of Revenue
Tennessee Umm… High filing fees and taxes
Texas Great for small businesses The SOS charges $1 for name searches
Utah 5% income tax, $70 to start your business They send EVERYTHING to your registered agent
Vermont Low cost registrations and annual fees Original signatures requires, confusing forms
Virginia It’s a little better than DC High taxes and fees for big corporations
Washington No personal income tax Over-regulated and going broke
West Virginia Easy and reasonable state to do business in None
Wisconsin None High fees, weird procedures and the foreign corp. annual report is laughable
Wyoming Low taxes, fees and great asset protection laws They require original signatures

Popular Business Ideas




Business Taxes

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®