top of page
  • Writer's pictureSBDC @ JCC

Business Structures, Permits and Licensing

When going into business you will choose a business structure to operate your business. Specific permits and licensing vary by the services you offer or the products you sell. As SBDC business counselors we review the different business structures and permits to operate your business entity. Below we will look at resources to assist you in getting started with formally registering your business.

Want to know the difference between a sole proprietorship and a corporation or a partnership and a limited liability company? You can learn the basics from the Small Business Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

When choosing an operating structure for your business you will need to take into account the risk and liability of the service or product you offer. Individuals are encouraged to seek legal counsel for issues related to risk and liability, choosing an appropriate business structure for your business is important.

This article from Entrepreneur Magazine is an excellent overview of the business registration process and cautions and concerns. What if more than one person is going to own the business? Businesses can be owned and operated by individuals, couples, or multiple persons. All parties involved need to be on board with registration process. Depending upon ownership percentage they may be required to be on all formal documents.

Registering your business entity depends upon the structure. Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships are filed with the county clerk in the county of residence. Limited Liability Companies and Corporations are filed with the New York State Department of State.

When registering your business you will have to choose a business name. It is a good idea to have the business name reflect what the business does. I personally like business names that are easy to spell and understand. You will want a unique name. You can Google your intended name, then check to see if the website address is available for your business name. If forming a business through the New York State Department of State, you should use the Business Name search feature to see if there is already an LLC or Corp with the same name that you want to use.

Permits and Licensing are required for most businesses. The SBDC can help you determine the permitting for your business. New York State has the Business Express website to assist in determining licenses and permits. You will want to search by business type. The Business Express website contains a wide array of information for operating a business in New York State. The Small Business Administration has a guide for federal licenses and permits. Not all businesses will need permitting on a federal level.

This article touches on business registration and permitting, but there may be additional registration steps depending on your specific business. You are also encouraged to speak with a lawyer and an accounting professional. Understanding business structure, registration, and permits from the very start will lay a strong foundation for your business' future success and growth. The SBDC at JCC is here to assist you - contact us at 716-338-1024 for free, confidential assistance.

bottom of page