ContractsCounsel Logo

Company Registration in USA

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 7,558 reviews
Home Blog Company Registration in USA

Jump to Section

Company registration in the USA is the comprehensive process by which a business entity lawfully establishes itself as an organization within the United States. It is necessary for companies to gain recognition as distinct legal entities and to access different protections and benefits offered by the U.S. legal system. This blog post will discuss the steps involved in company registration in the USA, the documents required, and more.

Steps Involved in Company Registration in USA

The company registration process in the USA generally involves submitting specific documents and meeting specific prerequisites to the applicable state or national authorities, depending on the scope and nature of the business. The company registration provisions can differ from state to state, as each state has different regulations and laws governing business formation and operation. The key steps involved in company registration in the United States are as follows:

  1. Choose the Business Structure. The initial step in company registration in the USA involves choosing the most appropriate business structure for your business entity. You can choose between a sole proprietorship, partnership firm, limited liability companies (LLCs), or corporations. In addition, each enterprise structure has its advantages and legal implications, so it's vital to assess which one aligns with your organizational goals and risk tolerance.
  2. Select a Business Name. Choosing an appropriate business name is integral for company registration in the USA. The chosen business name should be distinctive and unforgettable and must well-reflect your brand identity. Furthermore, you must ensure that the firm name complies with the guidelines specified by the state where you intend to register your organization.
  3. Register with the State Secretary. To standardize your company registration and get the legal distinction, you must enlist with the Secretary of State in the state where you wish to run your business. The company registration procedure and mandated documents may differ by state, so it's necessary to consult the respective Secretary of State's website for thorough instructions and possible registration charges.
  4. Get an EIN. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique registration number the Internal Revenue Service allocates for tax purposes. You will need an EIN to open an organizational bank account, hire workers, and fulfill tax responsibilities.
  5. Register for State and Regional Taxes. Depending on chosen organizational structure and location, it may be essential to register for state and regional taxes, including income tax, sales tax, and other applicable taxes. Moreover, it is rational to consult the local and state tax authorities to define the exact prerequisites and deadlines for tax registration and reporting to remain better compliant.
  6. Get Business Licenses and Permits. Certain industries and business activities require specific licenses and permits to operate legally. Research the relevant federal, state, and local licensing requirements for your industry. Examples include health and safety permits, professional licenses, and zoning permits. Adhering to these rules ensures adherence to the law.
  7. Open a Business Bank Account. Maintaining a clear separation between personal and business finances is essential for financial management and legal purposes. Open a dedicated business bank account to separate business transactions from individual funds. Contact local banks or credit unions to explore options and gather the necessary documentation for account opening.
  8. Register for Intellectual Property Protection. If your company deals with distinctive brands, unique inventions, or innovative creations, consider registering for intellectual property protection, such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Registering your intellectual property protects your exclusive rights and prevents unauthorized use or violation by others.
  9. Obtain Business Insurance. Safeguarding your business from unexpected risks and liabilities is essential. Research and get appropriate business insurance coverage based on your industry and specific needs. Examples include general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, or property insurance. Seek advice from an insurance professional to determine the coverage options that best suit your business requirements.
  10. Comply with Constant Reporting and Compliance Responsibilities. After successfully registering your business, it is essential to maintain compliance with continuous reporting and compliance responsibilities. It may concern filing annual reports, keeping proper documents, meeting tax obligations, and sticking to industry-specific rules. Staying informed about the legal prerequisites and deadlines is vital to avoid fines or legal complications.

Essential Documents for Company Registration in USA

Below are the documents required for company registration in the USA.

  • Agreement for Operation or Corporate Bylaws: An Operating Agreement (for LLCs) or Bylaws (for corporations) outlines your company's internal rules and governance. It covers ownership structure, voting rights, decision-making processes, and procedures for amending the agreement. While some states may not require an Operating Agreement or Bylaws, it is advisable to have one to clarify the rights and responsibilities of company owners and managers.
  • Licenses and Permits for Company: Depending on your location and industry, specific company licenses and permits may be needed at the national, state, and regional levels. These licenses and permits can differ substantially and may incorporate general trade licenses, professional authorizations, health permits, and zoning permits. Moreover, it is necessary to analyze the requirements for your respective industry and place to ensure legal compliance.
  • Information about Registered Agent: A registered agent is an individual or entity designated to receive legal and official documents on behalf of the company. The registered agent should have a physical address in the state where your company is incorporated and be available during business hours to receive legal notifications.
  • Financial Statements and Bank References: Depending on your business structure and registration type, you may need to provide financial statements such as balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements. These documents demonstrate your company's financial stability and may be required for specific registrations, loans, or partnerships. Additionally, some banks may request references or recommendations from other financial institutions before opening a business bank account.
  • Documentation for Intellectual Property: If your business depends on distinctive intellectual property assets, such as trademarks, patents, or copyrights, it is vital to submit relevant documentation during the business registration procedure. It may involve offering patent applications, brand enrollments, or copyright certificates to establish your legal privileges and safeguard your intellectual property.
Meet some lawyers on our platform

Justin K.

29 projects on CC
View Profile

Jennifer P.

1 project on CC
View Profile

Morgan S.

6 projects on CC
View Profile

Brian R.

1 project on CC
View Profile

Key Terms for Company Registration in the USA

  • Articles of Incorporation: A document filed with the state government to establish a corporation. It includes information about the company's name, purpose, share structure, and registered agent.
  • Certificate of Formation: Filed with the state government to establish an LLC. It outlines the company's name, purpose, management structure, and registered agent.
  • Registered Agent: It refers to a designated individual or entity responsible for receiving legal and official documents on behalf of a company.
  • Secretary of State: Refers to the state government officials who are accountable for overseeing the registration and filing of business entities.
  • Operating Agreement: A legal document that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and operating procedures of an LLC. It is not mandatory in all states but is recommended.

Final Thoughts on Company Registration in the USA

Company registration in the United States involves several legal and managerial procedures. By carefully following the steps summarized in this guide, budding entrepreneurs can establish their companies in compliance with the applicable regulations and laws. However, consulting with professionals, such as lawyers, is always prudent for tailored guidance based on your specific industry requirements and the state where you intend to register your business.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Paul S. on ContractsCounsel
View Paul
5.0 (12)
Member Since:
August 4, 2020

Paul S.

Free Consultation
Cincinnati, OH
37 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, OH
Boston University

I focus my practice on startups and small to mid-size businesses, because they have unique needs that mid-size and large law firms aren't well-equipped to service. In addition to practicing law, I have started and run other businesses, and have an MBA in marketing from Indiana University. I combine my business experience with my legal expertise, to provide practical advice to my clients. I am licensed in Ohio and California, and I leverage the latest in technology to provide top quality legal services to a nationwide client-base. This enables me to serve my clients in a cost-effective manner that doesn't skimp on personal service.

Davis S. on ContractsCounsel
View Davis
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
August 16, 2020

Davis S.

Free Consultation
Minneapolis, MN
20 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MN
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Davis founded DLO in 2010 after nearly a decade of practicing in the corporate department of a larger law firm. Armed with this experience and knowledge of legal solutions used by large entities, Davis set out to bring the same level of service to smaller organizations and individuals. The mission was three-fold: provide top-notch legal work, charge fair prices for it, and never stop evolving to meet the changing needs of clients. Ten years and more than 1000 clients later, Davis is proud of the assistance DLO provides for companies large and small, and the expanding service they now offer for individuals and families.

Matthew S. on ContractsCounsel
View Matthew
4.9 (9)
Member Since:
August 5, 2020

Matthew S.

Free Consultation
Flemington, NJ
39 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Yeshiva University)

I am a 1984 graduate of the Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law (Yeshiva University) and have been licensed in New Jersey for over 35 years. I have extensive experience in negotiating real estate, business contracts, and loan agreements. Depending on your needs I can work remotely or face-to-face. I offer prompt and courteous service and can tailor a contract and process to meet your needs.

Tim E. on ContractsCounsel
View Tim
4.9 (41)
Member Since:
August 12, 2020

Tim E.

Founding Member/Attorney
Free Consultation
Cleveland, OH
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in OH
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Tim advises small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups on a wide range of legal matters. He has experience with company formation and restructuring, capital and equity planning, tax planning and tax controversy, contract drafting, and employment law issues. His clients range from side gig sole proprietors to companies recognized by Inc. magazine.

Curt L. on ContractsCounsel
View Curt
Member Since:
August 13, 2020

Curt L.

Business Attorney
Free Consultation
Houston, TX
33 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
South Texas College of Law Houston

For over thirty (30) years, Mr. Langley has developed a diverse general business and commercial litigation practice advising clients on day-to-day business and legal matters, as well as handling lawsuits and arbitrations across Texas and in various other states across the country. Mr. Langley has handled commercial matters including employment law, commercial collections, real estate matters, energy litigation, construction, general litigation, arbitrations, defamation actions, misappropriation of trade secrets, usury, consumer credit, commercial credit, lender liability, accounting malpractice, legal malpractice, and appellate practice in state and federal courts. (Online bio at

Braden P. on ContractsCounsel
View Braden
Member Since:
August 18, 2020

Braden P.

Free Consultation
Kansas City, MO
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in KS, MO
University of Kansas School of Law

Braden Perry is a corporate governance, regulatory and government investigations attorney with Kennyhertz Perry, LLC. Mr. Perry has the unique tripartite experience of a white-collar criminal defense and government compliance, investigations, and litigation attorney at a national law firm; a senior enforcement attorney at a federal regulatory agency; and the Chief Compliance Officer/Chief Regulatory Attorney of a global financial institution. Mr. Perry has extensive experience advising clients in federal inquiries and investigations, particularly in enforcement matters involving technological issues. He couples his technical knowledge and experience defending clients in front of federal agencies with a broad-based understanding of compliance from an institutional and regulatory perspective.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now
Learn About Contracts
See More Contracts
other helpful articles

Need help registering a business?

Create a free project posting

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city