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Course Description

When starting a business it’s important to understand the basic legal requirements. In this short course, we’ll offer insight into what it takes.

Key concepts covered include:

  • Business Names
  • Legal Structure
  • Licensing
  • Permits

If you’re operating your own business, it’s important to start on the right foot. For every business, you’ll need to file the necessary paperwork to make you legal. This includes understanding everything that goes along with starting. 

What You’ll Learn


How to name your business

Should you pick your favorite ice cream flavor or childhood nickname? Probably not. We’ll walk you through what to look for and why.



Along with structuring your business, you’ll have to select the correct licensing and permits. Depending on your particular industry, it’s important to understand the details.


Structuring your business

There are many business entities. Whether it’s just you, a group of people, a non-profit or something else? We’ll help you decide the best choice.


Permits for businesses

Whether you’re a single entity or a massive corporation, you may require a permit depending on the nature of your business. What does that entail? We’ll let you know.

Business Name Search

LivePlan (
Includes industry benchmarks directly in the product so you can compare your forecast and your accounting data directly to the benchmarks. Comparisons are all automated, so once you’ve created your budget and forecast, you’ll see how you compare right away.

ReferenceUSA (
Also has excellent industry data, but you’ll have to access this resource via your public library. Instructions for doing this are here.

BizStats (
Has some free reports as well as industry reports that you can purchase individually.

The U.S. Census (
Also has some industry data but does not have all the detail that the previous options have. It’s a great resource, though, so worth a look.

Licensing & Permits:
Check with Local and State Municipal (City, County, or Town) for all licensing and permits needed. For example most commonly licensing, and permits needed for a business in the Food Industry will be as follows:
Business License:
Tax ID
Employer Identification Number (EIN)