Starting a business while serving on active duty is a goal for many active-duty entrepreneurs, just like myself. For some, the very thought of doing so can be overwhelming and confusing. However, I’m here to tell you that starting a business may be much easier than you think.
With the right information and tools, you can take your passion and create a business, even while being on active duty! Make sure to read until the end. In this article, I will break down exactly how you can create your own business in 2021.
The first step in starting your business while on active duty
Get started by visiting your state’s Secretary of State website to learn more about specific filing requirements where you live.
Here are quick links to the business filing websites and phone numbers for the Secretary of State offices for all US states and territories:
- Alabama Secretary of State 334-242-7200
- Alaska Lt. Governor 907-465-3520
- Arizona Corporation Commission 602-542-3026
- California Secretary of State 916-653-6814
- Colorado Secretary of State 303-894-2200
- Connecticut Secretary of State 860-509-6200
- Delaware Secretary of State 302-577-8161
- District of Columbia Secretary of State 202-442-4400
- Florida Secretary of State 850-488-1234
- Georgia Secretary of State 404-656-2817
- Guam Government Site 671-475-9380
- Hawaii Lt. Governor 808-586-2727
- Idaho Secretary of State 208-334-2300
- Illinois Secretary of State 312-793-3380
- Indiana Secretary of State 317-234-9768
- Iowa Secretary of State 515-281-5953
- Kansas Secretary of State 785-296-4561
- Kentucky Secretary of State 502-564-3490
- Louisana Secretary of State 225-925-4704
- Maine Secretary of State 207-626-8400
- Maryland Secretary of State 410-767-1184
- Massachusetts Secretary of State 617-727-9640
- Michigan Secretary of State 517-241-6470
- Minnesota Secretary of State 651-296-2803
- Mississipi Secretary of State 601-359-1633
- Missouri Secretary of State 573-751-4153
- Montana Secretary of State 406-444-2034
- Nebraska Secretary of State 402-471-2554
- Nevada Secretary of State 775-684-5708
- New Hampshire Secretary of State 603-271-3242
- New Jersey Secretary of State 609-777-2581
- New Mexico Secretary of State 505-827-3600
- New York Secretary of State 518-473-2492
- North Carolina Secretary of State 919-814-5400
- North Dakota Secretary of State 701-328-4284
- Ohio Secretary of State 614-466-2655
- Oklahoma Secretary of State 405-522-2520
- Oregon Secretay of State 503-986-2200
- Pennsylvania Secretary of State 717-787-1057
- Puerto Rico Secretary of State 787-722-2121
- Rhode Island Secretary of State 401-222-3040
- South Carolina Secretary of State 803-734-2170
- South Dakota Secretary of State 605-773-4845
- Tennessee Secretary of State 615-741-2286
- Texas Secretary of State 512-463-5555
- Utah Lt. Governor 801-538-1041
- Vermont Secretary of State 802-828-2386
- Virgin Islands Lt. Governor 340-776-8515
- Washington Secretary of State 360-725-0377
- West Virginia Secretary of State 304-558-8000
- Wisconsin Secretary of State 608-266-2776
- Wyoming Secretary of State 307-777-7311
Once you have successfully filed the appropriate documents for your business, you will receive the articles of organization. This document makes your LLC an official business entity with the state. The articles of organization typically include the name of the LLC, the registered agent, whether the LLC is managed by members or managers, and the effective date.
What type of entity should I form?
Many new businesses consider creating a limited liability company (LLC). This is because an LLC is a simple and adaptable business structure and is perfect for many small businesses. While a corporation and LLC offer their owners limited personal liability, owners of an LLC can also take advantage of tax benefits, minimal recordkeeping, and reporting requirements.
Keep in mind, the Secretary of State cannot help with identifying the best entity type for your specific business requirements. However, they are able to provide general information about types of business organizations. For personalized assistance, you should consult with an attorney.
The next step in starting a business while on active duty is applying for an EIN
What is an EIN? An Employee Identification Number. An EIN is a unique nine-digit number that identifies your business for tax purposes. As a business owner, you’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, apply for business licenses and file your tax returns.
Is it free to apply for an EIN? Yes, this is a free service offered by the IRS and you can receive your EIN immediately.
Now that you have filed the necessary documents with the state and applied for your EIN, you have successfully created a business!
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