Everything You Need To Do After Registering Your Business

You’ve made it through the paperwork and red tape of setting up your business—congrats! But of course, you’re probably figuring out that the paperwork and red tape never really end. Sure, the initial steps are over. But here are six steps beyond the initial incorporation paperwork that are important to take care of:

1. Annual Report and Franchise Tax

You will be required to file either an annual or biennial report for your company, depending on your state of incorporation. This includes a Franchise Tax. The purpose of the report is to update both the state and the general population on basic information about your business such as location, ownership, and number of issued stock shares, while the Franchise Tax is a fee for the ability to run a business in that state. These each may be due either on the anniversary date of your business, or a specific date set by the state (depending on what state your business is in). You can look up yours here.

2. Corporate Records

For S-Corporations and C-Corporations, it’s required that you maintain corporate records on file. The specifics can vary from state to state, but these records may include:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Minutes of shareholder and director meetings
  • Written communications with shareholders within the last three years
  • Stock transfer ledger
  • Names and addresses of current shareholders, directors and officers
  • Most recent annual report
  • Financial records from the last three years

For LLCs, the requirements are less stringent, but the company may still have to maintain:

  • Articles of Organization
  • Operating Agreement
  • Minutes from various meetings
  • Stock transfer ledger
  • Names and addresses of all current members, managers, and officers
  • Most recent annual reports and financial records.

You can find out which records you are required to keep on file in your state here.

3. Licenses

Practically every business requires some form of business license, including but not limited to:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Attorneys
  • Collection agencies
  • Contracting services
  • Cosmetic and hair shops
  • Damage appraisers
  • Dealers and salespersons
  • Electrical workers
  • Employment agencies
  • Engineers
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Nurseries
  • Real estate brokers
  • Restaurants and food vendors
  • Security brokers

It’s essential to ensure that you comply with the license requirements for your business in your state. You can check that here.

4. Trademarking

Filing for a federal trademark is not required, but if you want your trademark to be recognized and protected everywhere in the country, you’ll have to file a trademark through the US Patent and Trademark Office. Some well-known examples of companies with registered trademarks include Nike and Coca-Cola, but trademarks are not limited to large national corporations. An unregistered, or common law trademark, doesn’t require additional paperwork, but is usually enforceable only within the geographic region or locale where the trademark owner is using it in business. It is incredibly important that you make sure to run a trademark search before attempting to acquire a trademark—being sued for trademark infringement is the last thing you want when you’ve just launched your business. You can learn more about trademarking here.

5. Taxes

C-Corporations will have to pay both federal and state taxes at the corporate level (with the exception of Washington, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada and Florida).

Neither S-Corporations or LLCs are subject to taxation at the corporate level—instead, a simple attachment to the owner’s individual tax return is required. You can learn more about the tax differences between LLCs and Corporations here.

6. Publication Requirement

In some states, it is required that a new corporation or LLC files a notice of incorporation/organization in a local newspaper. The following states have such a requirement:

If you have the resources to do so, it could save a lot of stress and time to hire someone to get you through these hurdles. But just remember, you’ve gotten this far—you can do this!

Rachael, Direct Incorporation Staff
Rachael, Direct Incorporation Staff

Have questions about setting up your business? Please leave a comment below!

Need to Generate Leads For Your Business?

Are you looking to gain more clients? Don’t have the time to set up an AdWords account, learn how to use the program, create ad groups, assign keywords to each ad group, test out different campaigns, target your ads to the right audience, figure out how much you’re willing to bid for each click, figure out your budget for each campaign, check your search terms report, analyze the data, update your campaigns, add extensions to your ads, use conversion tracking and adjust your bids on different ad groups, and continue to monitor and update your account on a daily basis?


Here at Direct Incorporation, we offer a lead generation service for our clients that uses a unique combination of Google AdWords and our own software in order to generate qualified leads for your business. Lead generation services can be very expensive and very time consuming—


but with our service, we’ll ensure that you not only receive more online traffic for your business, but that it also translates to real, accessible leads. You’ll be able to save a ton of time, and a ton of money.  With over 12 years of experience managing AdWords and lead generation, we’ve already taken the time to perfect the system for you—and now we’re ready to make marketing for your business effortless. For more information, call Direct Incorporation today!








Rachael, Direct Incorporation Staff
Rachael, Direct Incorporation Staff

Have questions about setting up your business? Please leave a comment below!

If You’re In These 10 Industries, You’re Set

If you’re considering starting a business, you might want to check out this list of the top 10 most profitable industries of 2016. This list only includes industries in which you can incorporate or form an LLC (as opposed to just investing in them), and are diverse enough to fit a wide range of personality types. If you’ve already started one of these businesses, good for you! And if you’re considering it, it looks like you’ve made a great decision.

top_10_industries_of_2016In list form:

1. Tax Prep and Accounting
2. Legal Services
3. Outpatient Care
4. Real Estate Office
5. Other Health Practitioner Offices
6. Dentist’s Office
7. Specialized Design Services
8. Auto Rental and Leasing
9. Warehousing and Storage
10. Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories

If these aren’t the industries for you, then don’t worry—it’s important that you base your business around something you are passionate about.

If you have any questions about starting up your business, please comment below or give us a call today!

5 Signs You Have What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur

12-number_1_whiteYou don’t take yourself too seriously

You’re able to laugh at your mistakes instead of viewing them as the end of the world. You know that having failures doesn’t mean you are a failure, and this allows you to keep moving forward.



You’re a self-starter (but you aren’t afraid to ask for help)

Obviously you’re going to need a lot of personal drive to start up a business. But recognizing that you can’t do everything alone (and this includes after the business is started) is smart, not weak.



You’re always open to improvement

You never stop learning, and never want to. Accepting that you can improve and change involves a flexible and open mind—and this will serve you well in addressing the many twists and obstacles you’ll face as an entrepreneur.



You’re okay with being uncomfortable

Being an entrepreneur means you’re willing to break free from the typical nine-to-five lifestyle. You’re not afraid to take risks, and while sometimes you might want to run in the opposite direction, you know that you have to push through instead.



You know when to slow down

In the entrepreneurial world, anything associated with “slow” tends to be scorned. But it’s important to recharge, and this includes everything from sleeping enough to taking care of your mental health. Working relentlessly 24/7 only leads to burnout. It’s important to take care of yourself!


If this list sounds like you, then…what are you waiting for?


Rachael, Direct Incorporation Staff
Rachael, Direct Incorporation Staff

Have questions about setting up your business? Please leave a comment below!

3 Companies that Prove Environment and Business are Compatible

While some entrepreneurs fear that environmental sustainability puts the brakes on the competitiveness of business, these companies prove otherwise:


As probably the biggest and most well-known environmentally-motivated corporation, Patagonia recently proved just how much corporate responsibility plays into consumers’ spending decisions. This year, instead of using Black Friday to bring in extra profit, as most companies do, the company released a statement beforehand that they would be donating all money from Black Friday sales to environmental charities. They ended up bringing in $10 million, which was five times more than they had expected.  Their VP of environmental activism released the statement, “This is a difficult and divisive time for our country. I believe the environment is something we can all come together on…Environmental values are something we all embrace.”


With Lisa Jackson, former head of the EPA, as their vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple has made big moves in the field of environmental sustainability. In 2015, Apple sourced 93% of its energy from renewable sources. Over 99% of the paper in their packaging is recycled or sustainably sourced, they’ve eliminated mercury from their products, and they have initiated programs to recycle parts from old and/or returned Apple products.



The Swedish furniture company announced in August that it will be allocating more than $1 billion this year toward sustainability investments. It has also set out to offset 100% of its energy expenditure through renewable energy. They also exclusively use energy-efficient LED lighting, and source their cotton and wood from sustainable sources.


Being environmentally conscious is certainly not holding these companies back from being incredibly successful; Patagonia, Apple, and IKEA are some of the most well-known and financially successful brand names in both America and the world.

Why CPAs Love the New Year

Tax season is the busiest time of year for a CPA. While you may be tempted to pull your hair out in this whirlwind period, there’s one easy step you can take to shed some of your workload without shedding any clients. Before we get there, though, here are some important things to keep in mind: 

This is a good time for your clients to start a business

If they start an S-Corp or LLC at the beginning of the New Year, they won’t have to file two separate sets of taxes for the previous year. Also, starting right as the New Year begins means that, in some states, they wont have to pay their state’s annual franchise tax for the previous year (which in some states they would otherwise have to do no matter how late in the year they incorporated).


People need you

The demand for your services will be high during this part of the year. Both new and experienced entrepreneurs will need help with taxes and incorporating. This is your time to shine.

So what can you do?

Direct Incorporation is here to help you incorporate your clients. We provide full filing and registration of corporations and LLCs, as well as a multitude of other services for aspiring entrepreneurs. If you incorporate your clients through us, they’ll still be using your services as an accountant, but DI can handle the filing and registration, making your job a lot easier. Instead of being overwhelmed by the influx of work these next few months, you can take care of your business and your mental health by letting us worry about matters beyond taxes and finance. We can also help your clients by designing a website and logo, as well as filing for trademarks. They’ll be happy with you, and you’ll be happy to live a stress-free and productive tax season. Don’t be like this guy:


Let us help you satisfy the needs of your clients without going crazy this New Year. Want to learn more about using Direct Incorporation to incorporate your clients? Give us a call at 1-877-281-6496 or visit our website at directincoporation.com today!

What Makes a Startup Succeed vs. Fail

When starting a business, it is easy to focus on all of the ways that it could potentially fail. But it is incredibly important to give most of your attention to how you can instead ensure its success. While the basics are clearly important (having a good idea, a good business plan, and a way to acquire the necessary resources), there are a few things that are more important than you think:

1. Having a market for that product

Of course you are going to think that your business idea is great. You’re the one who came up with it. But making sure that you have a large enough group of people that also thinks it’s a great idea is the more important part. Do market research and get feedback!

product marketing

2.  Pitching your idea at the right time

If you are pitching a product to investors, make sure that you already have a prototype and enough information to convince them that it’s a good idea. If you’re trying to secure funding for a service you’ll be offering, make sure that you have done the necessary market research beforehand. If you only have an idea to show, and nothing else, it will be difficult for people to have full confidence in the success of your business. Make sure you’re ready to show them that confidence is exactly what they should have.


3.  Embracing the “boring stuff” as essential

While doing the proper paperwork (and maybe learning along the way) might not be the most “fun” part of the job, it’s absolutely imperative to the process. Instead of bemoaning this part, try to see it as a way to prove just how much this business means to you.

Woman looking over a stack of paperwork. Horizontal shot. Isolated on white.

4.  Employing diversity and versatility

Having both diversity and versatility in the office (or other workspaces) is key to the success of your business. Diversity in age, race, gender, and ethnicity are proven to add to the creativity and problem-solving of a business. As well as employees being versatile as a team, each employee should also be versatile in their own skill set—it’s important that, if necessary, employees are able to do more than just one specific job for the business.


5.  Adaptability and willingness to change

This one is especially important. This goes along with numbers 1 and 2. Being flexible on your idea, instead of closed off to criticism or suggestions, is what will ensure the most success for your business. This is important both before and after you start up; if something isn’t going well, don’t stick to it just because it’s part of the plan—you must adapt and be willing to change tactics.


6.  Getting help when you need it

Even though you’re starting your own business, this doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. If you feel like you could use the help of an accountant, this might be the best thing you can do for yourself. It will take the stress of accounting off of your shoulders, and ensure that it gets done properly.


Starting a business isn’t always a walk in the park. But with these tips for success, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

5 Ways to Give Your Ordinary Business the Simple Twist it Needs

If you think that the option of starting a business that’s  environmentally-conscious is limited to those who live for the outdoors or make solar-powered cars, think again. Just about any business can be made into a “green” business—all it takes is using the right products or outlook. Here are six great business ideas that add an environmental twist that can make a big difference for both your business and the planet.

1. Green construction

Instead of sourcing building supplies from your average retailer, you can build with recycled materials, such as recycled carpetrecycled tires or airplane windshields for flooring and tile, and low- or no-VOC paint.

2. Green cleaning service

Many everyday cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that are not good for the environment (or people). Using cleaning products that don’t have unnecessary toxic chemicals goes a long way for everyone’s health—and sometimes, it’s as simple as swapping in baking soda and vinegar instead.


3.  Sustainable bags 

If you own any type of business that utilizes plastic bags for customers, you can offer customers a 10¢ discount if they either use their own bags or no bags at all. Alternatively, you can let them decide to take the discount or donate those 10¢ to an environmental charity (or non-environmental charity—the reduction in bag use will still benefit the environment)!

In this photo taken Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, a plastic shopping bag liters the roadside in Sacramento, Calif. In an effort to reduce the cluttering of California, in 2006 the state Legislature passed a law requiring grocery stores and other large retailers to give consumers an easy way of returning used bags. Seven years later it's virtually impossible to know how the law it working. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

4. Organic and non-GMO foods

If you own (or want to start) a business in the food industry, it’s always important to figure out where to source your foods. Using foods that are organic and/or non-GMO means that they most likely weren’t subject to huge amounts of herbicides and synthetic pesticides that stay on our foods and leach into our water, contributing to the development of “super weeds” that are increasingly harder and harder to contain.

5. Sustainable clothing

While not something that many people think about, the (lack of) sustainability in the clothing industry is, upon closer inspection, quite startling. Most clothing is either made from cotton, the one of the most pesticide-intensive plants in the world, or some sort of synthetic blend, which is derived from petrochemicals. However, using fabric derived from eco-friendly alternatives such as organic cotton, bamboo, and even recycled plastic, are all great (and increasingly popular) choices.

How to Start a Trucking Business in Florida


Are you thinking about starting your own trucking business in Florida?

Before you get started, let us answer these commonly asked questions for you.

Do I need to incorporate (or form an LLC) for my business?

Forming a legal business entity is imperative to the future success and safety of your company. This ensures that you have personal liability protection, meaning your personal assets are legally separate from your business assets. Incorporating or forming an LLC gives more validity and trustworthiness to your name, and also ensures that you have the rights to that business name within your state.

What type of business should I form?

While it is ultimately your decision whether or not you want to form a corporation or LLC, there are pros and cons of both:

Because of the flexibility and tax benefits of an LLC, it may make more sense for a trucking business to go with this option; however, it is perfectly possible to form a corporation as well.

Where should I form my business?

There are many options for where to establish your business. This post gives a quick outline on the pros and cons of incorporating in different places.

However, it is possible that your trucking business may be required to have a registered agent in each of the states it either operates in and/or drives through. This video outlines everything you need to know about a registered agent:

What’s next?

First, you’ll need to check with the Secretary of State to see if your business name is available. Then you’ll need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, find and appoint your Registered Agent(s), and prepare your Articles of Incorporation along with the required Florida state fees ($78.75 for a corporation, and $130 for an LLC).

If you need any help incorporating or forming an LLC for your trucking business, Direct Incorporation can help you with all of the above and more, such as logo and website design. Visit our website or call 1-877-281-6496 for more information.

The Only Thing You Need to Know In Order to Stop Procrastinating

Rachael, Direct Incorporation Staff

If you are a chronic procrastinator, this TED talk by Tim Urban might hit close to home. While most articles and videos out there about “how to beat procrastination” offer advice on how to be more productive, or offer ineffective motivational quotes, Urban looks at procrastination from a different perspective. Instead of trying to force motivation upon us, he simply leaves us with a different, if not sobering, way to think about the procrastination in our lives. It’s still up to each of us to motivate ourselves to start whatever we’re procrastinating on, but his perspective makes this step (the part where you finally get started) seem less of a burden and more a form of empowerment.

The basis of Urban’s talk is that all people have a little person in their brain called the “Rational Decision Maker.” It helps us make decisions based on things like our future and what’s best for us. Procrastinators, however, are also host to another brain creature: the Instant Gratification Monkey.



The Instant Gratification Monkey is pretty self-explanatory: it seeks instant gratification from what is fun and easy, rather than motivating us to do what will give us long-term success and happiness. The Rational Decision Maker has no power over the Instant Gratification Monkey, no matter how rational its arguments against it are. The Monkey, free to take the wheel in our brain, takes us to what Urban calls the “Dark Playground.”



This is where, instead of completing a task, we avoid it by doing things that are physically or emotionally easier. Instead of starting a project, we check our email for the fortieth time today, we go grocery shopping, or maybe we just take a nap instead. Yet, instead of being fun or relaxing (which the Instant Gratification Monkey is seeking), the Dark Playground is only full of guilt, self-loathing, and even helplessness. There is only one thing in the world that can override the Instant Gratification Monkey: the Panic Monster.



The Panic Monster only arrives when a deadline is approaching, or there is impending risk of public embarrassment or disapproval. The Panic Monster is the only thing that makes the Instant Gratification Monkey run away and leaves the Rational Decision Maker to take back the control and frantically do whatever task needs to be done. Most of the time, this works out. Crunch time will inevitably be stressful and will potentially involve one or more all-nighters for the procrastinator. But in the end, the procrastinator gets the job done.

There’s only one problem.

Sometimes, the things we want to do don’t involve deadlines. There’s no big, scary Procrastination Monster to scare us into action. We dream about writing a book, or starting a business, or learning a new language. But the Instant Gratification Monkey keeps hold of the wheel because he can. He has nothing to worry about, and he knows it.

But the thing is, now we know he’s there. You know he’s there. In his blog, Urban defines procrastination as “The act of ruining your life for no apparent reason.”

Don’t let procrastination define you. Now that you understand what’s going on inside your head, you have the power to change it. It’s as good a time as ever to take the first step.

(Listen to Urban’s talk here. It’s worth it).