Domain & Social Check
First you want to avoid choosing a business name where the domain maybe taken if you do not have the capital to purchase the asking price for the domain.
Check availability of usernames on every major platform you plan to use so the name/ownership does not get taken even if you do not plan to use them initially.
Secure the domain right away it is only $12 & we recommend google domains (link) as you also get a free SSL certificate and can be managed with your google account (assuming everyone has a google account nowadays).
Legal – File for entity
Next you’d want to file for the business entity (corporation, llc, etc.) through your state where you plan to file. Whether that is through your attorney or a service like LegalZoom.com (link).
You may also want to go to your local city office to obtain a business license depending on your county laws as every county is different and some require you to have a business license to operate in that city
Tax ID# / EIN
Next you want to get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) also known as a TAX ID. This you can pay a CPA a fee or attorney to apply for you or you can apply online yourself (link) if you are looking to save money)
Opening business accounts
Now that you have your Entity filed most banks require the Articles of Incorporation also call Articles of Organization to open business accounts in addition to the EIN. We’d also recommend you open a savings account which usually comes with a business checking we recommend a large bank like Bank of America (link) alternate options are chase (link) Wells Fargo (link)
As the bigger banks are more sophisticated when it comes to keeping up with the latest technology to streamline cash flows, deposits, receiving funds quicker etc. a common misconception is that it will be comingled with your personal accounts which is not the truth as the business is treated as a separate entity. It is like a completely different person opening the account and you will find a convenient to have your business accounts at the same bank as personal as opposed to going to a separate bank to open business accounts. If you have all your personal accounts at a smaller bank we’d recommend a bigger bank that you will find streamlines your operations enough to save you a ton of time and headaches and this much outweighs the convenience of having both personal and business accounts at a local bank. Unless of course you are very very far from a big bank branch where you’d have to drive hours to get to.
Accepting credit/debit card Payments
Next you’d want to setup an account with a merchant company so that all your incoming & outgoing payments/purchases can start flowing through a business account this makes accounting less of a headache when tax time comes and you’re CPA may be very grateful.