Web based service business

MdcnMnMdcnMn subscriber Posts: 10
edited January 2009 in Business Planning
I`d like to start an online business, do I need to have a business name? register my business with the state? Need a business license?  Now for some background.
The website I will be starting is more of a service based business model.  Initially I do not plan on making any money.  My year 1 goal is to market my website and build traffic.  Once I have credible "traffic", I plan to sell Ad space...which will be my main revenue source...from the website that is. 

As far as the website is concerned, it will be a tool for most consumers.  It will allow them to save time, and perhaps money, without too much of an effort.  Obviously I do not want to disclose more details at this point. 
Any advice will be very much appriciated.


  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    i`d suggest you select a name that is not overly descriptive so that it can be registered with USPTO and not as easily copied.  For example, a good brand name for tissue is "Charmin" instead of "soft" since all tissue is hopefully soft.
  • MdcnMnMdcnMn subscriber Posts: 10
    I think I need to claify my question.  I will have a business name, but my question was that since its a website, do I have to register it with the state?  Or can I just simply start a website and not worry about any legal issues with the state (i.e. IRS)? 
    I do plan on making money, but I feel that the Ad space on the website may not hold value if I do not have any traffic.
  • robertjrobertj Tampa Bay, Floridasubscriber Posts: 0 Member
    First of all the IRS is a Federal Agency. Regardless of the name - they will expect you to account for any income. Depending upon where you reside, your State may have the same "expectation".  Also, your State may be "interested" in sales tax- if you sell anything.
    If  you want to do business (receive money, pay bills, etc)  under a name (other than your own) you will have to do something - because Banks want "proper documentation" in order to set up a bank account under a business name.
    If your name is Joe Smith, you can operate a sole proprietorship as "Joe Smith Company" - using your own SS number for all tax purposes. If you want to "operate" as a sole proprietorship under any other name - you`ll need to file for a DBA. Usually this is done at the local  (county) level.
    robertj1/7/2009 12:28 PM
  • MdcnMnMdcnMn subscriber Posts: 10
    robertj -- what is a "DBA"?
  • robertjrobertj Tampa Bay, Floridasubscriber Posts: 0 Member
    DBA = Doing Business As.
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