There are certain, fundamental steps you must take in order to build your new business on a solid foundation, a foundation built on Bedrock!
The 1st step is choosing what type of legal entity you will be conducting your business under. The minute you decide to go into business the IRS gives you a default classification of Sole Proprietor which is the worst way to conduct any business. Most small businesses should be incorporated and elect to be treated as an “S” Corporation.
For a detailed explanation of business structures visit Business Structures by Joe DiChiara
Once you determine which is the most suitable structure for your business you either:
A: Accept being a sole proprietor which means you can use your own name to do business under and accept all of the legal and tax consequences that go along with it or:
B: Form a legal business entity through your own state's Department of State office. Here is a link to all of the states business divisions. This is where you can incorporate, form an LLC, download forms, etc. Each state has valuable information on their sites about conducting business in their state.