Choosing the legal structure that best suits your business type is a top priority. This decision impacts how much you pay in taxes and your personal liability (i.e. who is legally responsible for debts). This choice must be made prior to registering your business and sometimes even choosing a name.
All businesses – even small ones – that operate in San Francisco must register with the City. You may also need to register or incorporate through the State first, depending on your chosen business structure. This is not a substitute for legal or professional advice.
If you chose a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation (Corp), Limited Partnership (LP), or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) as your business structure you must register or incorporate with the California Secretary of State. This can be accomplished in two steps.
Most businesses must register with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you are not a US citizen, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead.
This is not a substitute for legal or professional advice.