Starting a Business

Starting a business isn’t that tough, although it can seem daunting to do at first. My business partners and I started our company, Telaeris, Inc., as a California C-Corporation. I thought it might be helpful to others to see the tasks we completed to get up and running. As I find more things that I think we need to get up and running, I will add them to this post. Most of this could all be set up in one day after the certified articles of incorporation are received, had we only known what to do….

1. Set up Articles of Incorporation ($115)
A certified Articles of Incorporation is the most useful piece of paper a corporation can have! Google the requirements and walk the application into the office in San Diego at 1350 Front street. It took three weeks for us to get certified.

2. File our business with the California Secretary of State. ($25)
This was done entirely on-line and was quite painless.

3. Get a Federal Employees Identification Number (FEIN)
This was able to be completed over the phone. It required the information for form SS-4
But you are able to call their friendly (truly!) service line at (800)829-4933 and get the EIN the same day.

For the following parts, you need to have already completed the prior tasks and must have the following information:

  1. Certified Articles of Incorporation with Corporation Number
  2. Federal Employers ID (FEID)
  3. Current officers information (SSN/Driver’s License #/Secondary ID) and signatures

4. Get a California Seller’s Permit (free)
I downloaded the form from the state of CA website, filled it out and walked this down to the office at 1350 Front Street, suite 5047. It took two hours of waiting and talking to the agent, which was much better than the 3 weeks estimated time for the mail process.

5. File with the EDD to get an Employer Account Number (also called Tax ID #)
I just needed to fill out form DE1. Again, I did this over the phone, saving much time and hassle.
They gave me the form right away and promised to send a useful users manual right away.

6. Get a bank account
After searching for banks, we decided to use Union Bank (619-682-5160). They had a special that was better than pretty much every other bank I talked with. It included:

  • Business Checking – free for life, Savings only requires $300 minimum balance
  • ATM/Visa/MC Card
  • Internet banking with bill pay
  • Good Wire Transfer prices (Int – $26 out) (Dom – $30) (Rec. – $15)
  • Ability to open lines of credit
  • ACH Fraud protection
  • Merchant payment services through NOVA – rates are variable
  • Opening Balance $100 checking / $50 saving
  • Insta-Tax solutions partnerships
  • ADP/Paycheck partnerships

7. Employee Hiring

We had to have our employees fill out form W-4 so we knew how much to withhold from our employee’s salary.
And we had to have them fill out the I-9 form from then U.S. Citizen & Immigration Services to verify that he can legitimately work in the US.

We have to keep on file information showing that our employees can legally work in the US.

8. Employee Payroll

We looked at a number of Payroll services. Our expertise is in engineering – having to work on payroll is truly a distraction that keeps us from efficiently doing our business. Here’s how we evaluated the services. We finally went with Paychex as it included all the flexible pay options (checks, direct deposit), while ADP sent overnighted checks.
$63/month includes payroll processing ($42), overnight delivery ($12), tax filing ($9) $49/year for producing all W2’s and 1099’s Total annual: $805
$76/month includes payroll processing, flexible pay package, and taxpay (per period tax filings, and end of year returns) Total annual: $912
Quickbooks Enhanced Payroll Plus:
$34/month includes all the calcs for federal and state taxes, and worker’s comp. Prints tax forms like W2’s, but doesn’t file anything for you. (or $399 annually)
Quickbooks Assisted Payroll:
$79/month – this is like ADP and Paychex.

Update: We now use Intuit Payroll – 8/9/2016

9. Accounting

We purchased Quickbooks for Small Businesses (2005) to help with accounting. Amazon also gave us $130.00 in rebates which was nice. But to get $100 of the rebate, I had to purchase Quickbooks 3.0 from E-Bay for $11 to get the upgrade deal – seemed like a good deal to me.

10. DUNS number

The DUNS number is used for companies working on government projects and is a pre-requisite for applying for 8-A or SDB certification.

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