Register your Business

Set yourself up for success by choosing a smart corporate structure and name

Business Structure

Should you structure your business to be a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation? Where should you incorporate? Learn more about the different structures and which is the right one for you right now.

Get help from SBDC

Non-Profit vs. For-Profit

Are you considering starting a non-profit? Learn more about what is different and what is the same.

Learn about the differences.

Availability of Name

You probably already have a business name in mind, but it may not be available. Find out whether or not your name is taken by checking the New York State Business Name Availability database.

Business Name Availability Database

Register Your Business Name

Registering your company name is an optional step that will help protect the identity of your business. It ensures that similar businesses types can’t register the same name. Registration fees vary based on your type of business, location, and number of employees.

The State of New York registers business entities. You can register online.

Find out more about registering your business with the State of New York.

“Doing Business As” (DBA) Names

If you have chosen a name for your business that is not your legal name (ie “John Doe’s Shoe Repair”) you must, register your DBA with Onondaga County. At the time of this writing, it costs $30 for your DBA. You can print out the application yourself, or pay $1 for a copy at the County Clerk’s Office.

Applying for your DBA is the first piece of paperwork that most business owners will officially file. It's best to finish writing a business plan, planning your finances, and selecting a location before you file. The application isn't free and you'll have to file more paperwork if you want to change your name later.

Visit the Onondaga County DBA page

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

If you hire employees, you must apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number. If your business is a sole proprietorship, a FEIN may be helpful, but is not necessary.

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

On This Page

  • Decide on a business structure
  • Learn about branding
  • Register your business name
  • File for your DBA, if required
  • Apply for an FEIN if you need one