Starting Your Own Business?
Office of the Genesee County Clerk
Michael T. Cianfrini, County Clerk
- Build a team of advisors to help you:
- Attorney: to review and produce legal documents, help determine the most effective business structure and to provide general advice.
- Certified Public Accountant - to advise on tax strategies and record keeping.
- Commercial Insurance Agent/Broker - liability coverage and other forms of insurance your business may require.
*SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. They can provide mentors, counseling and workshops at no charge or very low cost through their association with the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) and the use of volunteers. In Genesee County they can be reached at 585/ 343-9550 or www.score.org.
Decide legal structure and file necessary paperwork:
In accordance with New York State General Business Law(Section 130), the County Clerk accepts and files certificates of individuals and partnerships conducting business under an assumed business name. These transactions are commonly referred to as DBA (Doing Business As) filings.
- Sole proprietorship/DBA: An unincorporated business with one owner. It is the owner’s/filer(s) responsibility to review a list "Index to Assumed Business Names" to ensure that the desired name is available. This list is available for public viewing at the information counter of the Genesee County Clerk’s Office. Once the filer is sure the desired name is available, he or she completes one DBA certificate for a sole-proprietorship. All certificates must be originals; copies are not acceptable.
- Partnership/DBA: An unincorporated business with two or more owners. It is the owner’s/filer(s) responsibility to review a list "Index to Assumed Business Names" to ensure that the desired name is available. This list is available for public viewing at the information counter of the Genesee County Clerk’s Office. Once the filer is sure the desired name is available he or she completes one DBA form for a Partnership, all partners should sign. All forms must be originals; copies are not acceptable. It is advisable that you consult with an attorney.
Completed certificates with notarized signatures should be filed with the County Clerk’s Office. (If you have questions about the completion of the form, the clerks can help you.)
County Clerk Staff may notarize completed forms with proper identification. Proper identification is defined as a photo id, which bears a likeness to the filer that includes his/her signature. Some examples of acceptable identification are as follows: valid driver’s license, valid non-driver’s photo I.D., or a valid passport.
The forms are presented to a clerk for filing. The fee is $30.00, which includes the filing, and a certified copy for proof of filing. Banks when opening the business account(s) normally require a certified copy. DBA forms can be mailed to the Clerk’s Office provided there is no conflict in the name chosen, the forms have been notarized, and a $30.00 check or money order made payable to the Genesee County Clerk is enclosed.
NOTE: The law requires that DBA certificates contain specific language. Forms may be purchased in the Genesee County Clerk’s Office at the cost of $1.00 per form. Forms are also available at some stores, which carry legal stationery or business supplies. A filer may also consult with an attorney to draw-up the appropriate forms, particularly if filing a partnership.
- Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLC's): These entities are formed through the Department of State, not with the County Clerk. If your corporation or LLC intends to do business under a name different from that listed on the formation documents, a "Certificate of Assumed Name" should be filed with the Secretary of State in Albany (518-473-2492). It is advisable to have a lawyer prepare and file the necessary documentation for you.
||Small Business Development Center(SBDC)
|Free start-up counseling:
assessment of financing options,
guidance in producing a business plan,
and marketing advice.
||NYS Department of Taxation
||Obtain a Sales Tax Kit and Sales Tax ID#
||NYS Business Permit Assistance Program
||The NYS Business Permit Assistance Program is a resource that helps prospective business owners determine their permits and licenses needed to operate a business in New York. Use their an interactive website to help determine your New York State permit and licenses requirements at www.opal.ny.gov.
||Obtain information regarding local permits and licenses.
If you plan to operate a business in your home,
be sure you are not in violation of a local zoning ordinance(s).
||Obtain information regarding federal taxes and federal
employer identification number. If you are forming a
corporation or a partnership, or if you plan to hire employees,
you must file for an Employer Identification Number(EIN),
using IRS form SS-4. If you are a sole-proprietorship with no
employees you may use your own social security number on
federal tax forms. Stop at Your local IRS Office or call for the
appropriate paperwork. If you plan to hire employees, obtain
an EIN by contacting the IRS. Once you return the completed
form you will receive the forms that you are required to submit
to the federal government.
||NYS Department of Labor
||If you plan to hire employees,
find out about your Obligations to NYS unemployment.
||NYS Dept. of Taxation & Finance
||Regarding forms for NYS withholdings.
Also, check the FICA requirements.
Compensation & Disability
||NYS Law requires that you obtain Worker’s Compensation
& Disability Insurance coverage for your employees.
||Corporation filing (s) with NYS
||When starting a corporation: These papers are filed through
the NYS Department of State. Religious Corporations may be filed with the Genesee County Clerk’s Office. It is
recommended that you work through an attorney if you wish
to incorporate. For forms and more information, contact the
Department of State, Division of corporation and state
records, 162 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12231
(518-473-2492). State incorporation forms can also be
purchased at some Local stationary & legal form stores.
||Consider opening a business checking account:
Maintain this account separate from your personal account.
The bank will require a stamped, certified DBA certificate or a copy of your
incorporation papers with your corporate seal affixed. Tax ID# may be required.
||Arrange for a business telephone line to be installed.
By doing this you will be entitled to a business yellow pages listing.
Consider an answering machine or answering service for
calls that come in during your absence.