Do you need to register your business?

When deciding whether or not to register your business, there are many considerations. Most importantly, you need to protect your personal assets from the liability that could come from a business. Here are some characteristics of each:

 Sole ProprietorshipGeneral PartnershipLLCS CorpC Corp
Owners don’t have to be U.S. citizens or residents.YesYesYesYes
Owners can report business profit/loss on their personal tax returns.YesYesYesYes
Ownership not required to hold annual meetings.YesYesYes
Owners permitted to distribute special allocations according to guidelines.YesYes
Business may have an unlimited number of owners.YesYesYes
Owners have limited liability for business debts & obligations.YesYesYes
Business duration can be perpetual.YesYesYes
Business may be owned by another business vs. individuals.YesYes
State-level registration usually protects the company name.YesYesYes
Business may issue shares of stocks to investors.YesYes
Business owners can split profit and loss with the business for a lower overall tax rate.Yes
Sole ProprietorshipGeneral PartnershipLLCS CorpC Corp

What type of business is best for you?

Sole proprietorship – If you don’t file as a LLC or a corporation, you are by default a sole proprietorship. Your business trades under your name (or a DBA – Doing Business As) and your social security number. In Rush County, you need to register your sole proprietorship with the county clerk.

LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) – The simplest method of separating and protecting your personal assets from the liabilities of your business is forming a LLC. Register your LLC with the state of Indiana at You can register your business yourself or with help from the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center or a business attorney.

C or S Corporation – When people start a C or S corporation, it is often for tax savings. While it may look similar to an LLC, it offers some unique differences. Research the pros and cons by typing “why a corporation instead of a LLC” in an internet search or consult a business attorney.

Should you pursue a partnership for your business?

Many businesses fail or are severely hampered by partners who can’t get along or work together. A well-crafted, detailed operating agreement can solve or prevent a multitude of problems, including income distribution, work hours, job responsibilities, and relationship issues. If you are considering any type of partnership, an operating agreement is highly recommend. It may be the most important thing you do in the starting or expansion of your business. Find business operating agreement templates online or ask your East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center business advisor to help you think through an appropriate operating agreement.

What permits and licenses are required?

Federal Employer Identification number (EIN) and/or State Identification number

These numbers are required for most businesses. Follow the links below to apply for the respective identification numbers.

Federal State

Registering your businesses name and registering with the Indiana Department of Revenue

Selecting a business name is one of the first steps of starting a business. Register your business name with the Secretary of State’s office. Next, register your new business with the Indiana Department of Revenue and receive a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate. Additionally, you will need to register with the Department of Workforce Development if you have any employees, even if they are temporary.

Step-By-Step Process

Starting an online business

Online businesses are subject to the same permitting and licensing regulations as brick and mortar buildings.

Business signage

If you’d like a sign for your business, please contact the zoning office.

Rushville Regulations

Serving food

If your business involves serving food, you will need to obtain a Retail Food Establishment Permit from the Rush County Health Department. Begin the application process by contacting the Rush County Health Department at (765) 932-3103.

State licenses and permits

If you plan to sell cigarettes, eggs, lottery tickets, liquor, firearms, or gasoline, you will need to acquire a special license from the State of Indiana. If you will be providing a service, refer to this list of services that require state licenses.

State Licenses

Federal licenses and permits

If your business involves broadcasting, investment advising, drug manufacturing, ground transportation, preparation of meat products, or the manufacturing of tobacco, alcohol, or firearms, you will need to acquire a federal license.

Federal Licenses