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Doing the tough things - register as a business

I put this off forever and wanted to share the simple and short steps I was able to take.

You know those things you have to do that just seem so hard, and you dread doing it because you think it'll take forever and drain you? Well, that's how I felt about registering as a sole-proprietor and getting all my documents squared away. I had built up registering as a business with the as this HUGE thing that would be hard and time consuming.  

Well, it turns out this isn't difficult OR time-consuming.

I set aside an entire afternoon and evening to get it done. Guess what, it took less than two hours (including travel time!) and less than $150.

For others who need to know how to register as a fictitious business (aka DBA), get an EIN, and get liability insurance, here are the simple steps I took.

*Please note I am not a lawyer and this post should not take the place of proper legal advice. These are simply the steps that I took to register in the city of San Diego. Consult your city and county's sites to ensure you follow the correct steps for you and your business*

⚠️ The order of steps matters; nothing should come before step 1.

✔️ Register as a Fictitious Business (aka DBA): Go in person to the County Clerks office - I went to 1600 Pacific Hwy #260, San Diego, CA 92101. (If you aren't in San Diego, find your local office.) You can find info on the website where you can technically do the whole thing, but everyone HIGHLY suggests you go in person as it’s so much easier. 

  • Before you go, confirm that the name you want to use is not already in use by checking this unofficial index

  • The fee to register is $40 and there’s a small surcharge to use a credit or debit card. 

📣 PUBLISH/ANNOUNCE: When you leave the office they will give you a long list of publications that you can go through to meet the requirement of announcing your business 4 times within a certain timeframe. You can ask the person who helps you what they recommend but I went to and 10 minutes and $15 later, I could check that off the list. 

💵 GET AN EIN: As a sole-proprietor you will need to get an EIN for taxes (I know, taxes 🙄. It’s a fairly simple online form but YOU NEED YOUR DBA # from when you registered with the city (step 1). There are some penalties if you do this before you register I was told, which is why the order of steps you take matters! 

You could stop here, but I am a risk-averse person and wanted to cover all my bases so I went ahead with liability insurance.

📑 There are varying levels of coverage, but I promise it’s MUCH less expensive that you would think. And much less expensive than a lawsuit 🤷🏽‍♀️ I was recommended to use Hiscox and it was super simple to go through the application process online and you get coverage immediately. 

In total this really did take me less than two hours and cost less than $150.

Now, Treat yo self! You did the thing that was giving you so much grief.

While this is specific to a certain task, if you’re facing something that seems huge or daunting, it will serve you to break out each step simply like this, gathering the resources you need along the way.
It’ll either show you that it’s not as big as you thought, or if it is a bigger thing, it’ll give you all the steps you need to start and come back until you finish. Plus, it feels so good to check things off! 

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