Having a business normally requires certain legal responsibilities, whether you are in the United States of America or elsewhere. Wherever you are located, you will need to seek legal council or your local government agencies for advice in setting up registrations for your business.

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In the US, you can create your business as a sole-proprietor, LLC, or corporation. We are not going to tell you which option to choose, but we recommend the book LLC or Corporation: How to Choose the Right Form for Your Business by Anthony Mancuso as a good resource to get you started. Our recommendation is that you make an appointment with your local Chamber of Commerce office, CPA, or attorney to determine which option is right for you. However, we can give you some resources to get started:

The Small Business Administration (SBA)

If you haven’t checked them out yet, your local SBA office can give you free advice as to which types of licenses are required to do business in your area. Their website also provides a host of information to help you get started, maintain, and thrive as a business. To find the SBA office nearest you, visit


SCORE is an organization consisting of volunteer retired executives. Their advice and free business consulting is invaluable for small business owners. We offer mentors, how-to resources, templates, training and workshops to help your small business succeed. They can also walk you through marketing techniques and strategies, daily business activities, and more. Visit for more information.

Sales Tax

In the US, most states have a local sales and use tax. Whether you choose a subsidy press, traditional publisher, or if you self-publish, you are required to obtain a sales and use tax certificate. You are responsible to collect sales tax for ANY direct sales of your books. Usually sales and use taxes are filed quarterly, and many states have an online filing option. Some states charge a small one-time filing fee, so call your state registrar’s office to find out how to get your tax certificate. You should be able to find the proper contact information on your state’s website or in the phone book.

Other Various Registrations and Activites

While you are getting your business set up, you may want to do one or more of the following:

  • Obtain a business license, if one is necessary. You may need to register a DBA (Doing Business As), Fictitious Name, or Assumed Name). Check with your state or local government for information on how to file.
  • Look into trademarking your business name and/or logo. This can be done at the State or Federal level.
  • Get a small business checking account.
  • Obtain a Post Office Box.
  • Find a CPA to consult for tax advice.
  • Find an attorney or purchase a Pre-Paid Legal membership for legal advice for your business.

Setting up a business for your published works is a detailed process. The information given here may not represent all of the requirements necessary in setting up your business. offers a wide range of publishing services and several affordable packages depending on your needs.