It's been a year now, since I started the online store business with my partners. We have gone through a lot of learn steps. I think it will be useful to put down the processes of starting an online retail business in Arizona. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. I may start a new business again.
These are the brief steps.
- Search availability of the new company name at Arizona corporation commission from the link below.
- Filing the required documents to register the company as s-corporation. If you prefer to start as LLC, you can do so by choose different corporation type and fee schedule.
- Download the filing forms from the link below
- Covert Sheet
- Articles of Incorporation for Domestic Corporations
- Certificate of Disclosure for Business Corporations
- $95 check write to Arizona Corporation Commission
- If the document is filed with Expedited process ($60 + $35), it will take about a week to get the Article of corporation document return ($5/each). Otherwise, it will take about 55 days.
- Once received the article of corporation, publish the article in 60 days. AZ capital time can complete the whole process for about $91, including mail the published copy to AZ corporation commission. Of course, there are many public newspaper can do it for you. Find the best one for your need.
- Once the process is completed, call IRS.gov to get a new EIN (employee Identify Number)
- Download and file the 2553 S-corporation election form to form the s-corporation
- Apply the Arizona retailer license online at AZTaxes.gov
- Apply a new business check account with bank
- Apply a new business credit card
- Find a good company to buy the startup package (including bylaw, minute book, etc)
- Register the desired domain name at Godaddy.com, which contains reasonable price.
- Find a good hosting company.
- Setup open source shopping cart from Zen-Cart.com. It's FREE!
- Customize the company logo and layout
- Input the products
- Setup Paypal business account and link to the shopping cart (Paypal IPN)
- Get a SSL certification either on your own or with your hosting company. Without SSL, Paypal won't accept your credit card processing request.
The time to complete the entire corporation filing is about a month. Now. It's up to your to run the business. Few notes to remember.
AZ requires to file the tax return monthly. Fedral requires to file tax return quarterly. Do well research on your product supplier. Many drop ship companies charges your extra amount if want to cancel your relationship with them. Also be aware of where the product was made and shipped. If the product is made in China, most likely you can find different shipper carrier the same product with different professional logo design name. You can bargain the price.
To succeeded as online business, your customer services and quality of your products are both important. Ignore your customer's feed will cost you a lot more to recover the damage your did.