IN Business Facts
The state of Indiana reported a total gross state product of $359 billion in 2017. A driving force behind the Hoosier State’s economy is manufacturing and steel production, being the largest steel producer in the nation for over 45 years.
Next to steel production and auto manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, electrical and transportation equipment, chemical products, rubber, petroleum and coal products, and factory machinery are all products that are produced in the Hoosier State.
Major Companies in Indiana
Among the largest corporations in Indiana are Cummins, Anthem, Eli Lilly and Company, Berry Global, Steak ‘n Shake and Zimmer Biomet.
The Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship recently ranked Indianapolis 10th among the 40 largest metro areas in the US, and the state’s low cost of living and talented workforce are a benefit to Indiana startups.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Indiana, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Indiana state databases:
TIP: search misspellings, plurals, variations of spelling, sound-alikes and other versions of your chosen name to be sure it’s not already registered.
Restrictions on Indiana Business Name & Business Purpose
Indiana requires all business names to be distinguishable from other businesses. It also prohibits the following words: Bank, Banker, Banking, Savings, Safe Deposit, Trust, Trustee, Insurance and Credit Union.
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and picked your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Indiana.
How to form an LLC in Indiana
How to Incorporate in Indiana
Considerations when incorporating or forming an LLC in Indiana
TIP: Check our order form to see how long Indiana is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
A Registered Agent is required for every Indiana business. Hire a professional Registered Agent. Many people list their home or business address on the Articles of Organization or Incorporation. This can cause issues because it becomes public record (you’ll get lots of junk mail). A professional Registered Agent will provide their address and forward any important documents to you, this is also convenient if you have to move (you don’t have to file forms or pay fees, just update your address with your agent).
How to File a DBA in Indiana
Ready to register a business in Indiana?
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We can help you identify the necessary forms to obtain your business license.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the county.
LLC: Indiana LLCs are required to file a biennial report (every two years) during the anniversary month of the LLC’s formation.
Corporation: Indiana corporations must file a biennial report (every two years) during the anniversary month in which the corporation was granted authority to do business in the state. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing cost of $30 by mail or $20 online.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most or your ongoing compliance tasks.
Indiana Business Services Division (for Corporation and LLC filings)
302 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indiana Taxation Departments
Indiana Labor and Employment Departments
Indiana Startup Resources
Small Business Administration (SBA) Indiana District Offices
Indiana Legal Statutes
Indiana Chambers of Commerce
INBiz – INBiz is Indiana State’s resource for registering and managing your business.
Indiana Angel Investors
Indiana Business News
IEDC – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is the State of Indiana’s lead economic development agency.
The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) was created to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of small businesses in Indiana, and to help Hoosier entrepreneurs start stronger, grow faster, and work smarter.
Indiana Green Business Program
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