A Step-by-Step Guide to Register your E-Commerce Business

Posted by Ma. Jessica Paula Florita
Feb 16, 2022
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As an entity providing services or products to consumers, it is your legal obligation to register your e-commerce to acquire the licit rights to operate and be protected against potential lawsuits. 


How to register e-commerce business in USA  

1. Identify your legal structure

This is the primary step to registering your e-commerce company. 

The category your business falls under will dictate your legal and financial obligations permanently. Here are the types of e-commerce business structures you should know:

  1. Sole Proprietorship or Partnership 
  2. Limited Liability Corporation 
  3. Corporation 
  4. S Corporation

All requirements, taxes, and liabilities have their respective benefits and drawbacks so consider consulting a lawyer or a professional when selecting the best option for your business.

2. Register by state 

There are variations in taxation when it comes to state levels, but if you're a sole proprietor or in a general partnership, there's no need to register by state- unless you're filing a DBA to operate under a business name.

Take note that you should register at the state where you formed the business, and you need to qualify or register as a foreign business entity at the state where you plan to offer your products/ services.  

You should also have a unique business name to avoid infringement of other business trademarks. You can check it on the US Trademark Database.

3. Register locally

On a local level, permits are the main focus. These documents are what legalize your operations within your city and your state.

Do you need a license for e-commerce? Yes. In fact, there are different licenses to obtain before your company is up and running.

  1. Business Operation License 
  2. Home Occupation Permit 
  3. Occupational License 
  4. Seller's Permit 
  5. Sales Tax License

4. Applying for Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The EIN or Employer Identification Number is the equivalent of a social security for your e-commerce. The IRS issues this for tax and reporting purposes and is also required by most financial institutions before opening a business account.


When you register an e-commerce business nowadays, the process is evidently more attainable compared to brick-and-mortar companies. In addition, when you do so, it gives a guarantee of full compliance as your operations scale over time. 

Let us help you get your e-commerce entity in the right footing. D&V Philippines offers e-commerce finance and accounting solutions to startups who want to stay on top of their finances. You can grab our copy of our guide D&V Philippines Finance & Accounting Solutions for E-Commerce Businesses to know more about our specialized solutions or contact us today for a free consultation. 


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