Business Name Registration
Some counties have a business name registration ordinance. In Brown County, you may register your
business name, but it is not required. Business who choose to use a name other than their full given name may
wish to register with the County Clerk's office, Register of Deeds for Brown County (920) 448-4470, to clarify
who the principal operator of that business is. If you use your full personal name for the business, this process
would be unnecessary.
If you are a sole proprietor or have a general partnership, check with the Secretary of State at 608.266.5653 to learn if a name has already been register, register your business name, or to apply for a Mark/Trademark.
If you are a limited partnership, corporation, etc., call the Department of Financial Institutions at 608.261.7577, press 5, to learn if a name has already been registered. The Department of Financial Institutions, (formerly part of the Secretary of State Office.) Visit: http://www.wdfi.org to search the Corporate Registration Information System (CRIS) and/or download forms.
There is a $15 fee to register with the state. Registering is not required but it puts your name on file. It does not incorporate a business nor does it provide employer identification numbers, state or federal. It does not put your business on file with the Department of Revenue.
Business Owners Toolkit - http://www.toolkit.com/
Basic business forms, templates and checklists that you can download to your computer and customize to your needs.
Business Plan Samples - http://www.bplans.com/
Features articles about business planning. Designed to sell their software product, but contains useful free information.
Business Wizard – http://www.wisconsin.gov/state/index.html
Provides customized information to help you start and operate a Wisconsin-based business. Also covers licensing, permitting and regulatory requirements for the State of Wisconsin.
Delphion - http://www.delphion.com/
Access to patent information along with tools to help you use patent information.
Employer Identification Number –
The new Web-based EIN Assistant instantly processes requests and generates Employer Identification Numbers in real time. Simply answer the questions and receive your EIN immediately after the information is validated. You can download and print the EIN confirmation notice.
Export Information –
In an effort to help small businesses with their exporting questions, the Federal Government has provided this website.
Health Department Inspection
Businesses that involve the sale of food or lodging (and hair salons) will generally have health inspection
requirements. These may be determined by consulting the State Division of Health or the local county Health Department, which is often the enforcement body for state health regulations and inspections. The Wisconsin
Division of Health Environmental Sanitation Unit phone number is 608.266.2835. The Brown County Health Department phone number is 920.448.6400.
SBA Online – www.sbaonline.sba.gov
If you’re starting a small business, looking for financing or other help, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) contains a wealth of resources for businesses.
SBDCNET – http://sbdcnet.org/
Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse (SBDCNET) serves as a resource dedicated to meeting the information needs of SBDC counselors and clients. Services include a database of forms, documents, brochures and promotional materials; secondary market research data; demographic information location; site location analysis; business plans and financial ratio information; basic patent and trademark searches; pertinent business articles, e-commerce, market research, rural business and site location training.
SBIR/STTR Grants – exed.wisc.edu/sbdc/technology/default.asp
The UW-Madison Technology Business Development Institute of the Small Business Development Center has produced two free videos on acquiring SBIR/STTR grants.
An introduction to acquiring SBIR/STTR grants with Pat Dillon, WEN (Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Network) Regional Director. Dillon has been a SBIR reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture, and was the Principal Investigator of an Office of Naval Research contract for the first ever SWIFT Tour (5-State SBIR Road Tour).
Using SBIR/STTR grants to help fund commercialization of technology with Barbara A. Israel, Ph.D. founder and CEO, Echometrix LLC, Madison WI and founder, director and former CEO of Platypus Technologies, LLC. Platypus is privately held and has been awarded $17 million in Federal funds including SBIR/STTR grants.
Seller's Permits - http://www.revenue.wi.gov/
Seller's permits are required of every individual, partnership, corporation, or other organization making retail sales or rentals of tangible personal property or retail sales of taxable services in Wisconsin. In requesting a Seller's Permit, the business must forecast the amount of sales tax liability anticipated. Generally your reporting period will be quarterly unless the Department of Revenue notifies you in writing that your returns must be filed monthly or annually.
Sales to customers in other states may be subject to different tax. Check with the Department of Revenue in that state. Contact the Department of Revenue at 608.266.2776 (Madison)
Social Security - http://www.ssa.gov/
Business owners generally have to file estimated federal income taxes on a quarterly basis. At that time, their Social Security obligations will also be computed by filling out the quarterly estimated tax form. The maximum tax on earnings for 2006 is $94,200. The self-employed rate is 15.3%. An employer and employee each pay 7.65% towards Social Security/Medicare. For further information, call 800.772.1213 or visit their website.
State Withholding Tax ID Number - http://www.revenue.wi.gov/
Almost all businesses selling retail products are required to collect sales tax. Some businesses providing a service also collect sales tax. Wisconsin's sales tax law is that all services are exempt unless specifically listed. Consult the Department of Revenue 608.266.2776 (Madison) or visit their website.
Thomas Register Home Page – www.thomasglobal.com
Thomas Register on the Internet is the world’s largest online industrial buying source. Finding the product, service, or company you need is a snap, since the entire database of the acclaimed Thomas Register or American Manufacturers is available for your use online. You can search through 155,000 companies in the database classified under more than 55,000 product and service headings. Plus, more than 2,300 online supplier catalogs give you 40,000 pages of detailed buying and specifying information. Must complete a registration form (free) to search.
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office – www.uspto.gov
It’s not who invents it - it’s who gets to the Patent Office first that matters. This site offers searchable indexes on patents, legal material, patent resources, trademark and copyright issues, technical information and much more.
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