Best Networking Groups for Small Business Owners


April 11, 2024

Best Networking Groups for Small Business Owners

Are you curious about the best networking groups for small business owners?

We looked for all the places a small business owner can network with other entrepreneurs to share knowledge. Whether you’re looking for in-person events or small business communities online, you’ll find a small business group that’s perfect for you as you start or grow your business.

Get ready to learn about the best business networking groups.

UpFlip

We’re creating a business networking and mentorship group to bring together successful business owners, consultants, and prospective business owners to help everyone succeed.

Given we’ve interviewed hundreds of successful business owners and have over a million people who look to us for business insights, we think you’ll love our online networking group. Make sure you’re signed up for updates.

American Marketing Association (AMA)

The American Marketing Association’s membership page on a laptop

Let’s be real here: Every business owner needs to be educated on marketing for business success. One of the best small business networking organizations for marketing is the American Marketing Association.

Network with professional marketers, learn from online and in-person meetups, and get certified on the most updated marketing strategies.

LinkedIn Groups

A tablet with LinkedIn loading=

LinkedIn is a great place to network online, interact with other professionals, and learn skills in your industry. You can join community groups for free or you can subscribe to LinkedIn Premium to get advanced insights and online courses.

Network After Work

The Network After Work community offers four levels of networking opportunities:

  1. Basic: Virtual networking events and three 1-to-1 meetings per month for free.
  2. Connection Builder: For $9 per month or $49 annually, you’ll get in-person networking events, 1:1 community messaging, and masterclasses on marketing and business growth.
  3. Community Builder: The $29 monthly plan includes curated peer groups and member profiles to help small business owners network and improve their business strategies.
  4. Lead Finder: Small business owners can use the $99 monthly plan to help find leads. It includes everything in the lower-level plans and provides contact information to turn professional networking into lead generation.

Meetup

Meetup on a tablet

Meetup is a platform where people can create local meetups and join groups of like-minded people. The networking opportunities are mostly in your physical location (or somewhere you’re visiting). It’s free for both personal and small business networking groups, too (unless you wish to host your own events, in which case, you will need to invest in a paid membership).

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is best known in the event management industry because it helps concert promoters and other event planners manage their ticket sales. Like Meetup, it also has a directory of business events you can check out.

Facebook Groups

Business leaders can network with customers, other business professionals, and vendors in local and industry-specific Facebook online networks. Remember your messaging will need to be slightly different for each group.

Local Trade Associations

There are thousands of local trade associations you can join to improve your business network, improve your knowledge of your field, and meet possible mentors. Check out this directory of associations for some ideas of where you can meet like-minded individuals.

Women in Business

A smartly dressed woman holding a binder and gesturing to a screenshot of Women in Business’s membership page

Women in Business is a networking group that supports women by offering masterclasses, features about your business, mentoring groups, and other materials. Lifetime membership is $397, or you can pay $47 per month.

Local Development Associations

The Small Business Administration provides leadership development through local chapters. Many small business owners find the Small Business Development Centers a valuable resource for learning more about:

  • Business planning
  • Capital investments
  • Exporting
  • Financial management
  • Human resources
  • Marketing
  • New technology
  • Operations
  • Sales
  • Strategy

Chief

Chief is a women’s-only organization of executives and founders of small businesses. Entry requirements vary depending on the size of your organization, your position, and business revenue. Those with fewer than 30 employees need:

  • $2 million in annual revenue
  • Prior experience at larger-sized companies
  • Reporting levels under CEO in previous roles

Chief provides mentor relationships and professional development on inclusionary practices, media interactions, and technology disruption. There are also other networking groups inside the group. Learn more about Chief membership.

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

A screenshot of the National Association for the Self-Employed’s membership benefit webpage

The National Association for the Self-Employed is for self-employed people and offers monthly grants, discounts, business profiles, expert advice on a range of subjects, and even life insurance. They have a variety of plans ranging from $25 annually for students to $540 a year for the most life insurance and other benefits.

Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN)

This international organization helps people who are building businesses understand the entrepreneurial process, including ways to get different types of funding. You also get a member profile and can compete in global awards competitions for business. Check out GEN.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The MBDA helps minorities, women, and formerly incarcerated individuals grow as entrepreneurs by providing access to information, grants, and events. This is a government agency; as such, you may require some assistance to best navigate the resources it offers for entrepreneurs.

Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce Directory page on a desktop computer

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the largest business networking group in the States. The organization has thousands of local Chamber of Commerce groups across the country to help you meet other business owners and develop your business.

SCORE

You’ll benefit from in-person and online networking groups hosted by SCORE, plus you can use the platform to find a mentor and even volunteer opportunities. Check out their site to learn more.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)

Entrepreneurs’ Organization has 18,000 members across 220 local chapters in 78 countries. They offer local and regional events, education, and mentorship. You’ll have to apply and get approved to join the network.

Business Networking International (BNI)

A woman perusing BNI’s website on a laptop

There are over 318,000 people in more than 11,000 local BNI chapters. Members create economic activity equal to $22 billion each year. One of the most notable things about these business networking groups is that they are referral-based, meaning the small business owners who suggest new members are already part of the organization.

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC)

Small business owners under the age of 45 who make over $1 million in revenue, have received more than $1 million in funding, or have sold a business for more than $2 million in the last three years should apply for the Young Entrepreneur Council. You’ll be able to network with other young business professionals who are at the top of their game.

Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA)

If you’re trying to make the world a better place, joining this vetted community shows your business is committed to placing the good of the world over your business profits. There are three membership levels with fees that range from $150 to $275 per year. All the plans get you included in the member database so you can network with other members. Learn more about SEA.

Vistage

Vistage is a mentorship group that is over 65 years old and claims more than 45,000 members and an average of 4.6% increased revenue during 2020. There are applications for guest speakers, chairpeople, sponsors, and licensees as well.

4Networking

If you’re looking to build business networks in the United Kingdom, check out 4N. They have online and local networking groups, plus a free online directory you can use to help your business grow.

Federation of Small Businesses

A business woman holding up FSB’s business banking app on a smart phone

The Federation of Small Businesses is another UK small business group. There are more than 500,000 members and rates range from £97.5 to £1,195 depending on the size of your organization. It gives access to:

  • Business banking
  • Business insurance quotes
  • Debt recovery service
  • Free networking and events
  • Funding
  • Legal, tax, and employment advice
  • Legal templates
  • Payroll and pensions
  • Tax investigation protection
  • Training courses

Consider Volunteering

Organizations like the Rotary Club (focused on doing good in the local community and internationally) and the Kiwanis Club (an international nonprofit organization that helps kids) offer great opportunities for business owners. Contribute to the cause financially or volunteer with a local chapter.

While volunteer events aren’t technically local business networking groups, as a small business owner, they can provide a great opportunity to build your professional network and meet potential clients. Doing good in the community never hurt a small business!

How to Network Effectively

Networking is an essential part of business success. It can help you build relationships, generate leads, and learn from others. Here are a few tips to help you network effectively:

  1. Set goals for your networking activities. What do you hope to achieve by networking? Do you want to generate leads, find a job, or learn about a new industry? Having specific goals in mind will help you focus your efforts and make the most of your time.
  2. Identify your target audience. Who do you want to network with? Potential customers, clients, or referral partners? Once you know your target audience, you can tailor your networking activities accordingly.
  3. Choose the right networking events. There are many different types of networking events, so it’s important to choose the ones that are right for you. Consider the goals of the event, the target audience, and the cost.
  4. Be prepared. Before you attend a networking event, take some time to prepare. This includes researching the other attendees, practicing your elevator pitch, and bringing plenty of business cards.
  5. Be yourself. When you’re networking, it’s important to be yourself. People can spot a fake from a mile away, so don’t try to be someone you’re not. Just be genuine and let your personality shine through.
  6. Listen actively. When you’re talking to someone, really listen to what they have to say. Ask questions and show that you’re interested in their perspective and experience. This will help you build rapport and make a lasting impression.
  7. Follow up after the event. After you attend a networking event, follow up with the people you met. Send them a thank-you note or connect with them on LinkedIn. This will help you stay in touch and build relationships.

Networking can be a great way to grow your business and achieve your goals. By following these tips, you can network effectively and make the most of your time.

Pro Tip: Want to take your business to the next level? In addition to participating in networking events, you might want to commit to a mastermind group, too. New to the idea? Learn what you need to know in our blog on Best Mastermind Groups & Mastermind Pro Tips.

How to Find the Right Small Business Networking Group

A young man in a suit and dark rimmed glasses using a tablet to search for best networking groups

Once you’ve performed the steps from the previous section, there are a variety of terms you can search to find the best networking groups in your area. Try some of these search terms:

  • Business networking groups near me
  • Business networking near me
  • Business clubs near me
  • Business network near me
  • Marketing groups near me
  • Entrepreneur groups near me
  • Small business networking events near me
  • Networking events near me
  • Free networking events near me
  • Networking events today near me
  • Professional networking events near me
  • Networking opportunities near me
  • Networking meetings near me
  • Small business groups near me
  • Local networking events near me

Go Out and Sharpen Your Networking Skills

We’ve provided you with a list of business network groups where you can interact with hundreds of thousands of people. It won’t always come easy building your small business network, but if you follow our networking tips and keep building relationships, you’ll get there.

What networking events for entrepreneurs have you gone to? Did you like them?


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Related articles

Ever wondered what cleaning franchise opportunities are out there? We reviewed the cleaning industry to help you find commercial cleaning services that will help you build a company faster.

Neel Parekh started MaidThis in 2013 when he realized that cleaning companies were operating like they were pre-internet companies. Requests for Airbnb cleaning led him to focus on this niche of the cleaning industry and earned him recognition on the 2022 Top 500 New & Emerging Franchise list.

We’ll discuss the following cleaning franchises to help you decide which one is best for you.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]

Get ready to find out more about how to get a cleaning franchise.

General Cleaning Industry Overview

According to IBIS World, cleaning services is a growing industry. There are three main areas that cleaners operate under:

  • Commercial Cleaning Services: Commonly referred to as janitorial cleaning, these services made over $90 billion in 2022 and are expected to grow to $96.1 billion by 2028. This segment of the industry averages 6.9% profit.
  • Residential Cleaning Services: The housekeeping, maids, and gardening industry made over $30 billion last year and is expected to grow to $33 billion by 2028. This industry has a nearly 52% profit margin.
  • Specialty Cleaning Services: This is a catchall for other services like carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, power washing, and window washing. These add up to around $10 billion in revenue, and profits vary.

That means cleaning is a nearly $130 billion industry. You should also be aware that customers expect green cleaning services to be offered in all types of buildings.

Office space, retail stores, medical facilities, and even homeowners are becoming more aware of hospital-grade disinfectants and HEPA vacuums. So there are a lot of evolving industry trends.

Despite all the changes, Queen Bee Cleaning Services Owner Cristobal Mondragon told us:

[su_quote] There’s no better time to get into the cleaning business![/su_quote]

Check out our interview with him below.

[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Iip7BHXwg"]

How much does a cleaning franchise make?

Cleaning franchises can make up to $3.25 million annually based on the information disclosed on their various websites. Merry Maids disclosed the highest revenue statistic. Every franchise for cleaning business operations is different, but some share their numbers on their websites.

All cleaning companies should disclose how much their franchises make in their Financial Disclosure Document. If they don’t, run! That means they don’t have a proven track record (and are breaking franchising laws). Next, we’ll answer how much a cleaning franchise costs.

How much does a cleaning franchise cost?

Chris Mondragon holding cash and cleaning supplies

Cleaning companies franchise their business operations to small business owners for an initial franchise fee ranging from about $1,000 to $100K. The differences are impacted by:

  1. Local market potential
  2. Reputation of the brand
  3. Size of the zone
  4. Corporate greed
  5. Master vs. Service franchise
  6. How much assistance the corporate office provides

In addition, you’ll have initial costs to other suppliers that may bring the total cost to buy franchise cleaning businesses up to $250,000. I know that’s a huge range, but many cleaning franchises are less than $100K for a recognized brand.

Can I Buy a Cleaning Franchise Under $1,000?

No, you can’t start a cleaning franchise for under $1,000 in most locations. That said, if you are considering franchising a cleaning business for under $1,000, there are some companies that will allow a down payment of as little as $1,000 to start your own business using their brand recognition. Options include:

We’ll cover all of these and more before you finish this article. First, we want to introduce you to the MaidThis cleaning franchise.

Our #1 Cleaning Franchise Brand: MaidThis

As a franchise owner, you’ll be operating a cleaning franchise that focuses on residential and Airbnb cleaning. You’ll mostly be focused on growing the business and supporting your team using the best processes in the cleaning industry.

• Initial License Fee: $35K
Other Startup Costs: $12.6K to $31.6K
Total Expenses: $47.6K to $66.55K
Royalty Fees: 6%
Advertising: 2%

This cleaning franchise opportunity is relatively rare. Finding a franchise where you can work completely remotely is amazing. Given most states don’t already have a franchise, it’s even better.

Hear Neel’s story below.

[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVyLriqFVdc"]

We’ve partnered with Neel to provide you a unique opportunity to start a remote cleaning company. He’ll even give you $6,000 off the marketing when you sign up through our link. Request information from MaidThis.

Neel explained the most important thing he does to grow his business answering the phone:

[su_quote]Our close rate when we answer the phone is over 60%, but if we don’t it drops down to 16.7%. That’s why we use an AI text messaging system to make sure we close as many clients as possible.[/su_quote]

Next, we introduce another completely unique option: the Upflip Cleaning Business Blueprint.

The UpFlip Cleaning Business Blueprint

The UpFlip Cleaning Business BluePrint is a comprehensive program developed in collaboration with Cristobal Mondragon.

With a history of founding Queen Bee Cleaning Services and achieving an impressive annual revenue exceeding $1 million, Chris shares his proven strategies for entrepreneurial triumph. This exceptional package encompasses:

  1. A 10-module comprehensive course
  2. Your personalized website and SEO
  3. Pre-designed marketing and sales scripts
  4. Templates for Google Local Service Ads
  5. An Airbnb client booking handbook
  6. Specialized review software
  7. Ongoing mentorship throughout your cleaning business launch and operations

In essence, we provide you with the full spectrum of resources synonymous with a cleaning business franchise, all without the burden of royalties. This translates to substantial cost savings, enabling you to embrace entrepreneurship and become the master of your own enterprise.

We’ve broken the rest of this blog into sections based on the three major cleaning segments. We’ll start with residential cleaners.

Residential Cleaning Franchises

Two commercial cleaners with supplies

Want to know how to start a cleaning franchise? Start by considering a residential cleaning company like these:

  1. The Maids
  2. Two Maids (and a Mop)
  3. You’ve Got Maids
  4. Molly Maid
  5. Merry Maids
  6. Maid Right

#2. The Maids: Top-Ranked Cleaning Company by Entrepreneur

The Maids, an official partner of Mr. Clean, offers residential and small business cleaning services. Franchise operators who want to join this proven business model need to pay:

Initial License Fee: $12.5K
Additional Fees at Signing: $32K to $80K
Other Startup Costs: $10K to $33K
3 Months Operating Expenses: $22K to $39K
Total Expenses: $76K to $165K
Royalty Fees: 3.9% to 6.9%
Advertising: 2%

Learn more about cleaning franchise opportunities on The Maids website.

#3. Two Maids: Best Employee Pay Model

Two Maids webpage on laptop with soap and a sponge beside it

Another residential cleaning company franchise is Two Maids, which compares to other cleaning franchise opportunities by offering:

  1. Pay for Performance: Employees get paid based on performance instead of hourly pay, incentivizing the best performers.
  2. Guidance with Systems: The company is highly focused on creating the right systems for you to succeed.

Starting a cleaning business franchise with Two Maids will require a business owner to have the following financial considerations:

• Initial Franchise Fee: $19,950
• Initial Investment: $83,140 to $123,890
• Net Worth Requirement: $200,000
• Cash Requirement: $51,140
• Royalty Fees: 4-7%
• Ad Royalty: 2%

Check out the Two Maids Franchise website to learn more about being your own boss.

#4. You’ve Got Maids: Best for High-Value Residential Clients

You’ve Got Maids franchise cleaning company might be right for you if you want to clean people’s homes. They offer weekly and biweekly cleaning, move-in/move-out cleaning, spring cleaning, and full-time residential cleaner placements. You’ve Got Maids Cleaning franchises require:

• Initial Franchise Fee: $7,000
• Initial Investment: $36K to $108K
• Net Worth Requirement: $200,000
• Cash Requirement: $40K to $100K
• Royalty Fees: 2.99% to 5.99%
• Ad Royalty: $75/week

Note that there’s been a 29% decline in You’ve Got Maids franchises over the last three years and don’t be afraid to ask questions about what that means for you if you want to become one of these franchise owners.

#5. Molly Maid: Most Cleaning Franchise Options

Another residential cleaning franchise opportunity is Molly Maid. You’ll need to meet the following qualifications to start your own business under Molly Maid cleaning franchises:

• Initial Franchise Fee: $14,900
• Initial Investment: $127K to $185K
• Net Worth Requirement: $250,000
• Cash Requirement: $65,000
• Royalty Fees: 3% to 6.5%
• Ad Royalty: $104/week

Molly Maid’s weekly ad royalty might distract new franchisees from focusing on getting cleaning clients. Personally I’d prefer paying franchise fees less routinely.

Neighborly is the parent company of Molly Maids and offers other cleaning franchise opportunities including window washing, junk removal, lawn care, and carpet cleaning for franchise owners.

#6. Merry Maids

Merry Maids estimated total initial investment screenshot

Merry Maids is one of the most well-known cleaning franchise brands in the cleaning industry. Twenty-five percent of Merry Maids franchises make over $3 million annually.

• Initial Franchise Fee: $37,500 to $51,500
• Initial Investment: $50K to $100K
• Net Worth Requirement: $250,000
• Cash Requirement: $65,000
• Royalty Fees: 5% to 7%
• Ad Royalty: 1.3%

Data is according to Entrepreneur.

#7. Maid Right

For those wondering how to start a franchise cleaning business with Maid Right, you’ll need:

• Initial Franchise Fee: $65,000
• Initial Investment: $103K to $148K
• Net Worth Requirement: $200,000
• Cash Requirement: $50K
• Royalty Fee: 6%
• Ad Royalty: 2%

Go to the Maid Right website to learn more about their franchise fees, cleaning standards, and processes.

Now that you know about home cleaning services, want to learn about commercial cleaning franchises?

Commercial Cleaning Services Franchises

MadeThis CEO, who advises-many franchises remotely, in foreground with cleaning crew vacuuming and cleaning in background

These commercial cleaning franchises perform office cleaning and other janitorial work :

Jan-Pro
Jani-King
Coverall
Stratus Building Solutions
Vanguard Cleaning Systems
Anago Cleaning Systems

#8. Jan-Pro: Best Commercial Cleaning Franchise Under $50K

One of the top commercial cleaning industry franchises is JanPro, which ranks at the top of multiple Entrepreneur categories.

Work with commercial clients as a Jan-Pro franchise for as little as $3,150, which includes the down payment, $1,000 for emergency expenses, and the Franchise Development Starter Kit.

Jan-Pro cleaning systems helps book commercial facilities that need commercial cleaners, and you choose your hours or client count each month. Expect the following startup costs when cleaning commercial businesses:

• Initial Franchise Fee: $2K to $4.5K
Initial Investment: $4.8K to $58K
Royalty: 10%
Ad Royalty: 1%

#9. Jani-King: Largest Global Franchise Cleaning Company

Jani King master-franchise opportunity webpage on a tablet

With over 7,000 global franchises, Jani-King is the largest cleaning franchise for sale. This janitorial franchise opportunity is losing franchises, but Franchise Times shows that they have rising revenue.

Be careful when considering buying this cleaning franchise for sale. Audit the prior business owners’ books carefully before buying.

• Initial Franchise Fee: Not Disclosed
Initial Investment: $20K to $52K
Net Worth Requirement: Not Disclosed
Cash Requirement: Not Disclosed
Royalty Fees: Not Disclosed
Ad Royalty: Not Disclosed

#10. Coverall: Most Focused on A Positive Work Environment

If you’re wondering how to start your own cleaning business, consider Coverall. Coverall cleaning franchises are marketed as janitorial cleaners focused on helping friends and families build wealth.

You should expect the following costs for these cleaning business franchises:

• Initial Franchise Fee: $16K to $41K
Initial Investment: $18K to $52K
Royalty Fee: 5%
Net Worth Requirement: Not Disclosed
Cash Requirement: Not Disclosed
Ad Royalty: Not Disclosed

Next, find out how to start a cleaning business with Stratus.

#11. Stratus Building Solutions: Lowest Cost Cleaning Franchise

Stratus Clean website screenshot with cleaner in foreground

Would you rather focus on booking janitorial services or cleaning and managing a crew?

Stratus offers two ways of franchising:

  1. Unit Franchises
  2. Master Franchises

Their janitorial franchises are some of the lowest-cost franchises in the cleaning industry. They start at just $1,000 for an owner-operator without employees. This commercial cleaning franchise opportunity requires that you focus on the manual labor.

Meanwhile, the Stratus master franchise opportunity is a 9-to-5 admin, invoicing, and business consulting service for the janitorial services franchises. Master franchising requires:

• Initial Franchise Fee: $3,600 to $69,000
Initial Investment: $4,600 to $79,000
Net Worth Requirement: $5K to $40K
Cash Requirement: $2K to $20K
Royalty Fees: 5%
Ad Royalty: 1%

This franchise opportunity lets you focus on the parts of a janitorial services business that most interest you.

#12. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning business Vanguard Cleaning Systems operates a lot like Stratus Building Solutions. You can either perform daily janitorial services or perform admin tasks for the other cleaning franchises.

• Initial Franchise Fee: $5K
• Initial Investment: $6K to $37K
Net Worth Requirement: $50K and $250K
Cash Requirement: $7K and $45K
Royalty Fees: 11.5%
Ad Royalty: N/A

Check out Vanguard Cleaning Systems’ franchise opportunities.

#13. Anago Cleaning Systems: Easiest-to-Get-Approved Cleaning Franchise

Anago Cleaning Systems franchises have low net worth and cash requirements for commercial cleaning services franchises. Anago Cleaning Systems uses the same franchise business model as the other commercial cleaning franchise opportunities on the list, where you have master franchise and unit franchise options.

The master franchise gets an exclusive territory where they book clients and sell unit franchises.

• Initial Franchise Fee: $5K to $31K for Units; $98K for Master franchises
Initial Investment: $11K to 61K for Units; $219K to $339K for Master
Net Worth Requirement: $31K
Cash Requirement: $1K
Royalty Fees: 10%
Ad Royalty: 2%

Learn more about Anago Cleaning Systems franchising.

Specialty Cleaning Franchises

Chris Mondragon holding cleaning products

Haven’t found a cleaning service you like yet?

Specialized services like window washing, green cleaning, and junk hauling are all options to consider when deciding how to start a cleaning company.

Check out some unique cleaning franchises like:

  • Aire-Master of America
  • Oxi Fresh
  • College HUNKS Hauling Junk
  • ServiceMaster Clean
  • PuroClean
  • TruBlue Total House Care

#14. Aire-Master of America: Most Unique Cleaning Services Franchise

If you want to offer air cleaning services, this company franchise is a good one to consider. Aire-Master of America provides fragrances, equipment, and servicing to commercial buildings, enhancing their workspaces and creating environments that help employees and customers feel better.

According to Entrepreneur, you should expect:

Initial Franchise Fee: $30K to $100K
Initial Investment: $45K to $170K
Net Worth Requirement: $20K
Cash Requirement: $50K
Royalty Fees: 5%
Ad Royalty: N/A

Find out more about Aire-Master of America franchises.

#15. Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning: Best Carpet Cleaning Franchise

Oxi Fresh webpage on laptop

If you want to start a carpet cleaning franchise, consider Oxi Fresh.

Initial Franchise Fee: $42,000
Initial Investment: $48K to $78K
Net Worth Requirement: $20K
Cash Requirement: $50K
Royalty Fees: $395 monthly
Ad Royalty: 3%

Oxi Fresh has franchises across the U.S. and Canada and offers the opportunity to become a master franchise in other countries.

#16. College HUNKS Hauling Junk: Best Name

College HUNKS Hauling Junk performs junk removal and moving services for homeowners and businesses. These junk removal businesses also donate junk and meals and emphasize their recycling efforts. It gets better though. They average $1.63 million revenue and you’ll need:

Initial Franchise Fee: $45K to $75K
Initial Investment: Not Disclosed
Net Worth Requirement: $200K
Cash Requirement: $75K
Royalty Fees: 7%
Ad Royalty: 2%

I just wish the uniforms were superhero costumes!

#17. ServiceMaster Clean

Want to operate a floor cleaning business? Consider ServiceMaster Clean, which is a residential and commercial cleaning business offering cleaning franchises for:

Initial Franchise Fee: $32,500
Initial Investment: $90K
Net Worth Requirement: $100K
Cash Requirement: $50K
Royalty Fees: 7%
Ad Royalty: 2%

Their top franchises average over $3.2 million in revenue annually, while 25% of single-zone franchises average $1.85 million in revenue.

Find out more about ServiceMaster Clean franchises.

#18. PuroClean: Most Transparent Cleaning Franchises

PuroClean webpage on desktop

Offer building remediation with these cleaning franchise opportunities. You’ll clean after property damage from water, fire, mold, and other hazardous materials.

PuroClean lists what you need to start a cleaning franchise business directly on their site and offers financing for up to 50% of the total franchise cost.

#19. TruBlue Total House Care: Most Diverse Offerings

TruBlue is a combination cleaning, handyman, and landscaping franchise, and they also offer accessibility remodeling services. This might be the franchise cleaning business for you if you want to build an empire because of all the additional services you can offer.

You’ll need:

Total Investment: $65,050 to $91,400
Franchise Fee: $44,900
Minimum Liquid Capital: $50,000

Find out more about TruBlue Total House Care cleaning franchises.

Contact the Franchise That Works for You

Young woman holding cell phone calling franchise about estimated total initial investment

Once you’ve determined your ideal cleaning franchise based on your location, skill set, and budget, the next step involves initiating contact with them to kickstart your franchise journey.

I’m considering Neel’s MaidThis franchise opportunity because it is available in Las Vegas and I know lots of people who work in the cleaning industry. The estimated total initial investment is comparable to many companies, they offer comprehensive training, and you’ll be one of the earliest cleaning franchise owners in your area.

That means you’ll get more personalized support than those who join later and you’ll have the ability to be on the forefront of cleaning strategies.

Don’t hesitate to explore one or more of the providers that boast more than a decade of industry experience, too.

Which pathway aligns with your preference for embarking on the journey of starting a cleaning business?

  • Start my own cleaning business from scratch.
  • Start my cleaning business with a course.
  • Contact a franchise. Tell us in the comments which one!

Did you know there are more than 7.5 million Etsy sellers earning a combined $13.3B?

It’s never been a better time to start selling your products on Etsy, but your success depends on numerous factors—including choosing a good Etsy shop name.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]We’ll explain how to choose your Etsy shop name and provide an expansive list of ideas. Click on any of the links below to jump to the section that interests you.

Get ready to learn a few key things that make a good Etsy shop name idea.

What Makes A Good Name For An Etsy Business?

An Etsy seller in her studio pointing to a laptop showing the Etsy logo

Good Etsy store name ideas are:

  • Memorable: A good Etsy business name is easy to remember. It’s catchy, but it’s not complicated.
  • Relevant: Etsy shop name ideas should be relevant to the products they sell. This can add memorability and improve SEO.
  • Unique: Good Etsy shop names are unique. Business names help distinguish one brand from another and help prevent customer confusion.
  • Appropriate: A good Etsy store name should be appropriate for the target audience. You wouldn’t want to give your Etsy shop an Italian name if it has no connection to Italy.
  • Positive: Etsy shop name ideas should have a positive connotation. You want customers to think of pleasant things when they hear it.

Now that you know what makes a good Etsy shop name, let's look at how to choose one.

How To Choose Etsy Shop Names

Choosing a good Etsy shop name is more than just finding shop name ideas you like. Find the perfect Etsy shop name idea by:

  • Research Relevant Keywords: You’ll want to use an Etsy SEO research tool like eRank to establish which words in your niche have high search volume
  • Come Up With Several Business Names: You’ll want to get a good list of Etsy shop name ideas because some of them are bound to be in use already.
  • Check Availability: You’ll need to check your name’s availability with Etsy, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and your secretary of state’s office. Check whether the website domain name and social media tags are available, too.
  • Register the Etsy Name: Once you have chosen an Etsy shop name that is available on all platforms, you have to register it and start your Etsy store.

Pro Tip: Learn more about naming and running a successful Etsy shop from the owner of TagPup, who makes $60K a month and is featured in images throughout this blog post.

24 Etsy Shop Name Ideas

A casually dressed man researching Etsy shop names using a laptop with Google Trends, Semrush, and ChatGPT logos hovering beside it

Consider some of these Etsy shop name ideas to inspire your shop name. Take note of the relevant keywords used and take a guess about what kind of online business they are.

1. Sweet Tooth Treats Emporium
2. Fashionista Finds
3. Whiskers and Wags Boutique
4. Rustic Charm Creations
5. Culinary Haven
6. Heavenly Home Accents
7. Wanderlust Wearables
8. Serenity Scent Studio
9. Pet Fashion House
10. Sip & Style
11. Wholesome Home Harvest
12. Sassy & Sweet Styles

13. The Petal Pusher
14. Crafty Gems
15. HandmadeTreasures
16. ArtisticDesigns
17. BespokeCrafts
18. CreativeArtifacts
19. DaintyWorks
20. Elegant Creations
21. Fancy Artistry
22. Gorgeous Keepsakes
23. Heirloom Jewelry Design
24. Innovative Crafts

Pro Tip: Before you create an Etsy store, research relevant keywords using a keyword research tool such as SEMrush.

22 Best Etsy Shop Names

The best store names help people remember your Etsy shop and what it sells.

1. Cozy and Bright
2. Whimsical Stitches
3. Crafted Curiosity
4. Wildflower & Co.
5. The Painted Acorn
6. Happy Clay Creations
7. Storyteller Jewelry Design
8. The Upcycled Nest
9. Whispering Pines Woodworks
10. Beacon & Bloom
11. The Inkwell Muse

12. Salty Sea Treasures
13. The Flourishing Fern
14. Starry Night Studios
15. Whimsy & Whiskers
16. The Gilded Thimble
17. The Recycled Rainbow
18. The Enchanted Loom
19. Coastal Crafts Unlimited
20. The Copper Dog
21. The Wandering Baker
22. The Wildflower Collective

Pro Tip: Check out Product Flint’s list of the top Etsy sellers to understand the kind of creative shop names that do well in the Etsy community. The vast majority state exactly what they do.

28 Good Shop Names For Etsy

Many good business names are just fun. Check out the name ideas below for some unique store names.

1. CrystalsNCharms
2. The Hideaway
3. Sunwoven Threads
4. Crafted with Joy
5. Blooming Oasis
6. Blushing Brushstrokes
7. Happy Heart Ceramics
8. Whispering Willow Jewelry
9. ReBorn Treasures
10. Luminous Flame Co
11. Calico Cat Knits
12. The Scriptorium
13. Ocean's Embrace
14. Flourishing Fern & Fern

15. The Bibliophile's Nook
16. Starlight Symphony
17. Wags & Stitches
18. The Threaded Needle
19. The Golden Hive
20. Willow & Wren
21. The Whiskful Baker
22. Rainbow Revival
23. The Enchanted Fibers
24. Seaside Stitchery
25. Copper & Quill
26. The Globe Trotter's Kitchen
27. Rustic Raven Designs
28. Wildflower Meadow

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check out the shop policies to make sure you don’t break any rules during your brainstorming phase. Review Etsy seller policies here.

30 Cute Etsy Shop Names

You can build a strong brand identity with cute shop names for Etsy stores. Consider some of these Etsy store name ideas.

1. Adorable Accents
2. Bubble Bazaar
3. Cuddle Corner
4. Enchanting Embellishments
5. Fluffy Friends and Finds
6. Giggles & Grins Gallery
7. Happy Hearts
8. Joyful Jams
9. Kawaii Kollectibles
10. Little Lovables
11. Mini Marvels
12. Nifty Nest
13. Oh So Cute Creations
14. Playful Paws
15. Rainbow Realm

16. Snuggly Snippets
17. Whiskers Workshop
18. Adorbs Accessories
19. Bitty Bliss Boutique
20. Cheery Cottage
21. Darling Doodles
22. Enchanted Evergreens
23. Fluffy Feathers
24. Giggles Gallery
25. Honeybee Hideaway
26. Irresistible Inklings
27. Joyful Jangles
28. Kawaii Kingdom
29. Miniature Mansion
30. Nutty Nibbles

Pro Tip: You might include cute words for shop in your Etsy name ideas. According to Merriam-Webster, synonyms for shop include shoppe, market, emporium, bazaar, marketplace, showroom, outlet, boutique, and exchange.

30 Aesthetic Etsy Shop Names

Etsy shops might want to consider creative shop names that are pleasing to the eye or ear. Consider some of these Etsy business names for inspiration.

1. Ephemeral Ember Co.
2. Luminous Figments
3. Gossamer & Garnet
4. Cifera Studios
5. The Gilded Twig
6. Moonspun Stitches
7. Wildwood Muse
8. Indigo Bloom
9. Etched in Aether
10. Juniper & Clay
11. Luminescent Lore
12. Wisteria Way Designs
13. The Gilded Quill Studio
14. Ember & Oak
15. Whispering Pines Co.

16. Fabled Fibers
17. Moonlit Canvas
18. Coveted Curiosities
19. Wilderwood Workshop
20. Apothecary of Blooms
21. Celestial Loom
22. Stardust & Stone
23. Whisperwood & Basil Co.
24. Pemberley Promenade Designs
25. The Raven's Inkwell Studio
26. The Hundred Acre Workshop
27. Thornfield Manor Treasures
28. The Gatsby Collection
29. Dashing Sisters Studio
30. The Count's Cabinet of Curiosities

Pro Tip: Look at the words potential customers use in reviews of your competitors to find out the types of adjectives that might work well for your target market.

30 More Cute Names For Etsy Shop Ideas

1. Bubbly Bunny
2. Snugglebug Station
3. Sprinkle Sunshine Shop
4. Cloud Nine Creations
5. Hedgy Hugs
6. Sweet Tooth Sweets
7. Quokka's Happy Place
8. Happy Camper Crafts
9. The Doodle Nest
10. Foxglove & Fern
11. Cupcake Cloud Creations
12. The Mismatched Menagerie
13. Starry Skies Studio
14. Acorn & Oak
15. Whispering Pines Bakery

16. Wondrous Weaves
17. The Twinkling Jar
18. Sprinkle Party Shop
19. The Cozy Cat Cove
20. Honeycomb Harmony
21. The Painted Petal
22. Whimsy & Wishes
23. The Little Mermaid Market
24. The Clayful Bunch
25. The Sunshine Studio
26. Moonlight Melody Maker
27. The Painted Pages
28. The Bookworm Bakery
29. The Dancing Dragonfly
30. The Cozy Burrow

36 Etsy Store Names For Digital Products

Concept of a laptop showing an Etsy digital products landing page and a dynamic image of TagPup shop owner Vlad popping out of the screen as he holds his sewing machine in one hand and a custom-made dog collar in the other

Some of the best performing Etsy shops sell digital goods. Consider some of these Etsy shop names for stores that sell digital goods.

1. Bit Bazaar
2. Pixel Craft
3. Digital Vistas
4. Cyber Treasures
5. Virtual Symphony
6. Ethereal Pixels
7. Infinite Boutique
8. Quantum Gallery
9. Binary Elements
10. Matrix Trove
11. Silicon Expressions
12. Techno Zenith
13. Code Niche
14. Bit Gems
15. Circuit Artistry
16. Giga Originals
17. Terabyte Novelties
18. Zetta Gifts

19. Techno Vistas
20. Pixel Treasures
21. Virtual Symphony
22. Ethereal Boutique
23. Infinite Gallery
24. Quantum Elements
25. Binary Trove
26. Matrix Expressions
27. Silicon Zenith
28. Techno Niche
29. Data Gems
30. Pixel Artistry
31. Virtual Originals
32. Ethereal Novelties
33. Infinite Quarters
34. Quantum Pixels
35. Binary Gifts
36. Silicon Craft

46 Creative Store Names For Etsy

1. Handmade Delights
2. Artistic Aura Studio
3. Unique Handiworks Workshop
4. Handmade Elegance Boutique
5. Artisanal Accents Avenue
6. Crafty Cornerstore
7. The Misfit Stitchery
8. Paper Crane Dreams
9. The Buttonhole Thief
10.Wildwood & Whimsy
11. The Sundown Symphony
12. Ember & Fable
13. Whispers in Stitches
14. The Moonlit Menagerie
15. Stardust Apothecary
16. The Unbound Brush
17. The Gilded Sparrow
18. The Painted Memory
19. The Buttonhole Bazaar
20. The Upcycled Oasis
21. The Indigo Hourglass
22. The Wandering Wildheart
23. The Honeycomb Haven

24. Fable & Filament
25. The Moonstone Muse
26. The Knotted Compass
27. The Patchwork Pegasus
28. Whispering Willows
29. The Sunlit Songbird
30. The Wandering Inkwell
31. The Unbound Canvas
32. The Gilded Whisper
33. The Painted Tapestry
34. The Whispering Quill
35. The Upcycled Carnival
36. The Wildflower Whisper
37. The Honeycomb Harvest
38. The Enchanted Bloom
39. The Gossamer Gallery
40. Whispering Pines Workshop
41. Sundrift Studio
42. The Unbound Palette
43. Copper & Quill
44. The Wandering Bookbindery
45. Wildflower & Clay
46. The Whimsical Stitch

34 Handmade Etsy Shop Name Ideas

TagPup owner Vlad in his studio

Want to sell handmade products? Consider these names:

1. Handcrafted Quilts
2. Crafted Vodka
3. Bespoke Jewelry
4. Handwrought Rugs
5. Manual Crafts
6. Man-Made Knives
7. Hand Spun Threads
8. Crafty Quilts
9. Artisanal Touch Creation
10. Handcrafted Haven
11. Handmade Treasures Emporium
12. Artisan Alley
13. Handcrafted Harmony
14. Custom Cutlery
15. Custom-Built Beauties
16. Whispering Pines Workshop
17. The Crafty Cauldron

18. Stitched with Love
19. Wildflower & Thread
20. Happy Hands Studio
21. The Wandering Loom
22. The Painted Petal
23. The Coastal Craft
24. The Wildflower Workshop
25. Serene Stitchery
26. Upcycled Canvas
27. The Painted Pebble
28. The Button Box
29. Whispering Pines Pottery
30. The Sunlit Kitchen
31. The Stitching Bee
32. The Kneaded Dough
33. The Crafted Sparrow
34. The Rustic Loom

Pro Tip: Artisans and crafters might consider using words like handmade, homemade, handcrafted, crafted, custom-made, custom-built, bespoke, man-made, and woman-made. These words make it easy for potential customers to understand that your brand focuses on providing custom products.

28 Etsy Shop Name Ideas For Printables

Printables are any type of product sold as a digital product to be printed by the customer. A small business might consider some of the following Etsy shop name ideas for print products.

1. Paper Perfection
2. Printable Depot
3. Ink & Imagination
4. Digital Delights
5. Printables Palace
6. Inkwell Studio
7. The Pixelery
8. Paper Trail
9. Printables Plus
10. Digital Depot
11. Ink & Innovation Studio
12. Inkified
13. Printables Galore
14. Inky & Bright Co.

15. The Download Den
16. Wallflower Designs
17. The Printable Pantry
18. Whimsy & Ink
19. The Paper Petal
20. Happy Prints Shop
21. The Inkwell Studio
22. The Download Oasis
23. Flourish & Bloom Designs
24. Click & Bloom Designs
25. The Color Carnival
26. The Printable Palette
27. The Download District
28. You Print It

Pro Tip: An Etsy shop name for printable products might include words like print, pages, prints, sticker, ink, or printables.

22 Cool Shop Names For Etsy

A man in a workspace holding a sign that reads "Buckle Up Emporium"

1. Strap & Style
2. Eden's Essence
3. Timeless Knits
4. Creative Glassware
5. Elegant Pottery
6. Ceramic Haven
7. Woodwork Gallery
8. Silhouette Boutique
9. Bazaar in Bloom
10. Crafted Jewels
11. Textile Market

12. Printed Pearls
13. Linen Loom
14. Baking House
15. Weaving Warehouse
16. Embellished Artistry
17. Couture Quilts
18. Chic Charms
19. Style Studio
20. Fashion Forge
21. Beauty Beads
22. Craftsmanship Cabin

48 Shop Name Ideas For Etsy

TagPup owner Vlad standing next to a wooden sign that reads "Nurturing Nook"

1. Chic Boutique
2. Armor Artistry
3. Secure Sanctuary
4. Headgear Nook
5. Crowned Creations Co.
6. Cap Craze Boutique
7. Hat Haven
8. Stylish Snapbacks
9. Crowned Charm Boutique
10. Cap & Crown Creations
11. Headwear Heaven
12. Cap Connoisseur Co.
13. Hat Horizons
14. Trendy Toppers Studio
15. Cap Culture
16. Cozy Knits Corner
17. Sweater Weather Studio
18. Wanderlost Stitches
19. The Painted Fern
20. Midnight Loom
21. Foraged & Found
22. The Inkwell Archive
23. Starling Symphony
24. Ember & Stone

25. Paper Crane Dreams
26. The Clockwork Sparrow
27. Sun-Kissed Canvas
28. Moonlight & Mason Jars
29. The Painted Compass
30. The Wandering Button Box
31. Wisteria & Ink
32. The Painted Honeycomb
33. The Salty Seamstress
34. The Moonlit Foundry
35. Whispering Wildflowers
36. The Wandering Bookbinder
37. Starry Skies Soap
38. Whispering Willow Baskets
39. The Secret Garden Studio
40. The Painted Beetle
41. Whispering Waves Clay
42. Starlight String Studio
43. The Fabled Quill
44. The Painted Moonjar
45. The Secret Woodland
46. Starry Skies Designs
47. The Fabled Foundry
48. Whispering Willow Studio

36 Abstract Name Ideas For Etsy

1. Eclectic Edge
2. Abstract Alchemy
3. Infinite Expressions
4. Fractal Fantasy
5. Dreamweaver's Den
6. Liquid Art Gallery
7. Flux and Flow Designs
8. Whispering Wonder
9. The Kaleidoscope Collection
10. Fable & Fortune
11. The Moonlit Muse
12. The Wandering Veil
13. Ember & Echo
14. Whispers in the Wild
15. Stardust & Stitchery
16. The Unbound Thread
17. The Pinhole Galaxy
18. The Indigo Whisper

19. The Wandering Wildflower
20. Fable & Filament
21. The Moonstone Studio
22. The Knotted Muse
23. Whispering Clay
24. The Sunlit Canvas
25. Unbound Studio
26. The Gilded Quill
27. The Unraveled Nebula
28. The Whispering Loom
29. Indigo Flight
30. The Wildflower Muse
31. Fable & Fern
32. The Moonlit Workshop
33. The Gossamer Nest
34. Sundrift Bakery
35. The Unbound Palette
36. Ethereal Drippings

30 Additional Etsy Shop Names Ideas

1. Impressions Inn
2. Kinetic Cove
3. Lavish Living
4. Mystical Marvels
5. Nurturing Nook
6. Opulent Oddities
7. Pristine Petals
8. Quirky Quarters
9. Radiant Relics
10. Serendipitous Styles
11. Tranquil Treasures
12. Urban Utopia
13. Visions Vault
14. Zenith Zone
15. Aurora's Atelier

16. Shade Spectrum Boutique
17. Sun Specs Sanctuary
18. Optic Emporium
19. Lens Loft
20. Spectral Studio
21. Glare Gear
22. Visionary Viewpoint
23. Radiant Ray
24. Solar Style Studio
25. Prism Paradise
26. UV Unique Boutique
27. Glint & Gleam Gallery
28. Lens Luxe Loft
29. Glimmer & Gaze Emporium
30. Reflective Studio

26 More Etsy Names

1. The Inky Quill
2. Copper & Cord
3. Wildflower & Ink
4. The Gilded Raven
5. Paper Crane Dreams
6. Moonlight & Moss
7. Bibliophile's Trinkets
8. Wolffish & Co.
9. Worn Tapestry
10. The Fern & The Fae
11. The Rambling Rose
12. Wyvern's Weave
13. Fair Isle Findings

14. The Midnight Bazaar
15. The Weaver's Muse
16. The Leaping Hare
17. The Starlit Strand
18. The Bookish Cat
19. Curio & Quill
20. Paper Lanterns
21. The Wildwood Carver
22. The Alchemist's Output
23. The Driftwood Dragon
24. Stardust & Sapphires
25. The Moonlit Weaver
26. The Bookworm's Trove

30 Unique Business Name Ideas For Etsy

Concept of TagPup owner Vlad next to a search bar with text that reads "Business name ideas for Etsy" and a lightbulb overhead

1. Owl Overload
2. Pawsome Treats
3. Quirky Quest
4. Radiant Rainbows
5. Sweet Studio
6. Tickle Me Teacup
7. Unicorn Tees
8. Whimsy Shirts
9. XOXO Accessories
10. Yummy Gummies
11. Zoo Friends
12. Apple Blossom Co.
13. Bunny Hop Haven
14. Cozy and Spice
15. Daisy Baskets

16. Stamp Stash Studio
17. Petite Postage Paradise
18. Tiny Treasures Trove
19. Stamp Sweeties
20. L'il Postage Pals
21. Miniature Mailbox
22. Stamping Smiles
23. Teeny Tiny Postage
24. Stamp & Smile Studio
25. Cute Corner Stamps
26. Pocket Postage
27. Little Love Letters
28. Dainty Stamps Den
29. Tiny Tales
30. Little Lick of Postage

22 More Shop Name Ideas for Etsy

1. Serenity's Crafted Treasures
2. Impressionist's Palette
3. Gallifreyan Gear
4. Celtic Weavers Guild
5. Baker Street Baubles
6. Hieroglyph Haven
7. Verses in Starlight
8. Griffin's Flight Workshop
9. Wildwood Meadows Apothecary
10. Renaissance Studio & Supplies
11. From the Phoenix's Ashes

12. Copper Lanterns & Light
13. Treasures of the Rising Sun
14. Stardust Strands & Yarn
15. The Alchemist's Elixirs
16. The Poet’s Press
17. Paper & Cord CraftsPop Art Prints
18. Celtic Weavers' Guild
19. Phoenix's Hoard Reborn
20. Whispering Sonnets Studio
21. Wildwood Willows Jewelry
22. The Riposte & Retreat

Use An Etsy Shop Name Checker

One of the crucial aspects of choosing an Etsy shop name is to check availability. Two people can’t use the same name.

You can check availability by using an Etsy name checker, like this one from BrandSnag.

One of the most challenging aspects of starting a business is the step or small business registration. It involves multiple local, state, and federal organizations to register a company, but UpFlip is here to make it easy to understand how to register as a small business. We walk you through the steps to verify a business name, choose a business structure, how to register a small business as a limited liability company, and how to register your business with the IRS to get an EIN. Before we begin, I think it's important to discuss the Small Business Administration.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration office is the best place to go to get a good introduction to your county or city governments' requirements for business licensing. When we were living in Texas, my significant other was able to have them help her with the formation of her business without charging extra. They offered an in-person class that went through the specific requirement for registering separate entities, the business's legal requirements that would need to be met, and what local government websites or offices to use. She found it much easier than when we created businesses in other locations. In addition, they will often offer classes to help make you a better business person. If you are starting your first business, I would strongly recommend going to talk with them first. Alternatively, you can check out our guide on how to get started. Let's get into researching if the legal business name is available.

Step 1. Verify the business entity name is available

The first step to register as a small business is to verify the business name is available. You'll perform this step of registering a business name online with your state's business license search. The picture below is for Washington's business license search, but you can find where to search your state’s business licenses by searching "my state's business license verification." Website to verify the availability of a business name Most states will let you search registered small business names by related topics including:
  1. Business name
  2. License number
  3. Address
  4. The principal or Registered Agent
  5. Tax ID
  6. Reseller Permit
For this scenario, you just want to use the business name. Put in the company name. I used the name "Super Awesome Clothes," verified that "I am human" and pushed the search button. This confirmed that the name is available in Washington. See the screenshot above. A website to purchase a domain name for business You also want to check domain availability on Name Cheap. In the picture above, SuperAwesomeClothes.com is available for $1,800 a year, which seems outrageous to me. The price is that high because someone wants to make a profit from it. I could buy SuperAwesomeClothes.clothing for $3.48 per year which is reasonable. That sounds like an awkward domain to remember so I checked to see if SuperAwesome.clothing is available for the same price. It is so we’ll buy it and go back to register the business with the state. A website showing the price of a chosen domain name

Step 2. Choose the business structure

The most common business structures are limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, corporations, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. Choosing which one you want is fairly simple. Ask yourself these questions to decide which will work best?
  1. Do I want to protect my personal assets?
    • If a single owner does not want to protect personal assets, go with a sole proprietorship.
    • If there is more than one owner, go with a partnership.
  2. If you want to protect personal assets, then the next question to ask is do I want to sell stock?
    • If yes, go with a corporation.
    • If not, go with an LLC or limited liability partnership.
Every type of business entity, except for sole proprietorships and general partnerships, is considered a separate legal entity, which means:
  • Business liabilities are separate from personal liability.
  • Business assets are separate from personal assets.
Most business structures allow pass-through income, meaning the business income counts as personal income, but a C-Corp has to pay taxes on income separately from personal income. A limited liability corporation can choose whether they want to adopt the corporate tax code, but the default business structure is as a pass-through entity, meaning their owners only have to pay federal tax with their personal income.

Step 3. How to register a business

Registering a business will be slightly different for each type of business, but to help you best understand how to set up a business, we are going to use a limited liability company to walk you through the registration requirements. The process will normally involve several state agencies and federal government agencies. The most common agencies you will have to interact with during the business registration process include: [su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]
  • Secretary of State Offices for each of the states you plan to have a physical presence in
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for getting an Employee Identification Number
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for trademark protection
  • Local agencies or city governments, which can normally be found on the Secretary of State Office while you register your business structure
  • The appropriate state agency to approve a seller's permit
[/su_note] If you're wondering how to register a business name for free, there aren't many options. When I was researching how to register my business name in 2017, I found Nevada allows sole proprietorships to register for free, but it is under the person's name. If a prospective business wants a fictitious business name, commonly referred to as DBA (Doing Business As), it will cost extra. Some states include it in the costs to obtain business licenses or business structures, but some will also charge for it separately.

Creating the business structure for a Limited Liability Company

This section will walk you through how to start a limited liability company in the State of Washington. There will be some notes throughout regarding other types of business structures and different states because it is hard to create a one-size-fits-all blog for 50 states plus Washington DC. We’ll be adding more state specific blogs in the future.

Sign up for an account on your state’s website

Depending on the state, you may need to register for an account with the website before beginning. That was the case in our example using Washington to register a limited liability company. The next step in the business registration process is to sign up for an account with the appropriate Secretary of State Office. Here is Washington's SOS, but you can find others on USA.gov. It takes approximately five minutes to set up, requires verifying email, and then takes you to a page that looks something like the picture below once you can sign in. Website to sign up for an account

How to register my business

We want to register your business, so we'll choose that option, which is the 6th option on the left-side menu. This takes you to a page that asks if you are going to be a Washington-based business owner or one from another state or country. Because most business owners using this guide will conduct business in their home state, we'll register as a Washington business for this example. After you make that decision, it will ask you to choose from 11 business structure options, which you can see in the picture below. If you aren't sure which to choose, read our article about how to choose a business structure. For this example, we're going to choose a WA Limited Liability Company and defer the initial report for 120 days. A website showing a dropdown menu with different options

Application to Register a Business Name as an LLC

The following questions will be asked when registering a business in the application:
  • Do you already have a UBI number, which is a Unified Business Identifier to help the state track businesses across government agencies?
      • Another state may have something similar.
      • We do not.
  • Have you already reserved the name?
      • I did not, I added "Super Awesome Clothes" and it tells me it's available.
  • Who is the registered agent?
      • Gives the option of self or other
      • If you are in the state, you can be the registered agent, which I am doing for the purpose of this example. If you are not in the state you will need a registered agent.
      • What is their address?
  • What is the address of the primary place of business?
  • Do you want to upload a certificate of formation?
    • You will have to do this to register your business name.
    • For those wondering “how do I register my business as a corporation,” you'll need the Articles of Incorporation.
  • How long will this company be a legal entity?
    • Choose perpetual unless it is for a set duration.
  • When is the effective date?
    • Choose the date you want the business to become a legal entity.
    • I chose the date I am writing this.
  • Executor–You can use yourself.
  • Opt-in for emails.
  • Add documents.
  • Include the signature of the authorized person (you).
After you add all the information to the page, it gives you a chance to review it on the next page. Then to check out. You'll want to check out, which in this example would be $200. Once you have paid, it will be two days, according to this site, for the business structure to be approved or request more information. Once the business structure is approved you will have a UBI that you can use to get:
  • Reseller’s license
  • Local business licenses
  • DBA (if you need small business registration as a partnership or a sole proprietorship)
Then you'll need to get an employer identification number.

Step 4. Get an Employer Identification Number

Before we begin, it is important that you have everything prepared before you start this step. The application has to be done in one sitting.  It cannot be saved. The IRS says you need to understand the following items before you register your business:
  • If your business structure includes applying for tax-exempt status, it needs to be fully approved before applying here.
  • Fifteen minutes of inactivity will end the application for the Employer Identification Number.
  • The person applying must have one of the following forms of valid taxpayer identification number:
    • Social Security Number-All citizens should have one.
    • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) - Used for people who need to file taxes, but cannot obtain a Social Security Number. If you think you might need one, apply for an SSN first. These are the categories of people who normally need an ITIN:
      • Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
      • U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
      • Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen or resident alien
      • Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
      • Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
      • Nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception
    • Employer Identification Number - If you already have a business and this will be a subsidiary, you can use your previous EIN.
If you need more than one EIN for companies controlled by the same person, it will take multiple days due to the one EIN per day per person limit. You can start the EIN application on the IRS website. Once you click the “apply now” button, you'll be directed to the screen below. Remember to read and accept the conditions. Then continue. The IRS website for EIN application The first question that the system will ask is about the business structure. I chose LLC because it is the most common, other than a sole proprietorship. The IRS website showing different business structures to choose from Then, it gives you some information about an LLC. Choosing LLC as business structure On the next page it will ask:
  • How many members are in the LLC?
  • What state is the business in?
Answer them, and it will provide some information about the business structure. In this example, I used one member and it informs us that we can not be a partnership, but that we can file a Form 8832 to be taxed as a C-Corp or Form 2553 to be taxed as an S-Corp. I have provided links to both forms. An online form asking for number of employees Then, the system will ask why you need an EIN. IRS website system some questions Next, it will ask for your name, SSN, or ITIN of one of the owners, or a third party. Input the information. IRS website personal information section Then, it will ask for the address of the LLC and if you want the mail to be sent to a different address. Input the information based on your LLC. The IRS website address section for EIN applicants Then it will ask about the LLC name, and where it is located. Answer them. LLC name section on IRS website On the next page it will ask the following questions:
  • Does your business own a motor vehicle with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more?
  • Does your business involve gambling or wagering?
  • Does your business need to file Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return)?
  • Does your business sell or manufacture alcohol, tobacco, or firearms?
  • Do you have, or do you expect to have, any employees in the next 12 months that will require W-2?
Under most scenarios, I would expect the answers to be “no” except for the last question. If you are engaged in those fields, there will be other requirements, which you can find by searching: "IRS special requirements for businesses that involve (gambling, vehicles over 55,000 pounds, alcohol, tobacco, firearms)". Required fields on the IRS website EIN application section Each one you select will have a page like the one below that I marked for the number of employees Super Awesome Clothes LLC will have in the next year. Number of employees section on the IRS website Then, the system asks “What does your business or organization do?” Depending on your answers, the pages after this one will change. I chose retail, then clicked next. Different business categories on the IRS website The next step is for you to answer what type of retail, online, storefront, auction house, direct sales, or other. If you will be doing more than one under the same business name select "other "and list the ones the business will engage in. Questions to be answered about retail business on the IRS website At this point, you will choose how you want them to provide the EIN. You can choose electronically or by mail. Whichever you choose, the next step is important. Options on how to receive confirmation letter on the IRS website After you complete the previous steps, the system will give you an opportunity to review the information. If everything is correct, click submit and the system will provide your EIN.

Step 5. Save your documents somewhere safe

When you get documents from each of the agencies, it is important to print them out and save both a physical and electronic copy. I would suggest posting the legal documents in a frame on the wall in your business because some are required to be publicly viewable. I would also suggest saving them in a cloud platform like Google Drive

Wrapping it up

Now you know how to register an online company or brick-and-mortar store. Don't forget to buy business cards! Check out our business card reviews. The process for where to register a business name has never been easier because your state's office probably upgraded their systems because of the pandemic.  If you need to register a new business and have difficulty locating your local requirements after using the site USA.gov, ask our preferred partner, Better Legal to help. They help set up small businesses as LLCs and C-Corps all day long and offer $30 off to UpFlip readers when they need to register a new business. As we produce more content, we plan to start doing more state-specific blogs based on the results of our analytics software and readers' requests. If you went through the process as you were reading this article, what state are you registering your business in? Did you find the process easy or difficult?

Comments

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