ERIE.GOV | Your information resource from the government of Erie County, New York


County Executive Elected Officials County Departments Living In Erie County Visiting Erie County Growing your business in Erie County State and regional municipalities

Steps for Start-Ups


Decide Legal Structure and File Necessary Paperwork

Sole Proprietorships – Purchase four Business Certificates (DAB forms) for forms with notarized signature should be files with the County Clerk's Office.

Partnership – Purchase four Business Certificates for a partnership at any business or legal stationary store. Completed forms with notarized signatures should be filed with the County Clerks office.

Corporation – Forms to incorporate are available at any business or legal stationary store and should be filed with the Secretary of State in Albany. It is advisable to have a lawyer prepare and file the necessary documentation for you. Consider a Chapter "S" Corporation

  1. Sale Tax I.D. Number – Contact the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (1-800-462-8100) and ask for a State Tax Kit.
  2. Permits and Licenses required in New York State – Contact The Office of Business Permits and Regulatory Assistance (OBPRA) (1-800-3423464) And ask for a Permit Assistance Kit.
  3. Federal Taxes and Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you are forming a corporation or a partnership, or if you plan to hire employees you must file for an EIN (IRS form SS-4). If you are a sole – proprietorship with no employees you may use your own social security number on federal tax forms. Stop at your local IRS office or call 1-800-829-1040 for appropriate paperwork.
  4. Local Licenses and Permits – Contact City Hall (851-4955) Advise that you will be doing business in Buffalo and what are the requirements. If you plan to operate a business in your home you must also check to be sure you are not in violation of the local zoning ordinance.
  5. Open a business checking account – Maintain a business Checking account separate from you're your personnel account. The bank will require a stamped business certificate or a copy of your DBA or incorporation papers with your corporate seal affixed.
  6. Arrange for a business phone line to be installed – In most cases a deposit will charge. By doing this you will also be entitled to a business listing in the Yellow Pages. If someone is not available to answer the phone consider an answering service or at least an answering machine. Remember to check out the cost of all your utilities deposits.
  7. Produce a business plan to outline your business goals and Objectives. Describe what will be necessary to accomplish them. Major components of the plan should at least include the following:
    1. Business Description and objectives – should be Quantifiable such as: money in sales, number of clients, and percent of market.
    2. Marketing Plan – Target Market, advertising, public Relations, competition analysis (strengths and weaknesses)
    3. Personnel – Resumes of all key people, job descriptions
    4. Financial Information – Start-up costs, cash flow projections.
  8. Keep operating cash as a "cash cushion" on hand for Emergencies. Enough reserves for three to six months worth of expenses should be sufficient.
  9. Announcements – Send announcements of your business Start-up to the media, potential customers and to your friends