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How To Start A Publishing Company

How To Start A Publishing Company

If you are thinking about starting your own publishing company, this guide is meant for you. There are four initial steps.

Step 1: Choose The Business Structure

The first step in starting your publishing company is deciding what form of company you should start. There are many different business structures including Limited Liability Companies, General Partnerships, Sole Proprietorships, S-Corporations etc. Each structure has its own benefits and challenges. You should analyze these carefully so you pick the one that best suits you.

Sole Proprietorship and Limited Liability Company (LLC) are often the go-to structures for most self-publishers but LLCs are more recommended. An LLC is not a Corporation yet it taps into the benefits of a Corporation but without the lengthy and expensive setup process. It is also more flexible especially when it comes to tax. The versatility of an LLC makes it a good fit for a publishing company. If you check your favorite small publishers, you will realize that many of them run LLCs.

Step 2: Decide on The Business Name

This is the part where you should really take your time. Do not rush the decision and end up with a name that you are going to hate or even want to change. Once you name your business, there is no going back. Changing the name in future is possible but it will not only be tedious but confusing.

The name of your business does not necessarily have to reflect the type of business you are in but make sure it is not too far off that it becomes confusing. You can use your name or the name of your genre but make sure the name is not too limiting that it makes you miss future opportunities.

Three main things to consider when choosing a name for your publishing company:

It must not be already trademarked.

Stay away from words like 'inc' and 'corporation' unless your publishing company is actually going to be set up as a corporation.

Make sure that it is not already registered in your state or country, as applicable.

Have a couple of options in case your first choice does not meet these requirements. If you are in the US, a name being already registered in one state does not stop you from registering it in another.

Step 3: Select A Location

Many self-publishers use their home address as their business address. This sounds easy and practical but it exposes your private information, attracting lawyers, debt collectors and other random people to your home. Consider getting a UPS mailbox or setting up a virtual office. A virtual office comes with several benefits including a professional mailing address, collecting your mail and forwarding it to you, a 1-800 number, recording and sending you your voicemail and can also be your registered agent.

Step 4: Set Up Your Publishing Company

This final step can either be done by yourself or you can use the services of a professional to handle all the paperwork for you. If you are in the US, each state has different requirements so be sure to do enough research on what is needed in your state.

Do not hesitate to consult an expert to help you decide which structure will suit you best and to guide you through the entire process.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Faridah Nassozi