Depending on what state you are in. This is different for every state. I have a book called the small business startup for the state of California. Each state has different laws. Also if you want a brick and mortor, oppose to an online business. It depends on the type of business too. You need a business license, you need to goto the city where you are opening up shop at and make sure you get everything you need or you can be held accountable for fines. There are city and state websites that have all the forms you need to download to get started. Most important you need a Federal Tax ID number for taxes that you must pay to operate your business. If you fail to pay that is called tax evasion and then you can be in trouble for practicing without proper permits and such. Say you want to open a trucking company. You need operating permits for highway usage in all states. New Mexico as for a tax Id card when you go through the scales. You must have permits to operate in all the states you drive in. If you have a building that is called brick and mortor. A place not a thing. Like a store, a shop etc. You have to meet all guidlines on what you are offering the customer, how much and operating capital. I suggest the small business admin. google that and the free program of retired business owner called S.C.O.R.E. both are great programs to get started and can guide you in the right direction Hope this covered it.