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You will need to register in the State you live in, and will also need a vendors license among many other things.
To validate if you are prepared to start your business please go to the United States Small Business Administration website. Click on this link for a Small Business Start Up assesment: http://sba.gov/assessmenttool/index.html
Congratulations on starting your business, and welcome to the community. Your next step would be to open a business checking account -- not mandatory, but helpful in keeping your business and personal finances separate.
I believe you must have a sales tax permit from the state (I seem to remember reading that Massachusetts considers house cleaning a "luxury" service and even imposes an additional sales tax for that, but I may be mistaken or remembering wrong). Check with the Department of Revenue to get the first-hand information you need regarding sales tax:
Finally, you might want to consider insurance -- specifically, being bonded, and then once you are generating a profit, some type of "key person" insurance that provides income in case you're hurt or sick and can't work. Any local business/commercial insurance agent can assist you there.
Hope that helps. Good luck!
Okay, that does help somewhat. I guess I'll always be worrying that I'm missing something. Thank you.
The Small Business Administration and SCORE both offer free business advice, and both are located all over the country.
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Hi. I'm in Massachusetts. I've gone to the government sites, but it seems like nothing's telling me exactly "This is what you need to do." I'm starting a cleaning business as a sole-proprietorship. I want to be completely legal. I already got my business certificate/DBA from my local Town Hall. Is that all I need to do to be legal or is there more? Thanks!