How To Document Your Business

When starting a new business, it’s easy to overlook the most important first step to funding your business. Lenders, grant programs, and really any source of funding will require you to document your business – provide proof that you have a legitimate business that qualifies for business financing.

In this short post, we will first provide you with different ways to document your business and then help you find business coaches who can provide you support for free. Sound good? Let’s do it!


What types of documents would help me document (or verify) my business?

Fictitious Business Name or DBA (Doing Business As)

Filing for a fictitious business name is often the easiest method to document a new business. A DBA or fictitious business name can be applied to any type of business (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, c-corporation, s-corporation,  b-corporation, or cooperative). Advantages of having a fictitious business name include: 1) you can have multiple fictitious names for your business, so if you decide to expand to target a new client base, you can add a new fictitious business name without impacting your current fictitious business name, and 2) if you decide to incorporate, you can continue to operate under your existing fictitious business name(s). It is worth noting though that unlike incorporating your business, having a fictitious business name offers no protection against legal action as the fictitious business is attached to you personally.

Incorporate Your Business

Incorporating your business is the most common way to document your business, with several options to choose from such as C-corporation, S-corporation, B-corporation, and even Non-profit. We recommend talking to your accountant to choose the best type of corporation for your needs.

Government Registration (federal, state, county, or city)

Depending on the nature and location of your business, you may be required to register it with your city government, county government, state government, the federal government, or you may not be required to register it at all. Sole proprietors doing business under their own legal names are not required to register federally, but most other structures, including partnerships and corporations, are. A copy of the registration of your business with the local or federal government is one good way to verify your business.

Operational Permits

Your city or county may require operational business permits. A copy of these permits is another way to document your business.

Business Tax Returns

For existing businesses that have filed taxes, a copy of your business tax return is another way to document your business.

Tax IDs/EINs

Again, for existing businesses that have a Tax ID or EIN (Employer Identification Number), you can use the letter that the IRS sent you to confirm your Tax ID or EIN.


Do you still need help or have questions? We have you covered!

If your business is in Los Angeles County, then you can visit the NEW Women’s Business Center website and book a FREE appointment with a business advisor who can help you.

If your business is located outside of Los Angeles County, then you can visit:

Find a Women’s Business Center near you.


Find an SBA Small Business Development Center near you


Contact the SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center for your region