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A Legally Established Business
Standard Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and nothing here should be considered legal advice.
There are tax and asset protection benefits to running your business through a limited liability company or corporation (in most cases, an LLC is probably a good choice). Running an informally organized business with partners can expose you to serious risk.
Hiring an attorney to do the paperwork to set up your company can cost in the neighborhood of $400. If you're located in Utah, I recommend setting up your company through EVN Law. Why? Because helping clients succeed is at the core of their long-term strategy, so they give a lot of value for free. Why? For one thing, they know that successful clients are more likely to bring them referrals and more business. (Full disclosure: my brother is the founder of EVN Law. I built the company website and am working with them on the systems they'll use to help you succeed.)
Another option is to order the documents online. This costs less, but you'll have to complete and files the documents yourself. Instructions for doing so are included with the package linked to above.
Run all of your business' money through accounts (bank, PayPal, credit card) used only for business. I find it extremely convenient to have my personal and business bank accounts at the same bank, because I can pay myself easily without leaving home by going to the bank's website and transferring money between accounts. If you're interested in doing this, check with your bank to be sure that you'll have access to both accounts under the same login before setting up the account.
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