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How to Set Up a Publishing Company

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are interested in books and want to set up a publishing company, it is a fairly straight forward process. Setting up a publishing company enables you to publish books in which you have an interest and get them out to the market. If you are ready to start a publishing company, there are a few simple things that you need to do to get your publishing company set up.

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  1. Choose a business structure. You will need to decide on a structure for your publishing company. Options are: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and corporation. All but sole proprietorship and partnership exempt you from liabilities with the business. An LLC is a popular choice for a business structure.

  2. Choose a name for the publishing company. You will need to come up with a name for your publishing company. It is a good idea to include "publishing" or "books" in the name. Once you have a name, check to see if the name is already taken. Go to your state's Secretary of State office.

  3. Register your business. Once you have a name and a business structure you need to register your publishing company as a new business with your state. You can get the appropriate forms for your state at the office for your Secretary of State. Submit them to the address on the forms with the appropriate fee.

  4. Get a federal tax ID. You will need to apply for a federal tax ID number with the IRS. You will need this number to buy publishing items wholesale and to file your federal taxes. You can get the form to do this on the IRS website.

  5. Purchase ISBNs. Your publishing company will need to have ISBNs to put on the books that it will publish. You can order these in blocks from Bowker, who is the ISBN agency for the United States. The ISBNs will be tied to your publishing company once you purchase them, which means that you cannot sell them. If you run out of ISBNs you can purchase more at any time.

  6. Get ready to accept manuscripts. You will need to get a post office box so that you can start accepting manuscripts from authors so that your publishing company can publish them. You will also want to set up a website for your new publishing company to let authors know you are available. You can do this easily through a company like GoDaddy.

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Things You'll Need

  • Business structure
  • Business name
  • ISBNs
  • Mailbox
  • Federal tax ID

About the Author

Jamie Lisse has been writing professionally since 1997. She has published works with a number of online and print publishers. Her areas of expertise include finance and accounting, travel, entertainment, digital media and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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