Starting Your Business in Indiana | A Step-by-Step Guide

Steve Bennett
Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert
Hi there, I'm Steve. My mission is to empower the next generation of online entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. My business insights are based on real-world experience, ensuring that aspiring entrepreneurs can confidently start and run their own businesses.

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Start a Business in Indiana

If you want to start an LLC in Indiana, there are numerous factors to consider. Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can do in Indiana. But where do you start? Follow our comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in Indiana. We will assist you in removing doubt from the process and investigate your success chances. It will begin with defining your business idea and progress to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you every step of the way!

What Business to Start in Indiana?

If you’re looking to start a business in Indiana, consider starting a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners while also providing the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Beyond that, here is the list of businesses to consider in Indiana.

  1. Food Truck
  2. Customized Tours
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Short-Term Property Rentals
  5. Home Improvement

Whatever business you choose to start, it’s important to conduct thorough market research and create a solid business plan before diving in. We reviewed some of the Best LLC Services and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

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Starting a business can be a challenging but highly rewarding endeavor. By taking the time to research and plan, you can increase your chances of success. Whether you choose to form a corporation or start an LLC in Indiana, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong team that will guide you. Don’t let fear hold you back, take that first step towards turning your business dreams into a reality.


How to Start a Business in Indiana?

To form a business in Indiana, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your business.

Please continue reading to learn more about the overall procedure and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they complete each step.

Step 1: Creating a Business Plan

When developing a business plan, many factors should be considered during the decision-making process. Your business plan in Indiana serves as a road map for your company’s success.

A business plan should take into account the specific goals of your company. You should know the product or service you will provide in Indiana. A well-thought-out business plan is essential for determining how your company will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is ambiguous and unrelated to the service you provide, it will impact the business you are forming. Make sure your business goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Also, researching your competitors’ services will help you determine your strategy for your state business. Finally, you should consider your company’s funding.

With this article’s assistance, you can better comprehend your business’s essential components and success strategy. You can apply for Indiana Small Business Loans from banks and investor funding to help support your company in Indiana.

Once you have the entire plan in your hands, you can work on the legal framework of your company. Legally, you can form an LLC for your ideal business.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Indiana

Selecting a business entity for your Indiana company. When starting your own business, you must choose a business structure. How well your personal assets are secured, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with will all be significantly impacted by the type of corporate entity you choose. Consider setting up a corporation, LLC, LLP, or sole proprietorship as your business entity in Indiana.

Sole Proprietorships

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Indiana by yourself. A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in which a single individual owns and operates the entire business. The owner and the business are considered the same legal entity in a sole proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business, meaning that the owner has complete control over the business operations, profits, and losses.

Sole proprietorships are best suited for Indiana small businesses with low risks and for individuals who want to maintain complete control over their business without the complexities of establishing a separate legal entity.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that combines features of both partnerships and corporations, offering limited liability protection to its owners (called members) while allowing flexibility in management and taxation. An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners, meaning the members are not personally liable for the business’s debts, obligations, or liabilities.

It is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses that want the liability protection of a corporation while maintaining management flexibility and simpler tax treatment. It’s essential to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine if an LLC is the best choice for your specific business situation.

Limited Liability Partnership

A limited liability partnership (LLP) is comparable to an LLC. However, it is usually used by licensed business professionals like attorneys or accountants. A partnership agreement is necessary for this kind of business entity. You can form an LLP in Indiana if you are planning to.


Forming a Corporation in Indiana reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners, known as shareholders. It is created under the laws of the state it is incorporated in and is considered a separate “person” under the law. The corporation can enter into contracts, own property, sue and be sued, and pay taxes separately from its owners.

A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

To choose the right business structure in Indiana, consider personal liability protection, taxation, management flexibility, administrative requirements, and setup costs. Consult a legal or financial professional to help you make the best decision.

Recommended: Incorporating a business has never been easier that’s why Legalzoom’s corporation formation provide a comprehensive and streamlined approach for your business. Whether you have plans to crowdfund or go public, get help from LegalZoom every step of the way. We recommend using –

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Step 3: Determine your Indiana Business Cost

In Indiana, you should determine the cost of your business. You should consider paying the Articles of Organization fee, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Indiana Articles of Organization fee costs $95, while the LLC annual fee costs $0 because it is not mandatory in Indiana. In terms of filing Indiana Articles of Incorporation, the costs usually range up to $30 for filing online and by mail.

If forming an LLC is your ideal business, consider knowing the LLC Cost in Indiana.

Step 4: Name your Business in Indiana

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Indiana Business Name Search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in Indiana, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Indiana, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name. You must file a name reservation application in the Indiana Secretary of State to keep the name.

If the business name is available, you may choose to reserve it for a specific period of 120 days. The online name reservation fee is $20 and the mail name reservation fee is $20. If your business plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done in two methods, by mail and in person, which you can file in Indiana Secretary of State. You can check out how to file a DBA in Indiana for clearer understanding.

Recommended: Unlock your business’s full potential with LegalZoom’s DBA service, providing a hassle-free experience that allows you to focus on what matters most – turning your passion into profit. We recommend –

LegalZoom – Starts at $99 + filing fees

Step 5: Register Indiana Business

To register a business in Indiana, you need to file it with the Indiana Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a Indiana Registered Agent for your business. The Registered Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

You can serve as your own Registered Agent, or you can appoint a friend or family member, or you can check the Best Registered Agent Services in Indiana.

Apply For Articles of Organization

After you have a Registered Agent, you need to file the Indiana Articles of Organization, if you want to have an LLC structure, or you need to file the Indiana Articles of Incorporation if you want to have a Corporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, your Registered Agent should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Indiana. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from the IRS.

The application of an EIN in Indiana can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in several ways. It will give your LLC the absolute advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Business licenses and operating permits are necessary to run any business in Indiana. Before launching your new business, request any required business license or permission. Most Indiana businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. It can start from $25 till going up to $100+. However, in Indiana, the business license fee ranges from $50 – $300.

Step 7: Obtain a Bank Account

Your business dealings in Indiana might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Opening a separate bank account for your Indiana business is essential for maintaining a clear separation between your personal and business finances.

You can check out the Best Banks in Indiana, which offers the best fees, services, and convenience for your business needs.

Step 8: Market your Business in Indiana

Now that your Indiana business is registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.


What is required to register a business in Indiana?
Business owners must file with the Secretary of State and the Indiana Department of Revenue.
Can out-of-state business owners register their business in Indiana?
Yes, business owners from other states can register their business in Indiana.
Are there any special permits or licenses required to operate a business in Indiana?
Yes, some businesses require special licenses or permits from state agencies, such as health or safety agencies.
How do I get a sales tax permit in Indiana?
You can obtain a sales tax permit from the Indiana Department of Revenue.
How does Indiana’s tax system treat small businesses?
Indiana offers tax credits and incentives to small businesses, such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Benefits (STTR) programs.
What is the chief industry in Indiana?
Manufacturing is a key industry in Indiana, accounting for over 30% of the state’s gross domestic product.
How does Indiana rank as a state for doing business in the United States?
Indiana ranks 12th for its favorable business environment and tax system, according to Forbes.
Is Indiana home to any well-known corporations or brands?
Indiana is home to renowned brands such as Eli Lilly and Company, Cummins Inc., and Steel Dynamics.
What opportunities are available for minority-owned businesses in Indiana?
Indiana offers many resources for minority-owned businesses, including the Minority and Women Business Development Program.
Are there any organizations that provide assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners in Indiana?
Yes, organizations such as the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center offer resources and support for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
What are the labor laws in Indiana?
Indiana’s labor laws cover various things such as salary requirements, worker’s compensation and overtime.
What is the minimum wage rate in Indiana?
As of 2022, Indiana’s minimum wage rate is the same as the federal rate, which is $7.25 per hour.
Where can I find information on Indiana employment laws?
You can visit the Indiana Department of Labor website for information on employment and labor laws.
What is the right of a worker to compensation in case of an injury or occupational hazard in Indiana?
Workers are entitled to compensation in case of an injury or occupational hazard in Indiana.
How does Indiana support workforce development?
Indiana has several programs and incentives to support workforce development, such as the Next Level Jobs program.
What are the key regulations businesses in Indiana must follow?
The Secretary of State and the state’s various regulatory agencies provide guidance and direction.
Can I register a business offline in Indiana?
Yes, business owners in Indiana can register their business offline as well as online.
Are there any discounts or waivers for vetrepreneurs in Indiana?
Yes, Indiana offers many resources and incentives for military veterans through the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs.
Are there any tax incentives when hiring new employees in Indiana?
Indiana offers tax incentives and credits for businesses that create new jobs in the state.
How easy is it to obtain funding for a new business in Indiana?
Indiana has several government-backed programs in place to help individuals and small businesses secure financing.
What kind of businesses can participate in Indiana’s Rural Growth and Development Loan program?
Indiana’s Rural Growth and Development Loan program targets businesses located in rural areas of Indiana.
Are there any grants or loans available to first-time small business owners in Indiana?
Yes, there are many grants and loans funded by the government and other entities in Indiana.
Is Indiana business-friendly for dropshipping or e-commerce entrepreneurs?
Indiana’s low tax rates and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for e-commerce businesses.
Who should I contact in Indiana for general information about starting a business?
Anyone in search of general information about starting a business in Indiana can contact the state government’s business entity division.
What should an entrepreneur include in a business plan in Indiana?
A detailed analysis of Indiana’s business climate and the community and industry for which the business is targeting.
Do I need to appoint a registered agent for my business in Indiana?
Yes, all businesses operating in Indiana must have a registered agent.
Are there any federal tax obligations for businesses operating in Indiana?
Yes, businesses in Indiana must fulfill federal tax obligations.
Is Indiana known for agritourism and farm ventures?
Very much so. Indiana is the fourth-largest pork producer and has emerged as a popular destination for farm tourism.
Are there any cultural and recreational opportunities in Indiana for employees of businesses?
There are many cultural and recreational opportunities available in Indiana including museums, sporting events, and outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.
What are the benefits of starting a business in Indiana?
Indiana’s prime location, cheap labor, supportive tax policies, and available business network make it a worthwhile choice for business owners.
How do I register my business in Indiana?
Visit the Indiana Secretary of State’s website and follow the instructions posted on their Business Services page.
How much does it cost for registering a business in Indiana?
The registration cost varies depending on the type of business structure, visit the Indiana Secretary of State’s website for more information.
Does Indiana offer any assistance or funding to new businesses?
Yes, Indiana has several resources aimed at helping birth new small businesses or expanding business activities in the state.
What taxes does Indiana charge businesses?
Indiana businesses are subject to the Corporate Income 7.0%-8.5%, Financial Institutions Tax 6.25%, Gasoline tax (cpg) 35.0 cpg, Cigarette tax 99.5¢, and Sales and use or transaction tax 7.0%.
What should I consider before choosing a business name in Indiana?
You should consider trademark issues, availability, and legality in the State of Indiana to ensure that your business name represents legally required business instances.
How can I charge sales tax ion Indiana?
In Indiana, businesses are required by way of filling the ST-103 or the ST-103CAR form with the State to collect quarterly sales tax on taxable transactions.
What type of business insurance do I need to operate a business in Indiana?
General Liability Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, and Property Insurance are the recommended business insurance types in Indiana.
What leads to data breaches from businesses in Indiana?
Phishing, carelessness, weak passwords, and malware are the leading causes of data infringements of business data in Indiana.
How do I compare my financials with the corporate ones in Indiana?
About every day, business informational websites like Black Boulevard Resource and even governmental platforms like the State Board of Accounts frequently release financial data to the public.
Can I start a home-based business In Indiana?
Yes, Indiana allows home-based businesses to operate.
What are the required safety checks to run a business in Indiana?
Businesses usually go through rigorous permitting processes governed under professional, industry-specific guides like OSHA or ISO/GMP.
How can I structure my business in Indiana?
Indiana offers ways of improving or stacking business types such as C-Corporation, Incorporation, LLC formation, Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, and Limited Partnership.
Is Indiana section-wary and supportive towards business?
Yes, Entrepreneurial culture leaders like IU Northwest have put it at the center of interactive manufacturing and innovation centers and cutting edge infrastructure show the supportiveness of business.
Are there any restrictions to starting business in Indiana, considering residency?
No, Residency isn’t required to start a business in Indiana.
What are the business entity types available in Indiana?
The major business types registered in Indiana are Domestic Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Foreign Corporation, Interests in a Business Trust, and Nonprofit.
What type of financial challenges are common to Indiana Small Business owners?
Answer Small business owners in Indiana often experience financial discomfort from overdraft fees, equipment and real estate maintenance cost, loan payments, etc.
Can I operate a sole proprietorship while establishing the business as another type of legal entity?
Answer Yes, You can operate your business as a sole proprietorship during the incorporation process, Though, personal liabilities will be considered.
What are the minimum requirements to file a patent possibility in Indiana?
Generally, a patent invention has to be original, useful, and innovative.
How easy is it to join a small business incubator in Indiana?
Entrepreneurs or investors can connect with Indiana economic development centres to know more about the application process.
Does Indiana recognize international-based start-ups and businesses?
Answer Yes, laws in Indiana recognize national and international based start-ups and businesses, though, certain arrangements and processes have to follow.
Does Indiana government have tax forms and assistance for finding talented employees?
from their Career Connect Initiative website to tax Incentives deals, the Indiana government provides platforms to find Assitance to identify capable workforce techie transfers knowledge-management practices.
How easily can someone who just relocated to Indiana sell a product or service in the state?
Indiana has relaxed reg seasons for entrepreneurial schemes, which afford serendipity in organic tech parks, export trade, or shelf product displays like Fry’s eggs
Can someone start two businesses in Indiana?
Legal guides are given by Indiana’s Secretary of state providing for multiple joint ventures., By extension, Owners can position with managing team clusters helping in public accounting or service trade etc.
How crucial are LLC Operating Agreements?
Constitutive Acts dictate acceptable practises between member rights, powers, and responsibilities meticulously.
Can Indiana’s laws cover internet-based businesses?
Laws are regularly updated to accommodate digital risks on International billing subscriptions, Remote hosting, and business provider breaches, amongst others.
How lucrative is farming and agribusiness in Indiana?
Answer Ye, Indiana-based businesses earn tens of billions of dollars, yearly rolling out exotic grains, seed, and feed for four-legged creatures and supporting divergent cattle trade.
Can business licenses in Indiana function as contract signals a voter conspiracy-quit site in the State?
Legal licenses function conservatively to authenticate a pandemic sign-up convenience not used to license ballots, brochures or deeds/signed papers needed on the voter leave imputations.

Also Read

Why You Should Start Business in Indiana

One of the main reasons why you should consider starting a business in Indiana is the state’s pro-business environment. Indiana has consistently ranked as one of the top states for business due to its low taxes, supportive government policies, and business-friendly regulations. The state’s government is committed to cutting red tape and creating a favorable climate for businesses to grow and succeed. This means that entrepreneurs in Indiana can focus on innovating and expanding their businesses, rather than being bogged down by bureaucratic hurdles.

Another compelling reason to choose Indiana for your business is the state’s skilled workforce. Indiana is home to a highly educated and trained workforce that is well-equipped to handle the demands of modern industries. Whether you’re looking for engineers, technicians, marketing professionals, or any other specialized talent, Indiana has a deep pool of skilled workers ready to meet your needs. Furthermore, Indiana is home to several prestigious universities and colleges that produce talented graduates every year, providing a pipeline of fresh talent for businesses to tap into.

In addition to its pro-business environment and skilled workforce, Indiana also boasts excellent infrastructure that supports businesses of all kinds. The state is strategically located in the Midwest, with easy access to major transportation routes and distribution hubs. This makes it easy for businesses in Indiana to transport goods and services across the country efficiently and cost-effectively. Furthermore, Indiana has a robust network of utilities, including reliable power and water systems, to ensure that businesses can operate smoothly without any interruptions.

Furthermore, Indiana offers a high quality of life for business owners and their employees. The state boasts a low cost of living, affordable housing options, and excellent healthcare and education systems. Whether you’re looking to raise a family, enjoy outdoor activities, or explore cultural attractions, Indiana has something to offer for everyone. This, in turn, helps to attract and retain top talent for businesses, ensuring long-term success and growth.

Lastly, Indiana has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a supportive network of resources for businesses. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your existing business, Indiana offers a wide range of incubators, accelerators, and networking opportunities to help you succeed. Additionally, there are numerous incentives and grants available for businesses in Indiana, making it easier to access capital and resources to fuel your growth and expansion.

In conclusion, Indiana offers a unique combination of a pro-business environment, skilled workforce, excellent infrastructure, high quality of life, and entrepreneurship support that makes it an ideal destination for businesses of all kinds. Whether you’re a startup looking to make your mark or an established company seeking new opportunities, Indiana has everything you need to succeed. So why wait? Start your business in Indiana today and watch it soar to new heights!


Starting a business in Indiana has unique advantages and challenges since it offers a large and diverse market, access to skilled talent, and numerous networking opportunities, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs. However, business owners must also contend with a high cost of living, intense competition, and potentially complex regulations.

Ultimately, whether starting a business in Indiana is the right decision depends on the entrepreneur’s specific needs, goals, and industry. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and consider factors such as taxes, regulations, workforce availability, and target market when choosing a location for a new business. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions and set themselves up for success in the competitive Indiana business landscape.

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