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Setting up Your Business to Receive Payments

Before you accept cash, checks and charges from your customers, there are some things you must know.
October 13, 2003

Q: I started a homebased business two weeks ago, and I just received my first check. Do I need to set up a separate bank account for my business? What if a customer wants to pay by credit card?

A: That's a great problem to have. While most start-up businesses struggle to find customers, it seems like you've got that problem licked. Now all you need to do is find a place to stash your money. While you don't need any special license or permit to start accepting money from customers, there are some business basics that you should be aware of--especially if you've incorporated your business under a name that's different from your own.

Rosalind Resnick is the founder and CEO of Axxess Business Centers Inc. , a storefront consulting firm for start-ups and small businesses. She is a former business and computer journalist who built her Internet marketing company, NetCreations Inc. , from a two-person homebased start-up to a public company that generated $58 million in annual sales.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.