Setting up an enterprise requires time, money and energy. Your enterprise doesn't necessarily have to make money, though. Non-profit organizations or social enterprises -- such as Red Cross and YMCA -- play a role in society that is no lesser than that of for-profit businesses. Whatever the enterprise you want to set up, approach it professionally.
Come up with an idea of what your enterprise will be about. Think about who will be the customers of your business. If you plan your enterprise to be a non-profit organization, define the beneficiaries of its work. Also, consider how to finance your organization and where it will get money to grow.
Write a business plan. This formal document describes the structure of the organization, its financial aspects, the products it will produce or services it will provide and many other details relating to how the organization will work. Social enterprises also need a business plan as it will make the enterprise more professional. Instead of profits, they can measure their success in terms of people fed, children saved from HIV/AIDs or other measurements of their social impact.
Raise capital to start your enterprise. If you want to start a business enterprise, contact local banks and venture capital funds. If your enterprise is of social nature, ask for funding from charity organizations, the government or philanthropic foundations.
Register the enterprise's name at the local authority, typically the office of the Secretary of State. As name registration differs from state to state, consult business.gov for how to do it in your state.
Obtain an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, from the U.S. Revenue and Internal Revenue Service. You can apply for this number online at IRS.gov. The site includes information on tax state registration you may need to go through, depending on the state in which you registered the enterprise.