When you say "legit", do you mean legally registered to do business? If so,
Here`s what I do...
- Figure out in what state the business is most likely registered....(you could ask them, guess by where they`re doing business, or try the most popular states for registrations; Delaware, Nevada, Texas, Florida)
- Go to that states Secretary of State website.
- To find a business registered with the Secretary of State look around the SOS site for a `Business Services` menu, tab or link. On many of the state sites this will lead you to a link to a business entity search box. Some SOS sites may word their links differently but on most it will be, `Business Entity Search` or simply `business search`.
- Enter the name of the business into that search and see what info is available on that business or name.
- Many times you`ll be able to get FREE access to their actual filed paperwork in the form of a .pdf.
This may take a little bit of detective work considering many internet companies are LLCs operating DBA`s (Doing Business As) under other names. However, if this is the case and they are registered properly the actual business entity will be shown, along with the registered agent and their contact information as well as `Fictitious Name` filings or DBA registrations.
Okay, so what? Just because a business is registered that doesn`t mean they conduct business in a legitimate manner. That`s where Googling comes in handy, as mentioned above. Contacting the business via telephone and inquiring about their product and/or services and getting a feeling for their responsiveness and level of professionalism is always a good idea. Also, ask them for references. There are MANY home-operated web businesses which are completely legitimate from a legal standpoint that also provide quality products and services.
If you`re still not convinced you could also check with their state taxing agency`s web site in pretty much the same way as the five steps above.
If everything looks good, give them a try. As with any new transaction situations.... start small. This will give `em a chance to prove themselves, their products and their services, and allow you to limit your risk.
But do beware of those selling home-based business packages and MLM programs. So many of those are scams....... legally registered scams. Don`t pay one red cent to get into a home-based business package or MLM program! Do your own thing. It can be well worth the journey.