Most of my small business clients register their businesses themselves with the State in which they are forming the enterprise and then they register with the IRS on line. The cost is generally in the area of $75 to $200, except for California which is outlandish. The IRS registration is free.

They register by going the Secretary of State Web site for their State and downloading the appropriate form for the type of business they are forming (sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, etc.). They complete the form, attach the payment and mail it to the address designated on the form.

Most receive their registration from the state and their identification numbers within 3 weeks. They then go on line and register with the IRS. That registration is virtually instantaneous if completed correctly.

You can download instructions for your state free of charge at "References" file in the BOX at the right margin of the site I maintain as an extension of my volunteer work:

SMALL BUSINESS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING (SBFGC
 
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