Let me start by saying that I have over 15 years of small business accounting experience, and I have worked with several startups.
I am anti-Quickbooks; it is not true double-entry accounting, it does not have a hard period close, and the reporting is mediocre at best. You can pick up a new copy of Peachtree on ebay for $20 or less; it is far superior to QB in just about every way.
If you are in Illinois, I can walk you through the process. First, you need to go to www.irs.gov and get your federal tax ID number (FEIN). Then you can get set up with the state and get incorporated.
If you don't have business experience, I strongly recommed that you take a class for entreprenuers at your local community college.
There are so many great resources available for startups. The best place to start is www.score.org, and join your local Chamber of Commerce.
Feel free to ask me any questions! -Robin
at 7:12 AM on Jun. 23, 2009