Starting a business can be a daunting task; however, there is nothing more gratifying than know you are a legitimate business. Like most entrepreneurs starting out, I’m working with limited funds. Therefore, I’m doing my best to eliminate overhead by doing a lot of the work myself. You would be amazed at what you can do with just a computer, an internet connection, and telephone. I suggest starting with the SBA.gov as they have a plethora of information.
For those looking for a general overview of steps see below:
1. Write a business plan. Your business plan is a formal statement of your business goals. It outlines the future strategy and financial development of your business and the plan for reaching those goals.
2. Finance Your Business. Starting a business requires money. Determine if you will be obtaining loans, using your own savings, or utilizing grants or investors for funding. Every business needs capital at some point to start-up or expand.
3. Choose Your Business Legal Structure. Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative. Setting your company up as a corporation or LLC are popular entity structures for many small businesses because this protects your personal assets from business debts and liabilities.
4. Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As” or “Fictitious Business Name”). Register your business name with your state government. A fictitious business name statement is required if the company name is different from your own. Fictitious business name statements are obtained through your local county Clerk-Recorder office.
5. Get a Tax Identification Number. Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.
6. Register for State and Local Taxes. Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. your state and the federal government for a Federal Employer Identification Number.
7. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits. Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business. Register for permits.
8. Understand Employer Responsibilities. Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.
Note: Legal requirements can vary by state.
Share any tips you have for starting your own business?