Your Business Plan: The Road Map to Success

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and establishing as a legal entity.

These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage the process of starting your own business.

Step 1: Business Plan Templates

Use these tools and resources to create and write your own business plan, a written guide that will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counseling services. Scan local websites, newspaper and Chamber of Commerce listings for seminars on everything from how to prepare a business plan to securing financing, and expanding or relocating a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 4: Finance Your Business

Find government backed loans, venture capital funding and research grants to help you get started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Lim- ited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, non-profit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)

Register your business name with your state government.

Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number

Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

SOURCE: SBA web site (http://www.sba.gov/content/follow-these-steps-starting-business)

About the author

Marketing and media content development for diverse markets that enhances the image of women of color. To present women of diverse backgrounds and cultures in a positive and more realistic light.

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