10 Steps to Starting a Business
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. Your business plan is your roadmap to success. If you fail to plan then you can plan to fail.
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. Don’t skip over this very important step to help you lay a good foundation.
Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training
Take advantage of free training and counseling services. Scan local websites, and Chamber of Commerce listings for seminars on everything from how to prepare a business plan to securing financing, expanding, or marketing a business.
Step 3: Choose a Business Location
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws. But also consider working from home.
Step 4: Finance Your Business
Find government-backed loans, venture capital funding, and research grants to help you get started. Also, search the internet for various grant opportunities and business contests.
Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited 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. Do a trademark search. Just because your business is registered doesn’t mean you can legally use the name.
Step 7: Get a National Tax Identification Number
Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency. You can actually get these in one day just by calling the IRS.
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 website (http://www.sba.gov/content/follow-these-steps-starting-business)