So, you've got a great business idea and you're ready to become an entrepreneur? Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. Ask yourself these 20 questions to make sure you’re thinking about the right business decisions!
Choosing a business name is an important step in the business planning process. Not only should you pick a name that reflects your brand identity, but you also need to ensure it is properly registered and protected for the long term. You should also give a thought to whether it’s web-ready. Is the domain name even available?
The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications. Learn about the different types of business structures and find the one best suited for your business.
This is an essential step to see anyone through the creation of a business. Your business plan is a huge step to create vision and action. A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. These resources can help you with creating your business plan:
Select a bank and open the company bank account.
If you are setup as a Corporation, LLC or Partnership (or a sole proprietorship with employees), apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS. A FEIN will be necessary to open a bank account or process payroll.
Depending on your type of business (retail, office or warehouse), arrange for office space to be leased. Contacting a commercial realtor in your area can be helpful. Also, make sure to arrange for utilities and office furniture.
To run your business legally, there are certain federal and state licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the requirements for your business:
Most Cities or Counties require you to obtain a business license, even if you operate a home-based business. This is a license granting the company the authority to do business in that city/county.