Checklist for Starting a Business
1. Write a business plan that includes your business objectives and your strategy for achieving them. Be specific. What are your products or services? How will you market them? What's your geographic market area? How will you distribute your product? What's the competition? What are your expenses? Include a realistic start-up projection for one or more years of income and expenses.
2. Select competent advisors to assist you — a lawyer, banker, accountant, insurance agent, marketing expert, and other professionals that your business may require. Engage advisors who can spot problems before they become serious, act as a sounding board for your ideas, and give personal attention to your business in the early years when you need it most.
3. Choose the best form under which your business should operate - sole proprietor, partnership, regular corporation, S corporation, or limited liability company.
4. Most new businesses need capital. Decide whether the financing should come from lenders or additional owners of the business.
5. Location is a very important factor in a business's success. Decide whether it's best to rent or own your building, and then evaluate different sites.
6. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses for your business. Review any regulations that may apply to your business.
7. Go over any insurance needs with your insurance agent.
8. Your business will have new tax responsibilities such as:
a. payroll taxes for employees
b. worker's compensation
c. unemployment insurance
d. sales taxes
e. property taxes
f. excise taxes
g. business income tax Apply for the necessary federal and state identification numbers, and get information about the taxes that will apply to you.
9. Set up a good recordkeeping system that will give you information you can understand and use in the management of your business.