Are you looking to start a small business? Now is the perfect time for entrepreneurs to start a business. The conditions are in place for your new business to succeed. You can make your dream of starting your own business a reality now. If you plan on starting from the ground up, you must have a new small business checklist. A small business checklist will help you map out the creation of your business. This is your complete small business checklist. It’ll help you improve your chances of success.
1. Plan For Success By Choosing a Name and Location
The first order of business on your small business checklist should focus on two things. You must choose a name and location for your new business.
Choosing the name of your business is an important part of becoming an entrepreneur. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You might want to find the perfect name, but it’s common to go through different names.
Once you decide on a name, you must report or register it in different places. You must register the name with your state. When you do this, you ensure that no other business can use it in your state.
You must also register your name with your city or county. This will allow you to get a business license.
You’ll also have to register your business’ name with governmental agencies. You must register with the IRS to get a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).
You want to register with the federal government if you seek trademark protection. It’s also a good idea to do so if you seek tax-exempt status.
If you have trouble choosing a good name, you should consider the following tips. The name you settle on should be unique, but relevant to your business so it represents it. Make the name positive, short, and easy to spell.
You must choose the perfect location. The choice of location will depend on different factors. Think about the rent you must pay if you want to open a physical storefront.
Do consider the reputation of the area, state and local taxes, and regulations. It’s also a good idea to consider customer and community demographics.
It might be a better idea to work from home. You can save money on rent and avoid a dreadful commute.
2. Write a Business Plan
After you pick a business name and location, the next order of business is to write a business plan. Your business plan should include several key parts that promote smart business decisions.
Focus on writing a description of your business. Describe what you’ll sell. State how you’ll sell the product and why you want to sell it.
Provide information about your business’ location and owners. Write about how your products or services are good for your target customers. When discussing your products or services, give details about their development and distribution.
You must lay out your business structure and management organization. Discuss the individuals who are part of your small business. You must outline how they’ll work together.
Include a sales and marketing strategy in your business plan. This strategy will dictate your sales process. It must explain how you plan to market and promote your products or services.
You must make sure you outline what types of business licenses and permits you must get to stay in business. Review your state and local business licensing and permit rules. Be ready to pay the fees before you open your business.
There must also be a financial plan. This plan will detail how you’ll fund your business. Make sure that it includes future projections.
The end of your business plan should include an executive summary. This section will summarize the content of the plan. If you wish, you can include an appendix with charts and notes.
The U.S. Small Business Administration agency has a template you can use to write your business plan. Keep your business plan concise. It doesn’t need to be a dozen pages long.
3. Focus On Choosing a Structure for Your New Business
You must define your business’ legal structure. There are several reasons why you must structure your small business. The legal structure you select will affect your liability and taxes.
Familiarize yourself with the primary business legal structures. You can form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). You must have at least one employee to have this type of legal structure.
This structure protects its owners from personal responsibility for their debts or liabilities. As an owner of an LLC, you’ll be referred to as a member. LLCs do not pay taxes on their profits directly.
Your small business can take the form of a partnership if it has two or more employees. Owners of a partnership can be held liable unless they have a limited partnership. All partners share profits equally.
Does your small business have only one employee? If so, you might have to form a sole proprietorship. As an owner, you’re liable. You must pay personal income tax on profits.
You can form a C corporation if your business has at least one employee. As an owner, you aren’t liable. You do have to pay personal income tax on profits.
Another option is the S corporation. If you select this type of corporation, your business must have less than 100 employees. You’ll pay taxes as a corporate entity.
4. Be Ready to Pay Taxes
Remember the EIN? The IRS might want you to get one for your business. If you have employees, you must get one.
You must get one if your business operates as a corporation or partnership. You must also get one if you file tax returns for employment.
To get an EIN, you must complete and submit an application through the IRS website. Once your business starts to operate, you must be ready to pay sales tax to your state and local governments.
It’s a good idea to register with your state tax department. You must present them with a valid Taxpayer Identification Number. Don’t neglect to familiarize yourself with the tax laws as you don’t want to face tax issues down the road.
5. Turn Your Attention to Financing Your New Business
You have to have the funds to get your small business up and running. The first to secure funds is to open a business bank account. Having a business bank account can make it easier for your business to get access to credit and capital.
Your bank can offer you a loan. You might need to put down cash to secure a loan from your bank.
You can try contacting capital investors. It might be a good idea to work with a venture capital firm as this type of firm can offer you cash.
You can also try to get a loan from the government. The Small Business Administration offers different loans. This government agency helps small businesses get loans with competitive terms.
If you need more funding options, you can try crowdsourcing. There are different fundraising platforms you can use to solicit small donations. With the donations you get, you can get your start-up off the ground.
6. Get the Resources and Services You Need to Fuel Your Business
Now you’re one step closer to opening your small business. Next on the new company checklist is to get the products and services you need to run it.
Focus on getting affordable business Internet and phone services. Do your research and find a plan that fits both your start-up needs and budget.
No business is without risk, so you must get business insurance. Your business structure will determine the type of coverage you must get. You must also consider the number of employees you have.
To experience entrepreneurial success, you must buy business software. This includes accounting and auditing software. You must also buy point-of-sale systems and cloud-based tools.
7. Time to Sell
Now it’s time to get customers. You must have an effective marketing and sales plan.
There are different tools you can use to sell your products or services. Social media is a great tool. It’s free and effective. Click the link to read about small business social media tips you can use.
Keep in mind that your customers pay your bills and keep your small business running. As a small business owner, you must focus on providing excellent customer service.
Use This Ultimate Small Business Checklist To Start Your New Business
If owning a small business is your dream, you must use this small business checklist. It outlines all the steps you must follow to find success. Business ownership isn’t easy, but with the right resources and tools, you can open your own small business.
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