Congratulations! You made the decision, you are going for it, you are going to be your own boss and operate your own business. One of the first decisions you made, if you are a service-based company, was what service(s) your company will provide or, if you are a product-based company, what product(s) your company will be offering. You have chosen a name for your company and possibly even developed a logo. These first decisions are what I consider the “fun” decisions. You are off to a great start but wait, now the real work begins.
Below are ten steps you need to take in order to ensure a successful start for your business. I look forward to going into more detail on each step in future articles, but, for now it is a good idea to simply get familiar with the basic steps that almost every business will need to go through.
- Develop a business plan
- If needed obtain business assistance and training
- Choose a business location
- Finance your business
- Determine the legal structure of your business – Sole Proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation as a C-corp. or S-corp.
- Register your business name with your state
- Obtain a tax identification number from the IRS
- Register for state and local taxes
- Obtain business licenses and permits
- Learn and understand your responsibilities as an employer.
Not all businesses will have to take all ten steps. You will need to determine what steps to take based on the type and scope of your business, but you should be aware of these ten steps, and their purposes and legal ramifications, so you can make the correct decisions for your company.
In my next article I will break down the major elements of writing a business plan. Until then, here is to your success.
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