Start a Business

Starting a Business

You've decided to take the plunge into self-employment, either part or full time. Now what do you do??
 
Here's a brief checklist to get you thinking:
  1. Put your ideas down on paper in a very short business plan. Include your goals, your market, your marketing strategy, and your income and expense projections.
  2. Find and discuss your business plan with an accountant.
  3. Ask your accountant about the various aspects of business entities (formation, accounting, and tax aspects):
    • Sole proprietorship
    • Partnership
    • Corporation
    • S-corporation
    • Limited Liability Company                                                                                                                                           
  4. Also ask about hiring employees, if you plan to do so immediately.
  5. If you choose partnership, corporation, or limited liability company, consult an attorney for the legal aspects (formation, ownership, dissolution).
  6. Recheck your business plan.
  7. Consult an insurance agent, if liability is an issue.
  8. Check out your projected sources of initial funding.
  9. Incorporate with the state, if you are a corporation or limited liability company.
  10. File with state for assumed name, if any.
  11. Obtain an employer identification number (FEIN).
  12. Obtain state tax ID's.
  13. Obtain local business permits.
  14. Open a business checking account.
  15. Set up a simple bookkeeping system or hire someone to do it for you. Make sure your system has a plan for keeping track of all receipts and your mileage expense.
  16. Recheck and rework your business plan if necessary.
  17. Smile! Put out your sign! You're in business!

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