Like when you take a trip or buy a car, you need a plan. Starting a business is no different. Making important key financial decisions, looking at the legal and tax aspects of what you want to do, and managing your next steps are crucial to success. Remember Benjamin Franklin, the father of time management once said, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." About 50% of all businesses survive for five years or more (USA Today). Do you want to survive? Even thrive? Then you need to consider these ten steps:
Step 1: Write a business plan
Step 2: Get business training and advice
Step 3: location (location is crucial to your success)
Step 4: Finance your business
Step 5: Decide on the legal and tax structure (this will also determine your IRS ID)
Step 6: File with the IRS, the State you want to do business in and register the business name pay
Step 7: Register with state and local tax authorities, workers’ compensation, unemployment, and disability insurance
Step 8: Obtain the required business licenses and permits (get a list of federal, state, and local licenses and permits) Contact your city, county, or state governments.
Step 9: You as the Employer are responsible to take the legal steps for hiring employees.
Step 10: Find free training and professional coaches (local assistance is available through SBA offices, Chamber of Commerce)
Some of the initial issues to consider are copyrights, trademarks, patents, and a marketing plan.
Work with someone who, ideally, has a passion for what you are doing and who also has a firm grasp on what you are trying to accomplish. Have another team member (or the same one if you are lucky,) be devoted to keeping you from making avoidable mistakes. As a CFP and an experienced tax professional, I help avoid mistakes that cause business failure.
Resources for Startups
You can find information through the Small Business Administration (SBA) on environmentally-friendly, home-based, online, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and woman-owned businesses.
One of the best places to start is the SBA Small Business Administration website www.sba.gov. They offer a plethora of information, and you can also contact them and work with a mentor by speaking to someone in your local area SCORE. The SCORE Association is a nonprofit association of volunteer business counselors that have retired from very successful businesses and now want to help others. They are trained to counsel, advise, and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. Contact your local SCORE Association sponsored by SBA. You can email them or visit their local offices and make an appointment; they also have online workshops, and you can sign up for E-newsletters.
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