Starting a business is a complex undertaking with a lot of moving pieces. From brainstorming a name to filing taxes, launching a new venture is a long and winding journey that can be filled with highs and lows.
However, if you can keep your eye on the prize — the freedom and prosperity that comes with owning and operating your own company — and take it one step at a time, you can turn that spark of an idea into a fully-functioning enterprise. In this article, we’ll break down the steps you need to take to start a business, from writing a plan to registering your company and promoting your product or service.
1. Choose a legal structure.
When deciding how to structure your business, it’s important to consider your personal and financial goals as well as the industry in which you plan to operate. For example, if you’re going to be working with partners, you’ll want to decide if a partnership structure is right for you (or, if not, you can opt for an LLC or corporation).
The next step in the process of starting a business is registering your company name and determining if you need any licenses or permits. While figuring this out might sound daunting, you can always seek help from an attorney or accountant to make sure your startup is compliant with all state and local laws.
2. Research and estimate your start-up costs.
Before you can open your doors for business, it’s crucial to determine what your startup costs will be. This includes anything from the price of insurance policies to rent in your area, materials you’ll need and more. It’s important to be both honest and conservative with your estimates so that you don’t end up running out of money before you even launch.
3. Apply for the necessary state and local licenses.
Once you’ve registered your business, you’ll need to obtain any relevant licenses or permits. While the exact requirements will vary by industry, most businesses will need a general business license as well as a seller’s permit. In addition, you’ll also need to register for state and local taxes.
4. Purchase the appropriate insurance coverage.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s vital to have the proper insurance coverage in place before you open your doors for business. This can protect you against things such as property damage, theft and customer lawsuits.
5. Find the necessary funding to start your business.
Whether it’s through loans, grants or the support of family and friends, finding funding is a crucial part of the process of starting a business. This will allow you to more effectively and efficiently launch your company. Plus, it’ll give you a sense of security that will help you sleep at night.