Start Your Business
By Jean Murray, About.com Guide
- First Steps to Business Startup
- Choose a Business Name
- Find a Business Location
- Choose Your Business Legal Type
- Starting a Business - Legal Types of Business
- Prepare to Pay Business Taxes
- Create Your Financial Projections
- Prepare a Business Plan
- Find Startup Financing for Your Business
First Steps to Business Startup
The first steps to business startup involve obtaining licenses and fees, setting up a business bank account, obtaining a business phone number, and in general establishing your business presence, either online or in your community.
- First Steps to Business Startup
- Apply for an Employer ID Number
- File a Fictitious Name (DBA) Statement
- Select Your Tax Year and Accounting Method
- Get Local Licenses and Permits
- Register with Federal, State, Local Agencies
Choose a Business Name
Creating a name for your business may be the most difficult part of your business, but you can't begin your business without it. Learn how to create a great business name that will work for you, and how to protect that name.
- Select Your Business Name
- Register Your Business Name
- Trademark Your Business Name and Logo as a "Brand"
Find a Business Location
Everybody needs to be somewhere, and that includes businesses. Unless you are starting your business from home, you need to find a location. The process of selecting this location can be a critical factor in your success in reaching new customers. This section includes information on the process of leasing a location.
- Determine Where your Market is Located
- What to Look for in a Commercial Lease
- 10 Tips to Consider When Leasing Commercial Space
- Negotiating a Commercial Lease
Choose Your Business Legal Type
This decision is one which gives lots of new business owners problems, because there are so many possibilities, and the consequences of your decision can affect your business future. We will look at the criteria for selecting a legal form of organization and compare the various types of businesses - sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, s-corporation, or c-corporation - to help you make an informed decision.
Starting a Business - Legal Types of Business
Each type of business - sole proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership, corporation - has different requirements for start-up. Learn about the specific steps to start the type of legal form for your company.
- Forming a Limited Liability Company
- Starting a Partnership
- Starting a Sole Proprietorship
- Starting a Corporation or S Corporation
Prepare to Pay Business Taxes
As you start your business, don't forget about taxes you must pay. Some, like sales tax, are collected and turned in to state or federal agencies. Other taxes are paid on your business income. Learn about these taxes and how to get registered to pay them.
- All the Taxes Paid by Businesses
- Get Started with Sales Taxes
- Income Taxes for Your Business Type
- Prepare to Deduct, File, and Pay Payroll Taxes
Create Your Financial Projections
One of the most important tasks in starting a business and obtaining financing is to put together financial projections. How much will the business take in as income? What is needed for startup? How much will the monthly expenses be? All of these questions need to be thoughtfully researched and determined. This section will discuss each step in the process of preparing financial projections.
- Create a First Year Cash Flow (Month-to-Month) Statement
- Prepare a Beginning Balance Sheet
- Prepare a First Year Income Statement (P&L)
Prepare a Business Plan
If you don't need money to start your business, congratulations! Even in this circumstance, you should still have a business plan, to help you chart your course and plan for all eventualities. In this section, you'll go through the process of creating a business plan, using a simple business plan template.
- Create a "Year One" Marketing Plan
- Create your Unique Selling Proposition
- Prepare Financial Documents for Business Plan
- Finalize Your Business Plan
Find Startup Financing for Your Business
Now that you have done all the work of preparing a business plan, you are ready to start taking it to banks and investors and others. But how do you do that? Where do you go? What do you say? In this section, we will provide the answers.