A new year brings the opportunities for new beginnings. For many across the country, that means starting their own businesses. Optimism for small businesses is on the rise, according to NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index.
There are several key steps for an individual to consider before starting a business. The task can seem daunting, but there are many resources available to those looking to make the move. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides 10 steps to start your business.
- Conduct market research – Make sure your business idea is viable in its intended market. Gather information about potential customers and businesses already operating in your area and use that information to find a competitive advantage for your business.
- Write your business plan – This is the foundation of your business. It will help you in structuring, running, and growing your new business.
- Funding – Figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business. To get your business off the ground, determine what funding type makes the most sense for your business based on terms, rates, and risks. SBA provides resources to help those in their search.
- Pick a location – This can make or break your business. Take into account costs, benefits, and restrictions with the area.
- Business structure – Your business’s legal structure will impact its registration requirements, tax rates, and personal liability.
- Choose your business name – Your business’s name should reflect your brand and capture its spirit. You’ll also want to avoid using the same name as somebody else.
- Register – Make your business name legal and protect your brand.
- Federal and state tax IDs – You’ll use your employer identification number (EIN) for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes.
- Apply for licenses and permits – Stay legally compliant to keep your business running smoothly. These licenses and permits will vary by industry, state, and location, among other factors.
- Open a business bank account – A small business checking account can help you handle legal, tax, and day-to-day issues.