First Steps to Start a Business
Develop a Business Plan
Whether business owners already have a plan in place or are simply coming up with ideas, they may want to write down basic guidelines of how they would like their business to run. Business plans should include the company’s goals, financing strategies, profit outlook and marketing techniques. The owner may also want to include how company leaders should hire and train employees. It is important to keep in mind that a plan may go through several changes during the startup process. It is okay for company organizers to revise the plan several times until it fits with the company’s outlook.
Managing Financial Matters
How will the company make a profit? Where is the business owner going to come up with the money to start the business? These are vital factors that entrepreneurs should consider at the outset of the company. Business owners may want to check with various financial institutions, venture capitalists, investors, friends and family when accumulating funds for their prospective business.
Types of Business Insurance
As the business owner looks at his or her finances, it is important to determine what type of insurance will be needed. Depending on the state’s requirements, companies may be required to have property insurance, which covers the building structure itself. In addition, the business may also need auto insurance if the company has employees who drive vehicles while on-the-job. Companies that have several employees may also want to consider getting quotes on health, life and/or disability insurance.
Accounting is a critical component of any business’s basic structure. Accounting software systems are designed to handle accounts payable, accounts receivable, tax information, payroll and other financial matters the business may need help with. There are also accounting firms that dedicate their time to handling these services for companies of all sizes.
Determining the Legal Structure of the Business
There are several business structures available to new business owners. Companies that have two or more owners or partners may wish to obtain a partnership. People who wish to run the business alone may want to seek a sole proprietorship. A limited liability corporation has several business owners, who are protected from business debts and other crucial liabilities. A corporation, on the other hand, allows shareholders to participate in the accumulation of profits, but does not hold them responsible for any debts that may be acquired from business dealings. Lastly, a non-profit legal structure is available to certain small business prospects who wish to start an organization that is exempt from paying taxes.
While each type of business structure has advantages and disadvantages, business owners must assess their own needs in order to determine which structure will work best for them. Once a business structure is chosen, the owner must fill out the proper paperwork that goes along with that type of business.
Getting a Business License or Permit
In some cases, companies may have to obtain business licenses or permits that will allow them to operate. The mandated licenses and permits ultimately depend on what type of business the owner has, as well as the state and federal regulations regarding that area. In addition to a general business license, some common licenses include the following: federal business licenses, local business licenses, liquor licenses, state business licenses and/or property permits to gain access to a certain area.
Starting a business can be a thrilling and nerve-wracking experience. There are a number of small and critical details that business owners must address before getting their company underway. It is important that people who want to start a business understand everything that this complicated venture entails. This knowledge will help to maximize a business’s chance of survival in a competitive marketplace.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.