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9 Steps to Start Your Business

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Ready to take the leap? Here are the U.S. Small Business Association’s ten must-do steps to make sure your business starts off right.

  1. Write a Business Plan
While many new business owners would rather skip the laborious task of creating a business plan, experts say this document is an important part of any future venture’s success. A business plan serves as a blueprint for your business that forces you to take a good, hard look at everything before you start.

2. Get Help

You may have the next million-dollar idea but that doesn’t mean you don’t need help. Regardless of whether you’re not the best writer or you can’t figure out a computer to save your life, you can still get your business off the ground. Do a little research to find free help with tasks like preparing a business plan, securing financing, or relocating a business.

3. Choose a Location

Where you operate is just as important as the product or service you offer. Spend some time researching where your business would thrive best and whether zoning laws will allow you to open your doors.

4. Find Funding

Although funding is one of the most important and essential pieces needed to get your business off the ground, don’t let a lack of cash stop you. There are a number of options available including, crowdfunding, government backed loans, venture capital and even grants.

5. Choose a Legal Structure

Don’t assume an LLC is the way to go. Spend some time doing the research yourself or contact an attorney or a tax professional to learn the ins and out of each type of business structure.

6. Register a Business Name

Registering your business name with your state government is a must if you are operating in a name other than the one you structured your business with. So, for instance, if your company is called Black Empowerment, Inc. and you filed that as a corporation with your state, but you run a day-camp called Garvey’s Kids, you’ll have to register the day camp name as well.

7. Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

8. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

9. Employees?

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees. Get more information from the U.S. Small Business Association here.]]>

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