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The Small Business Checklist

The Small Business Checklist: How To Establish Your Business - Legally Starting a business may be exciting, but it is no walk in the park. In order to help guide you through the steps of starting your business, we have taken cues from Business.gov to give you a checklist of items, some important and some mandatory, that you should consider as you let your entrepreneurial spirit flourish. BUSINESS PLAN: EUREKA! RESEARCH AND PLAN YOUR BUSINESS SEEK ASSISTANCE Before you move forward with your golden business idea, it is wise to do a little research. Make sure that there is a market for what you are selling. Find out how much capital you will need to put your plan in motion. This first step also includes drafting up a general business plan to move you forward. Unless you are a seasoned expert, a business mentor or adviser is highly recommended. Seek out someone (preferably not a competitor) who has been successful in their business and pick their brain to understand how they created a successful enterprise. CHOOSE A BUSINESS LOCATION ACQUIRE FUNDING It takes money to make money, so if you don't have much to start with, you need to find some- one who will lend you the capital needed to make your dream a reality. Some places you may want to ask for help include family mem- bers, angel investors, venture capital firms, your bank, and the government. Whether you are opening a brick-and-mortar shop or are strictly an online business, loca- tion is key. Do some legwork up front to determine the right location or website domain. Finding the location that will bring in the most traffic is essential. If you are open- ing a physical location, make sure you are complying with all the zoning laws in your city. .3 DETERMINE THE LEGAL STRUCTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS NAME There are a variety of ways to legally structure your busi- ness, each of which contain a wide variety of implications Do some research to determine which of the following structures is right for your business: • Sole Proprietorship • Partnership • Corporation •S Corporation • Limited Liability Company (LLC) • Non Profit • Cooperative Once you have chosen a name for your business, it's time to register the name with your state government. The process varies from state to state, so find out what the policy is in the state you are starting the business. It typically involves filling out a simple online form, or filing the name with your city or county clerk. .6 TAXES: REGISTER FOR STATE AND LOCAL TAXES GET A TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN) On top of your federal tax credentials, you will be required to register for state and local taxes. These tax laws will vary from state to state, so be sure to do some At this point, you will need to obtain a tax identification number from the IRS. The type of number you apply for is determined by the structure of your business. research to determine what the requirements are in your local region. .8 LICENSE HIRE EMPLOYEES If you wish to hire some extra help, there are some legal guidelines that need to be taken into account. Some of the items that may need to be in place before you hire employees are workers' compensation, unemployment and other forms of employee insurance. It is important to make sure that you are following the legal requirements so you can protect yourself from any legal issues that may arise in the future. OBTAIN BUSINESS LICENSES AND PERMITS Depending on your type of business, you may be required to apply for special licenses and/or per- mits from federal, state and/or local governments. It is important to secure these permits early on so that you are operating legally when your doors open. .9 .10 Contact he Source: business.gov START! SUCCESS!

The Small Business Checklist

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The small business checklist infographic by: ContactMe gives us great visual information on how to successfully launch a business legally.

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