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Small Business Startup Checklist

[ 0 ] Feb. 21, 2014 | SBO Editor

business startup checklist

You’ve researched the marketplace for a small business niche you want to capitalize on and you are ready to plan your launch. A business startup checklist can help you accomplish a lot of the startup nitty-gritty in an organized and efficient way. If you follow a business startup checklist, you will have an easier time accomplishing the tasks needed for your business startup.

Follow these 12 steps to your small business success:

Business Startup Checklist 1: Make Your Plan

~Obtain and read information on your type of business

~Read about all laws and regulations affecting your business

~Research how to make your business profitable

~Plan how you will finance your business

~Plan how you will get stock or inventory

~Plan your marketing efforts

Business Startup Checklist 2: Choose Your Name

~Check other business names and trademarks

~Register your name, trademark

Business Startup Checklist 3: Choose Your Business Form

~Prepare and file organizational papers

~Prepare and file fictitious name or doing business as forms

Business Startup Checklist 4: Choose Your Location

~Check competitors

~Check zoning

Business Startup Checklist 5: Obtain Licenses, Permits

~City

~County

~State

~Federal

Business Startup Checklist 6: Choose a Bank

~Checking account

~Credit card processing

~Loans

Business Startup Checklist 7: Insurance

~Automobile

~Hazard

~Health

~Liability

~Life/Disability

~Workers’ compensation

Business Startup Checklist 8: Federal Tax Registrations

Business Startup Checklist 9: State Tax Registrations

Business Startup Checklist 10: Bookkeeping System

Business Startup Checklist 11: Hiring

Business Startup Checklist 12: Plan Your Opening

~Obtain all necessary equipment and supplies

~Obtain all necessary inventory

~Do all the necessary marketing and publicity

~Obtain all the necessary forms and agreements

~Prepare your company policies on refunds, exhanges, returns, customer service

Additional considerations:

Start a business you’ll enjoy: In searching for the right business to start make sure you choose something that you love to do. You will be spending a lot of time making the business work, so you must enjoy what you do.  There are probably business ideas that will occur to you that would do well in your community, but if you don’t love that particular type of business, skip that idea and keep thinking.  Find something you love to do and then figure out how to get paid to do it.

Look to your hobbies, interests & talents for ideas: In researching the type of business you’d love to start, make a series of lists of what you’re interested in and see what you’re good at.  Are there are common denominators? Do you like sports, pets, fixing things? What types of businesses could you start that relate to your interests. An individual who loves parties and music might want to consider starting a mobile DJ service.

Check out local zoning laws: Communities have really relaxed their rules on residential and commercial zoning now that so many people are working from home. But if your home based business means that you’ll have to have huge trucks delivering goods, then beware, your neighbors might not like it and might turn you in to the local authorities. You will not be able to set up a restaurant at home or a dry cleaning business or a commercial parking lot right on your front lawn. To find out about local zoning laws, call your town office and county clerk’s office.

For additional information, visit http://www.sba.gov/

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Category: Features