A Checklist for Starting Your Small Business

Starting your own business for the first time can be daunting and stressful. A lot of preparation is required before you make your first sale. To help you get started, we listed some important steps for getting your business off the ground:

1. Self-check: First, establish your capability in investment and growth. Successful business concepts derive from commitment and passion given to your idea.

2. Pre-plan: Develop a business plan. This includes mission statements, business summaries, investor information, market insights, customer sentiments, and costs.

3. Structure: Picking the legal form of ownership for your business, such as sole proprietorship, corporation, nonprofit, or partnership, will have meaningful implications for your tax returns.

4. Locate: As with your legal structure, the state in which you incorporate your business will determine how much you have to pay on your tax return. Some businesses may have to take local codes and zoning regulations into consideration.

5. Get support: Professional help, training, counseling, and capital are all integral to your business’ success.

6. Register: Registering your business’ name requires a tax identification number. This can be acquired by the IRS or your state revenue agency. Your business will need local, state, and federal licenses and permits for operation. And don’t forget about insurance for your business.

7. Hire: Take advantage of popular online job boards (and local ones as well), and write clear and concise job descriptions. Also establish employee benefits, tax forms, work ethics, and other hiring necessities.

8. Advertise: Use outbound and inbound marketing strategies to bring customers to you. Post articles on your website, interact with users on social media, and create email newsletters to keep your customers.

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