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A Must Read Checklist Before You Start Your Own Business!

10 May 2016

Starting your own business can be really exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and a bit confusing. There are many steps involved in it. To help you get organized, here is a complete checklist you should read before you decide to start your own business:

1. Get some business training: If you haven’t already, you should have some level of business training before you try to start your own business. There are free classes and certificate programs that can give you valuable insight and advice for making business decisions now and down the road. Seeking out professional assistance and training will help you know exactly what to expect from opening and running your own business.

2. Write a business plan: You can’t have a business without a plan, and you need one that is well thought out and well written in order to convince a bank that you deserve a business loan. Your business plan should take into account all financial obligations, and should map out at least 3-5 years. offers a free business plan guide to help you get started.

3. Choose a business name: You need to choose a business name before you can move on to the later steps. Make sure your name is unique and that it isn’t similar to the name of another company. You want to stand out among the competition.

4. Find the perfect location: Decide first what type of location your business needs. Can you work from a home office or do you need to rent a space? Working with your business plan, choose a location that fits your budget and is adequately sized to begin. You can always upgrade to a larger space once your business gets rolling.

5. Figure out the moneyYou don’t necessarily need to finance your small business on your own. Look for government-backed loans, research grants, and venture capital.

6. Open a bank account for your business: Never use your personal bank account to pay for business expenses.

7. Register a domain name: Get a domain that matches your business name.

8. Set up a website: Create your website as soon as possible. It’s really important for your business credibility.  If you don’t have enough content for a website yet, start with a Facebook page that includes your company information in it.

9. Get a tax identification number: You need to get it from the IRS and your state government agency. Register with your state to obtain your tax ID as well as disability insurance, workers compensation, and unemployment.

10. Take care of the legal issues: Research the various types of business entities (LLC, partnership, corporation, etc.) and determine what your business is. Follow the steps required to make your business an official legal entity. Look into the tax requirements for your business.

11. Register your business: Register your business name with your state government.

12. Get licenses: Determine and obtain any state and government licenses you need before you can open up your business. Follow all the steps necessary to obtain these licenses.

13. Understand your responsibilities: You are the employer now, and you need to know and understand what that means in terms of hiring and firing employees, as well as providing benefits and paying them. Make sure you are clear on your obligations before you begin hiring employees for your new business.

You’re embarking on a great adventure, and these steps will help you make sure you are covered legally and financially before you begin running your new business.

If you have your own tips, share them in the comments below!

Good luck!