Starting a business should not be taken lightly. It requires a lot of work, research, money, and organization. When you start a business, it will become a major part of your life. Make sure you take the time upfront to do the research. There will be bumps, twists, and turns along the way. Preparation is key to surviving the unexpected.
Is This Business Really What You Want?
- Why do you want to start a business? Is it money, freedom, and flexibility, to solve a problem or some other reason?
- What are your skills?
- What do you like to do?
- How much money do you have to risk?
- Do you want a full-time or a part-time venture?
Write a Business Plan
Successful small businesses have products or services that are in some way different from those of the competition. This will have a significant impact on your competitive product and allow you to advertise a unique value to potential customers. Mistakes are made by new businesses rushing into things without creating a business plan addressing these aspects of the business. You need to find your customer base. Who is going to buy your product or service? Every plan has different needs for the business, and legal entities are not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Independent business owners need to be aware of federal tax obligations—income, self-employment, estimated, employer, and excise taxes. Your specific business structure will determine your federal tax obligations as well as the forms you use to report these taxes.
Some independent owners begin their business as sole proprietors. For tax purposes, you generally operate under your personal Social Security number, but you can apply for a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for your business. There is also a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Some independent businesses use it because of its simplicity, it also has strong legal protections of a corporation shielding your personal assets.
Choose A Business Name
The name you choose needs to help customers know what your business is about. Once you decide on a name you will need to register the name. If you don’t register a business name as a Sole Proprietor, the name of the business will become the legal owner’s name.
Business Permits and Licenses
Based on your type of business and where your business is located, you may possibly need to be licensed on the state and federal level. State licensing and permits varies depending on location.
In today’s age of technology, many small businesses choose to market themselves by creating a website and by using their presence on social media. A website allows you to tell and show your customers what your new small business is all about. You can share how you came to this point and what your mission statement is. LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook can also be excellent ways of building your personal brand.
Your Business Law Experts
Starting a business or working to grow your long-established organization is thrilling and scary. But you’ll quickly find success is about more than the actual product, service, or cause you’re supporting.
At the business law practice of Davis, Ermis & Roberts, P.C., we help you navigate these potential minefields. We do it by offering a wide spectrum of business-specific services. Whether you are in need of assistance in forming a new business or are an established business that needs guidance for future pursuits, we’ve got you covered.