As an entrepreneur, you are incredibly excited about the prospect of opening your own company and doing business under the name of your choosing. This short checklist is meant to help you get organized to expedite the process of launching a startup.
With that in mind and before ticking off entries on this checklist, remember that each item is essential, so don’t ignore any.
Checklist for Your Startup Before Launching
1. Legal Business Name and Structure
Here’s that name we spoke of above. You will need to have a business name before you can file any applications with local, state, county, or federal governments. When writing your business plan or applying for low-interest loan applications for startup capital, it will also be necessary. It is recommended that you don’t register as a sole proprietor even if you do not have employees. Instead, register as an LLC for reasons you can find here.
2. FEIN if Other than Sole Proprietor
Once you have an LLC registered on the books, it’s time to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number for tax purposes. Again, even if you will not be employing anyone other than yourself, Uncle Same requires it of you.
3. Place of Business
You will also need to state your business address. This is an absolute must, so if you are not going to be working from home, secure a business location as early as possible. You can’t even insure a business unless it has a physical address!
4. Business Insurance
Speaking of insurance for your business, there are particular regulations regarding business insurance for LLC structured companies. Be sure to take the time to learn which policies are legal requirements and which you can buy for that extra bit of protection against possible losses. Once you have registered as an LLC, limited liability company, your personal property is not at risk, but all things business would be, so get the best coverage available.
5. Business Bank Account
Once you have registered a business with the Secretary of State in which you will do business and obtained that FEIN, you can establish a business bank account. It is also a necessity to get this going as soon as possible.
6. Permits and Licenses
Permits and licenses differ from registering a company. These simply grant you a business license to do business in your county while also giving you ‘permission’ to occupy space for business purposes.
7. Resale Tax Permit
Only certain items are exempt from tax, so you will need a resale tax permit. It is your duty to charge taxes on all taxable goods and services. If you don’t, Uncle Sam will have that money, one way or another!
Once everything is in place, and you have set a launch date, it’s time to begin marketing with good marketing strategies. It is suggested that you hit the market hard and heavy, at least initially, so that consumers know who you are and what you do. Once you’ve built momentum, you can vary your strategies but never neglect to get the word out that you are in business and eager to serve new and old customers.
After you’ve ticked everything off, recheck your list. If you’ve missed anything, now is the time to correct the oversight. But, of course, once you’ve opened your doors, there may not be time to do anything but sell your product. Won’t that be nice?