A lot of people think starting a business is hard. Too many would-be-entrepreneurs get stuck early in the process because they think only a certain type of person has what it takes to make it as a successful business owner. The reality is, most people have what it takes: a good idea, the right amount of capital and the creativity.
What most people lack, however, is the patience, determination and ability to plan. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the early stages of starting a business. The key is to have a working plan to stick to. Use something simple to guide you along the way.
Here are a few steps and guidelines you need to follow in starting a business:
4. Determine Your Business Structure:
Before you can register your company, you need to decide what kind of entity it is. Your business structure legally affects everything from how you file your taxes to your personal liability if something goes wrong.
If you own the business entirely by yourself and plan to be responsible for all debts and obligations, you can register for a sole proprietorship. A partnership, as its name implies, means that two or more people are held liable as business owners.
Ultimately, it is up to you to determine which type of entity is best for your current needs and future business goals.
5. Register Your Business:
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. If you are registering as a corporation, you’ll need an articles of incorporation document, which includes your name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other information about your company. Otherwise, you will just need to register your business name, which can be your legal name or a fictitious “Doing Business As” name (if you are the sole proprietor) or the name you’ve come up with for your company. You may also want to take steps to trademark your business name for extra legal protection.
After you register your business, the next step is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. While this is not required for sole proprietorships with no employees, you may want to apply for one anyway to keep your personal and business taxes separate, or simply to save yourself the trouble later on if you decide to hire someone else.
6. Build Your Business Team:
Unless you’re planning to be the sole proprietor and employee of your business, you’re going to need to hire a great team to get your company off the ground.
Defining roles and responsibility, division of labor, how to give feedback, or how to work together when not everyone is in the same room will save you a lot of headaches down the line.
To be continued…