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Starting a Business: Fifty Things You’ll Need to Do

Where to Begin?

You have just come up with a great idea, and you want to start a business. A word of caution is necessary: The Small Business Administration reports that about half of all small businesses fail within five years. Where should you begin planning?

To properly plan for a successful business, you need to research the field in which you want to operate, plan for financing, labor and marketing and research legal considerations. Seek advice from a skilled business attorney about starting your business.

What Will Your Business Contribute?

Hopefully, you have an idea of the economic conditions you face in marketing your product or service. An important first step for any small business is researching the field. You should:

  • Research the product or service you will sell
  • Understand inventory or production requirements
  • Research the economic conditions your business will face
  • Select a location
  • Consider buying or leasing equipment
  • Invest in technology
  • Understand your competition
  • Take a course or seminar to help your business
  • Find a business mentor
  • Research suppliers and vendors
  • Consider buying a franchise
  • Consider buying an existing business

How Will You Finance Operations?

Every business must eventually grow to be successful. How can you raise capital and make the most of the funds you do have? Consider these suggestions:

  • Raise capital for financing from personal funds
  • Apply for business loans through a bank
  • Find investors among family, friends or venture capitalists
  • Consider partnerships with “silent partners”
  • Research business models
  • Write a business plan
  • Estimate costs and profits
  • Begin accounting for the business expenses and profits
  • Consider buying a franchise or existing business
  • Speak with a business adviser
  • Be cost-conscious about business purchases and expenditures
  • Speak with an attorney about tax advantages and consequences

Getting the Work Done

Once you have planned for and financed your business, you need to deliver on your products or services. You may not be able to do it all yourself, so you may need to hire employees. Some things you should consider when you become a boss:

  • Speak with an attorney about labor and employment laws
  • Understand how to recruit talented employees
  • Comply with state and federal laws when hiring employees
  • Account for payroll
  • Plan and pay payroll taxes
  • Administer any benefits for employees
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number
  • Develop an employee training program
  • Set competitive wages and hours for employees

Get Your Name Out

You may make the best product or perform the best service out there, but if no one knows about it, your business can fail anyway. You must be able to market your business:

  • Establish a marketing campaign
  • Target advertising in your market
  • Network, network, network
  • Explore public relations
  • Contribute and volunteer in your community

Address Legal Concerns

An unfortunate part of every business is that you will likely encounter disputes with suppliers, vendors, employees, other businesses or customers.

  • Limit dangerous conditions at your business
  • Select a business entity such as sole proprietorship or corporation
  • Draft business documents such as articles of incorporation
  • Register business name with state
  • Perform due diligence on state and federal laws
  • Seek protection for your ideas
  • Obtain proper licenses and permits
  • Speak with an attorney about regulatory compliance
  • Understand fair business practices
  • Obtain insurance for business equipment, automobiles and other equipment
  • Pay federal, state and local taxes, including sales tax
  • Negotiate leases and vendor contracts

Preparing to Meet With Your Business Law Attorney

To read and print out a copy of the checklist, please follow the link below.

Preparing to Meet With Your Business Law Attorney

You can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader here

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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