How exactly do you start a new business? From obtaining the proper permits and licenses to finding the right retail location, getting your start-up off the ground takes a lot of planning. Use this checklist to make sure all the details are firmly in place before opening your doors for business.

Identify Yourself

Develop a clear image of your public face to set a firm foundation for marketing purposes, branding, and reporting compliance.

First, select a name for your new business. You’ll need something that’s easy to pronounce yet unique enough to remember. Choose something that represents what you do and the personality of your business. Try a business naming software program if you’re stuck for ideas.

Next, choose your business’ legal structure. This is an important decision that has a big impact on your profit potential, tax liability, and other financial details relating to your enterprise.

    • Sole proprietors are single-person operations. This is the most common type for small business start-ups.
    • Partnerships allow two or more parties to equally share the risks, responsibilities, and profits from a business.
    • Corporations are independent entities created for business purposes. The actions of a corporation are not legally the same as those of the people responsible for running it.
    • Limited liability companies (LLCs) are a combination of partnerships and corporations. In an LLC, owners are able to take on personal responsibility for business losses and profits without compromising their business’s tax status.

Write Out the Details

Spend some time putting your business ideas on paper to keep yourself on track to meeting your goals. A business plan is a document that spells out the details of your potential enterprise everything from staff members and their official duties, financial goals and projections, sources for materials and lead generation, target market, and more. Your business plan may also be instrumental in securing loans or investors. Use an online template to ensure you don’t miss any important data.

Obtain the Proper Documentation

Missing or improperly filed paperwork is one factor that causes confusion and delays that can hamper the growth of your new business. Secure all applicable permits and paperwork to ensure your new business is legally ready to operate on day one.

    • File for a federal employer identification number (FEIN), even if you don’t plan to hire more workers right away.
    • Open a bank account using your business’s official name.
    • Apply for federal, state, and local business licenses. These can vary depending on your location and business type.

Get your paperwork in order to avoid last-minute confusion that can compromise your launch.

Establish Your Physical Identity

Make your business dreams a reality by establishing a real physical presence for your enterprise.

    • Find the right location for your space. Service-based sole proprietorships may be able to function with a laptop and a cell phone from the comfort of their own home. Retail-based businesses may need space to store inventory in addition to a sales outlet. 
    • Build your computer network. Once again, this could be as simple as setting up a cloud storage account so you can access documents on-the-go. For bigger endeavors, you may need the help of an experienced IT consultant. Creating your computer network includes choosing the software you will use to complete everyday work tasks.
    • Purchase your insurance policies. Consider a Business Owner’s Policy that covers most common threats to small businesses. Talk to your insurance agent for more personalized guidance on which policies best protect your interests.

These steps help situate your business in the real world.

Software Suggestions to Power Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

Once these steps are complete, you’re almost ready to open your doors. First, however, you’ll have to choose the software you and your employees will use to complete daily work tasks. Don’t feel like you qualify as a software expert? Use CUE Marketplace’s recommendation engine to find the perfect software suites to fit your needs. We help small business managers find software solutions that fit their business style and goals. Get personalized guidance on software for:

    • Appointment Setting
    • Collaboration and productivity
    • Data security

You don’t need to be a software expert to succeed in the small business world. Trust CUE Marketplace to guide your software purchasing decisions.

Once these tasks are complete, you’re just about ready to open your doors and start turning your entrepreneurial vision into cold, hard cash. Let CUE Marketplace help you along your path to business success. Contact us with your business software questions, concerns, and requests. For some products in this blog, CUE may recieve a commission.