Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.
Step 1: Write a Business Plan
Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.
Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training
Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.
Step 3: Choose a Business Location
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.
Step 4: Finance Your Business
Find government-backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.
Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.
Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)
Register your business name with your state government.
Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number
Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.
Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes
Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.
Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.
Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities
Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.
There are a number of available programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups. The following resources provide information to help specialized audiences start their own businesses.
Environmentally-Friendly “Green” Business
Minority Owned Business
Veteran Owned Business
Woman Owned Business