How to Start Your Own Business - Seven First Steps
So, you are ready to start your own business. You have a great idea, a skill, and a drive to make it happen. Where do you start?
Name. You have a perfect name for your business. Can you register a domain for it? Can you incorporate with it? Run searches with your local secretary of state and through domain service (like google domains). If your name is taken, think of creative ways to change it. The name of your company does not have to be the exact replica of your business name. You can have several brand names under one corporate roof.
Incorporation. You can read many pages on the pros and cons of different ways to incorporate, but for a one man (or woman) show, it is easier to start and manage a single member LLC. Educate yourself further if you expect to have partners or seek outside financing.
EIN. Go to www.irs.gov and register an EIN (Employer Identification Number). Even if you do not have employees yet, this will help you distinguish between corporate and personal income streams, and protect your own SSN.
Business Bank Account. Bigger multi-state operation might be easier to deal with, since they offer multiple products designed specifically for small businesses. While you are at it, set up your PayPal and other online methods of payment.
DBA. If your corporate name differs from your business brand name, you can file for DBA (doing business as) with your town. This is an especially smart choice for the professional services providers: Suzie Queen, a CPA d/b/a Tax Smart Solutions.
Business Liability Insurance. You will be surprised how inexpensive this could be. Ask about general business liability line, - that's a good place to start. Aim for at least one million dollars in your umbrella coverage.
Contracts. Most business will need at least a non-disclosure agreement, and a customer agreement. Depending on your business, you might need other form agreements as well. Schedule a half hour free consultation with one of our attorneys to see what you might need.
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