- Have a business plan.
- Know what form of legal ownership (sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation) is best for your business.
- Know whether your business will require a special license or permit and how to obtain it.
- Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for your business.
- Know how to compute the financial “break-even point” for your business and how to prepare and/or interpret a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.
- Know how to compute the start-up costs for your business.
- Understand how a business loan can impact your credit and be aware of the various loan programs available from banks in your area and the Small Business Administration.
- Be sure your planned business fills a specific market need, know your target market and where to find demographic data and information about your customers.
- Have a marketing plan.
- Understand the tax requirements associated with your business.
- Know how to learn about your business competitors.
- Have a payroll process planned for your business.
- Have a customer service strategy in mind or in place.
- Know whether your business should have some form of intellectual property protection.
- Know where to obtain information about regulations and compliance requirements that impact your business.
If you have difficulties with any of the above items on the checklist, the U.S. Small Business Administration is available to help you.