Business Start Up Checklist

Starting a New Business Checklist


1 Research & Marketing

Do you have a great idea for a business? Researching the marketing, customers and competition will help determine your opportunities for success.

2 Create your business plan

Don’t rush starting your business without first creating a strong foundation. A good business plan is your roadmap and it essential when financing and convincing others to work with you!

3 Financing your Business

Ensure you have strong financial backing for your new businesses. Determine  start up costs and profitability margins then learn about the variety of funding resources available. You will also need to open a separate bank account for your business, helpful for legal, tax and day to day operations.

4 Choose your name and determine your legal business structure

Your name is your brand. You’ll also want to make sure your business name isn’t already being used by someone else. Many businesses also create a DBA (doing business as).

The legal structure you choose for your business affects everything from filing your taxes, business registration requirements and personal liability. Most small businesses begin as a sole proprietorship but there are multiple options.

5 Pick your business location

Your business location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business or launching an online store, the choices could affect your taxes, legal requirements, and revenue.

Check with the city or county on any zoning requirements, especially for certain industries.

6 Register your business

You will need to register with the federal & state government. Depending on your structure, you may need to create an operating agreement or articles of incorporation. DBA’s will also need to apply for certificate as well.

Once registered, you need to file for an EIN or Tax ID with the IRS. The IRS has a checklist to determine if it is required for your business.

7 Determine if you need to apply for licenses and permits

Different states and even industries may have additional requirements to ensure you are legally compliant. Do your research.

8 Get organized & market your business

Determine what system and software you might need in your business. From POS (point of sale) and card processors to email or web hosting services, there are many tools to make your business run smoothly.

Your business plan should include a marketing plan but detailing your strategies, especially for your first year, is important.


Check out our business start up guide page for great connections and resources to help you on your journey.

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