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5 Things You Need to Start a Business and 5 Things to Watch Out For

Posted on August 31st, 2018

You’ve decided to start a business, but don’t yet understand everything needed to get up and running. From understanding employee payroll to the tax benefits of operating out of your home, there is a variety of operational do’s and don’ts you’ll want to understand prior to getting started. You’ll first need these five components before you can legitimize your business:

  1. Name – You’ll need to decide upon what you want your business to be called. While important to establishing your brand, don’t let it stand in the way of getting the other steps started. Your name can always be changed later, should you think of something more fitting down the road.
  2. Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Apply for your EIN as required by federal tax law. This number is similar to a social security number for your business and allows the IRS to tax your business appropriately.
  3. Register Your Trade Name – Your trademark will allow you to protect your business name should another similar business try operating under the same name. It will also give you the peace of mind that the name you’ve selected is not already in use by a similar company.
  4. Get Your Business License – Before you’re legally allowed to sell products and services, cities and states require you to obtain a business license based on their local legal processes. Be sure to research your local laws and ensure you comply.
  5. Obtain Additional Permits – Your locality may require additional sellers, buyers, or other permits. Be sure to research their requirements and obtain these permits prior to beginning to sell goods and services.

When you’re starting your own business, there are also pitfalls you want to look out for and avoid when possible. Some of these things include:

  • Know When to Ask for Help – Financial management, marketing, and other roles that aren’t part of your core skillset can always be outsourced. You don’t want to dig a hole because you’re caught up in your pride or are afraid to seek assistance.
  • Don’t Get Caught up in Tasks That Don’t Make Money – It’s easy to dwell on logo design or nailing your first press release, but focus on things that directly contribute to revenue first, then worry about the non-essential details later.
  • Don’t Borrow Against Debts You Can’t Recover – Unless you or your family members have money to burn, don’t accept their offers to invest in your idea, at least not until it’s profitable. This includes retirement plans, real estate, and other investments.
  • Set Realistic Expectations – Whether planning your grand opening or mapping out the date you plan to be profitable by, be honest with yourself. Unrealistic expectations set you up for failure and are not conducive to planning for success.
  • Don’t Neglect Technology – Sooner or later someone will want to research your company online, so don’t neglect to claim a web domain and social media profiles for your business.

If you’re just starting out and need help incorporating, our team is experienced in helping small business owners get up and running. Contact our staff today!

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