So, you want to start a business and you happen to live in the US. Lucky for you, starting a business in the US is easier than it has ever been in the past. However, no matter how easy it is to set up your business, you still need to do your due diligence to make sure your idea has a realistic chance of becoming a successful business. Below are the four basic steps you need to follow in order to start a business.
1. Validate your business idea
- Do your due diligence and make sure there is a market for your products/services.
- Scope your competition to see how hard it would be to get in your desired market.
- Create a list that will help you understand your personal investment, both financial and time.
2. Come up with a company name that is available
- The first thing you should do is to check to see if the domain, that is the website address for that name is available. This is crucial, as if you start a company with a certain name and then can’t secure the same domain name, it will be a lot harder for potential customers to find your website, among other negative impacts on your business. You can check to see if a domain is available on any domain provider’s website.
- Once you have made sure that the domain name you want is available and you can afford it, you will need to make sure that there is no other company registered under that name in your state. You can check on your secretary of state’s website.
- If the company name you want is available, purchase the domain name ASAP.
3. Be aware of your state’s requirements
Depending on the type of business you want to start and the state you live in, you might need to get a license, a permit or special insurance coverage before you can start operating.
4. Choosing an entity type
Before you legally form your business, you will need to decide on what type of entity you will want it to be.
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company
Each come with their own benefits and downsides, so make sure you understand each option before making a choice.
Once you are clear on all 4 steps, it is time to get started. In the past, you would need to visit the office of your secretary of state in order to file your application, luckily nowadays there are companies that for a reasonable fee, guide new entrepreneurs like you through every step and do all the filing for you, so that you can apply online, in a few easy steps with your company being legally formed a couple of weeks later.
After you have received the paperwork confirming the formation of you company and you employer identification number, you will be closer to start operating. However, before you can start serving customers, you will still need to open a business bank account and set up a way to collect payments from your customers at the bare minimum.
If you would like more detailed guidance and help with setting up a company, please contact us to set up a free consultation.