Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.
Step 1: Write a Business Plan
Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.
Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training
Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.
Step 3: Choose a Business Location
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.
Step 4: Finance Your Business
Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.
Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.
Step 6: Register a Business Name
Register your business name with your state government.
Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.
Step 7: Register for State and Local Taxes
Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.
Step 8: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.
Step 9: Understand Employer Responsibilities
Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.
Step 10: Find Local Assistance
Contact your local SBA office to learn more about how SBA can help.
There are a number of available programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups. The following resources provide information to help specialized audiences start their own businesses.
- Environmentally-Friendly “Green” Business
- Home-Based Business
- Online Business
- Self Employment
- Minority Owned Business
- Veteran Owned Business
- Woman Owned Business
You can save money when starting or expanding your business by using government surplus. From commercial real estate and cars, to furniture, computers and office equipment, find what you need for your business in one place.