Starting a business is exhilarating, but it can be hard to stay on top of the sheer volume of things to do to get a new enterprise off the ground. Before following the steps below to start your business in the US, it’s vital to write a full business plan. This document is important as it can help you to fully realize your overall strategy and business goals. It’s also useful to pinpoint your target audience, plan out your marketing strategy, and identify where any investment you need will be sought.
Once your plan is complete, you’re ready to get started on your journey!
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Sort Out Funding
If you need an initial investment in your business, then you have several options. You could consider seeking an angel investor, starting a crowdfunding campaign, or going down the route of applying for a business bank loan.
Alternatively, you may wish to apply for government-backed funding via some of the options that are currently available. For example, the Small Business Investment Company program partners with private investment funds to give start-ups and small businesses access to the money they need. There are also several government-backed small business loans available right now, which could generate the initial revenue your enterprise needs. Regardless of the type of funding you settle on, it’s important to do adequate research so that you make the best decision for your business. Make sure you understand the differences between private equity and venture capital and read all of the terms and conditions on your method of funding before making a final decision.
Form Your Company
Depending on the business structure you decide upon, you may be required to legally complete and file certain forms, such as the Articles of Incorporation. With so many other things to think about right now, sorting out this side of things can easily get overlooked, yet it’s vital in order for your business to remain compliant. You may wish to use a legal service like ZenBusiness to ensure that company formation forms are completed and filed correctly. Business filing services are becoming increasingly popular, and this particular option offers a number of tiered packages, so you can choose the one that’s the best fit for your needs.
If you are running your business from home, then you may be able to apply for a home office tax deduction.
Open a Business Bank Account
As well as making for a more professional aspect, opening a small business checking account is a good way of helping you to manage your finances and deal with legal and tax issues. With the right registrations and paperwork completed, opening a business bank account is usually a quick and easy process.
When choosing an account, look for an option that has low fees and some benefits attached. The latter could take the form of an introductory offer, a preferable interest rate for your business savings, or exemplary customer service. Also, take into consideration things like any minimum account balance fees that are present or early termination fees.
Avoid an unexpected surprise tax bill – and a potential fine – by getting your businesses’ tax affairs sorted out as soon as possible; you’ll need to ensure you’re compliant with local, state, and federal tax laws. Have a look at the IRS’s website for a complete and comprehensive guide to the tax rules that your new business will be required to operate under. As well as this, each state has its own individual tax laws that you’ll need to comply with, so be sure to find out the details of these, too.
There are several tax incentives that you can sign up for to save you money, including various energy tax incentives, so explore as many of these as you can find to help keep your bottom line as healthy as possible.
Take Out Business Insurance
Getting in place proper business insurance is necessary to protect you and your business. The main types of cover are general liability insurance, product liability insurance, professional liability insurance, commercial property insurance, home-based business insurance, and a business owner’s policy – although not all businesses will require all of these insurances, of course.
When it comes to thinking about your insurance needs, it’s helpful to first assess your risks, to help determine the nature of the cover you need, and then shop around to find a reputable, licensed agent who can offer you the best deal for your business. Every year, you’ll need to reassess your insurance needs: as businesses grow, so too, usually, do their liabilities. This could be in the form of extra equipment, premises, or staff members.
If you plan to hire employees from the off, then you’ll need to ensure you have everything in place to ensure their welfare and to remain compliant in the eyes of the law. There is plenty of information online, including on the usa.gov website, that will give you all the information you need about your obligations as an employer, and the files, forms, etc., you will need to complete and submit in regards to this.
Federal and state regulations concerning hiring members of staff can vary, so be sure to find out about the requirements in your business’s location. Remember, however, that, by law, you are only allowed to employ individuals who have the requisite permission to work in the US.