Brought to you by LLC University:
Many women have great business ideas and know people would be interested in what they have to offer. They might even know their ideas could be highly profitable and set them up for life.
So, you might be curious why those women with bold, innovative ideas do nothing with them.
While everyone’s reasons are different, a lack of knowledge can be a contributing factor. Starting a business can be challenging, especially when you don’t know what’s involved. By familiarizing yourself with the information below, you might be in a strong position to get your new venture off the ground.
Research Rules and Laws for Your State
The requirements for starting new businesses in the United States can vary depending on where you live. For example, the information you find for how to start an LLC in Pennsylvania might vastly differ from the requirements in Texas or Illinois.
Being well-informed about the unique requirements in your state can provide you with a foundation of knowledge to work from. You then don’t have to worry about doing anything incorrectly when launching your business for the first time.
Talk to Experts
You might have a great business idea that you and those closest to you believe can be a success. However, it doesn’t hurt to speak to outsiders.
Reach out to business experts with industry knowledge to gain insight into whether your idea is worth pursuing. This can also be your opportunity to ask questions about how starting a business works and the costs you can expect when you start and as your business grows.
Write a Business Plan
Most successful business owners never started alone. Often, they needed the financial backing of individuals, corporations, and companies that believed in them and their ideas. These days, investors generally won’t put money into an idea unless they see a business plan. The same rule applies to lenders handing out business loans. They want to see that your business will be structured and has room for growth. After all, they need to be sure you’ll be able to repay their money.
As a result, writing a business plan can be one of the first and most important things you do before launching a new business. Fortunately, the U.S. Small Business Administration has templates on its website to help you get started. At a minimum, your business plan should include:
- An executive summary
- A company description
- Market analysis
- Organization and management structure
- A description of your products and/or services
- Marketing and sales strategies
- Financial projections
- Your funding request
- An appendix with supporting documents
Explore Funding Options
If your business requires you to buy stock, secure premises, and invest money into it, now’s the right time to look at funding options. You can use your business plan to streamline this process.
There are a number of avenues worth exploring, such as self-funding it from your own savings, relying on investors, or applying for loans. Depending on what your business is, it might also be eligible for business grants.
Confirm Your Legal Structure
To you, your business is a business. To the government, it must have a specific structure. The structure can affect your tax obligations, personal liability, and business registration requirements.
The type of business structure you set up can depend on how you intend for your business to operate. Most business experts recommend contacting accountants and lawyers to assist with this process. The most common business structures to choose from are:
- Sole proprietorship: Your business liabilities and assets aren’t separate from your personal ones
- Partnership: Limited partnership or limited liability partnership with two or more people in ownership
- Limited liability company (LLC): Your personal assets are protected from LLC bankruptcy and lawsuits
- Corporations: C corp, S corp, B corp, close corporation, and non-profit corporation
- Cooperative: A business owned by those using its services
Register Your Business
After confirming a legal structure and picking a name, you can now register your business with the federal government. Sometimes, you’ll also be required to register with the state government.
Once registered, you can obtain your federal and state tax IDs, which will provide you with an employer identification number. You can use this number to open business bank accounts and pay taxes.
Apply for Your Business Licenses and Permits
Being a legitimate business owner means you must have business licenses and permits to operate within your state. What these licenses and permits are can depend on where you live and your industry. Different issuing agencies can be responsible for different permits.
For example, you must receive the appropriate licenses and permits from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate an aviation business. If you ran a commercial fisheries business, you’d likely contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The earlier you apply for them, the sooner you can get your business operations underway and start making money.
Starting a new business venture can be so overwhelming that many women might decide not to do it at all. However, when you’re aware of the fundamental steps involved, you’ll feel more confident to get started.