Starting a new business is easier than ever with the help of technology and digital options. Even brick and mortar businesses have more options than ever before. No matter what business you’re starting, make sure you don’t forget the most important details.
Follow this checklist when starting your new business and get your business on track from the very beginning.
Write a Business Plan
This is your guide to know what you’re going to do and how you’ll do it. This should include budgets, goals, tools, and methods you’ll use to begin your business. Keep this handy as you may be asked to show this when you begin to look at financing options.
Figure Out the Money
You have more options for financing your new business than in years’ past. You can shoestring it, and use very little money to get started - this works best with online businesses where you offer a service. Talking to lenders is always an option, though. Investors are still a traditional method, but you now have the added option of crowdsourcing websites that allow people to invest as little or as much money as they choose.
Business Location and Name
Where will your business be located? Will you rent office space or buy a building? Knowing where you’ll house your business and what it will be called may be the very first thing you do, even before you complete your business plan or you may not have a firm idea until you get your financing lined up. But at some point, you’ll have to make a decision.
Talk to an attorney and an accountant for the best advice, but choosing your business’s legal structure helps protect your personal assets in case you hit financial problems or other snags. You’ll have several options, depending on the type of business you start: Limited Liability Company (LLC), sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, non-profit, etc.
Registration, Licensing, and Taxes
Don’t forget to register your business with your state, county, and/or city. You’ll also need to apply for a tax ID for your business in order to properly file your taxes. Different areas will require that you apply for specific licenses or permits in order to run your business whether it’s in your home or in a separate location.
Purchase the Right Insurance for Your Business
Your business will need, at minimum, general liability insurance to protect you and your business if customers, vendors, or other non-employees are hurt or have their possessions damaged. If you have employees, you may need workers' compensation insurance. If you own company vehicles or use your vehicle for work, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. Make sure you talk with an agent who can walk you through the different types of insurance available based on your business type.
Once you have the framework of your business in place, you’ll need to think about websites, marketing, banking, accounting, and a variety of other things to help your business run smoothly. Follow this checklist, and you’ll start your business off on the right foot, knowing both you and your business are protected, especially after you find the right insurance coverage for you.
If you’ve got questions about business insurance for a new or existing business, we’re here to help. Give us a call, and let us help you protect your growing business.