If you plan on running one of the 627,000 new businesses opening their doors each year, you’ll have to be smart about it. Many small business owners are unfamiliar with the steps to lead their brand to success, which can spell disaster: only 51% of businesses survive longer than five years!

In other words, you’ll need to consider the smart strategies every entrepreneur needs to know. To get started, check out this simple business startup checklist to make sure you’re taking every detail into account.

1. Start With the New Business Essentials

Start With the New Business Essentials

Before you can launch your new brand, there are a few essentials to take care of.

First, select a name for your business and make a decision about the legal structure you prefer. These include sole proprietorships—which are common among small business owners—as well as partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.

Next, outline your business plan. If this is your first venture into business ownership, consider getting started with an online template.

Depending on your business structure, you may need to get a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS.

In addition, you’ll also need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to run your business. These will depend on the type of business you own, the size of your business, and your location. Here are a few of the most common requirements you may need:

  • Federal licenses or permits
  • State licenses or permits
  • Sales tax permit
  • Business license

If you’re starting a company in another country, you’ll have to look up the local requirements for that region. Hong Kong business owners, for example, can read about business registration here.

Though this isn’t a requirement, many businesses also opt for business insurance, just in case of unforeseen accidents or disasters.

3. Organize Your Processes

Organize Your Processes

At this point, you may want to talk to your lender about opening a business bank account to help you manage your money. You’ll also want to find an accounting software or system to track your cashflow, taxes, and more. If not, consider hiring an accountant who can help with this.

In a similar vein, don’t forget to establish processes for all of the things you’ll need to do. What systems will you use to process orders, manage deliveries, or pay your employees? How will you hire and onboard your new team?

4. Market Your Brand

Last, but not least, take the time to develop professional branding, trademarks, and logos. With these tools, it’s easier to gain recognition and get the word out about your new company. Whether you create your own marketing plan or hire an expert, make sure to reach out to potential customers!

Make the Most of This Business Startup Checklist

Make the Most of This Business Startup Checklist

With this simple business startup checklist in hand, you’ll be better poised to hit the ground running as you establish your new brand. Don’t forget that the details will vary wildly depending on the type, size, and location of your business, so use this list as a jumping-off point for further research. With a little effort, you’ll be able to open your doors in no time!

If you’re interested in more business guides like this one, be sure to take a look at our other content.

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