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How to Start a Business

If you are ready for the risks and the work, take your passion to the next level and start your own business.


  • Step 1: Understand the risks Understand the risks associated with starting a business, and make sure you are prepared for the stress.
  • TIP: Take business training courses to help you as your develop your business.
  • Step 2: Develop a plan Write a business plan to use for financing and as a guide for running the business. Research the market to understand your competition and what running the business involves.
  • Step 3: Develop a budget Estimate the potential start-up costs for your business, such as equipment, petty cash, and salaries. Finance these costs through personal savings, loans, government grants, and investors.
  • Step 4: Choose structure Choose a name and structure for your business. Structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, non-profit, and cooperative.
  • Step 5: Get an EIN Get an employer identification number, or EIN, and register for federal, state, and local taxes. An EIN can also be used to open a bank account for the business.
  • TIP: Consult with an accountant to help you understand your tax obligations.
  • Step 6: Obtain licenses and permits Check local, state, and federal laws and obtain any business licenses and permits needed for your business.
  • Step 7: Get insurance Insure your company.
  • Step 8: Get a location Choose a location ideal for the type of traffic your business will draw. Make sure the zoning laws of the location fit your business, and that the facilities are adequate for your needs.
  • Step 9: Purchase equipment Purchase or lease any equipment or vehicles needed to get started and operate your business.
  • FACT: Did you know? Only 31 percent of U.S. businesses survive at least seven years.

You Will Need

  • A business plan
  • A budget
  • Capital
  • A name
  • Your business structure
  • An EIN
  • or Employer ID Number
  • An accountant
  • Business permits and licenses
  • Insurance
  • A location
  • Equipment
  • Russell Leavitt

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