Steps to Starting a Business

Starting a business involves making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. This guide provides information to help you plan, prepare, and manage your business.

  1. Step 1:

    Research and Plan Your Business
    Use these tools and resources to help you prepare your business plan and become a successful business owner.

  2. Step 2:

    Get Business Assistance and Training
    Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan to getting financing, and help expanding and relocating a business.

  3. Step 3:

    Choose a Business Location
    Get advice about choosing a customer-friendly location and complying with zoning laws.

  4. Step 4:

    Finance Your Business
    Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

  5. Step 5:

    Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
    Decide whether you are going to form a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, non-profit or cooperative.

  6. Step 6:

    Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")
    Register your business name with your state government.

  7. Step 7:

    Get a Tax Identification Number
    Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

  8. Step 8:

    Register for State and Local Taxes
    Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

  9. Step 9:

    Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
    Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

  10. Step 10:

    Employer Responsibilities
    Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

  11. Startup Resources

    These guides provide startup information relevant to specific types of business owners.

    Save money by furnishing your business with government surplus

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