The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about steps for starting a business. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.
For the person who wants to learn about starting a business in the United States, there are all kinds of how, where and what questions that need to answered. Where does a person turn to find answers to these business startup questions?
Both the U.S. Small Business Administration and Internal Revenue Service websites offer a variety of practical tools and information about starting a business. To set up a business, here are some suggested steps:
Choose a Location to Set Up a Business
In picking a location for a business, an owner needs to consider leasing and zoning requirements. In addition, for someone thinking of starting a home-based business, there are separate questions to consider. The SBA website describes commercial leasing, zoning regulations and home-based business regulations. The website also has a useful checklist for business owners navigating the details of a commercial lease.
Pick a Business Structure
A person learning about starting a business has to choose which form of ownership to establish, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or a limited liability company. The SBA and IRS websites describe what is involved in each of these forms of ownership to help a new business owner decide what might work best. Some states allow for certain special business structures. The best advice for a person stating a business is to consult an accountant and attorney for guidance on the most appropriate business structure.
Get Required Licenses and Permits Before Opening a Business
Depending on where the business is located and what kind of business it is, there can be a variety of licenses and permits an owner needs to secure before opening a business. These licenses and permits might be imposed by the federal, state or city/county government. For example, there could be licenses required for tax purposes, licenses required for certain occupations, or licenses based on the products sold. The SBA website details these types of requirements.
Explore Business Financing
Starting a new business requires money. A business owner is often searching for ways to acquire the necessary business financing. The SBA website can guide a business owner through the maze of questions such as how much money is needed in loans to start a business, where are the sources for financing and how does credit work. The SBA itself can be a source for investments, small business loans, and bonding. These business financing services are described on the SBA website.
Besides location, business structure, licenses and finances, there are other various topics a person must consider with when starting a new business. There can be copyright and trademark issues to consider so that a new business owner can protect business ideas. There can be the decision whether or not a new business owner should seek the assistance of a mentor with business assistance. For some new business owners, there is the decision whether or not to purchase an existing business as a way of getting started in business. The SBA and IRS websites offer guidance on all of these topics, and more, for the new business owner.