Start-a-Business Checklist to Get Your New Venture Going

Here's a valuable start-a-business checklist to help you get your new venture up and running with a minimum of hassle. This start-a-business checklist is not an exhaustive list of everything you need to do, but it will help to you remember and control the major elements of starting a new business.

_ Create formal and/or informal team including...
  • Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • Real estate agent
  • Independent insurance agent
  • Friends or relatives in a business
  • Local business association members
  • Trade association members
_ Develop a mentor relationship
  • Business person
  • Local business association
  • Trade association
  • Contact SCORE
_ Check on Permits & Licenses
  • Fire Permit
  • Business permit
  • City or county permits
  • Professional permits or licenses
  • Sales Tax (if needed)
  • Special licenses for your business
  • Professional permits
_ Establish a Legal Business Structure
  • C Corporation
  • Subchapter S Corporation
  • LLC Limited Liability Company
  • Partnership
  • Sole Proprietorship
_ Register Works
  • Copyrights
  • Trademarks
  • Patents
_ Taxes & Registrations
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Workman's Comp
  • Federal income tax
  • State income tax
  • City or local tax
  • Self-employment tax
  • Payroll tax
  • Federal Employee Identification Number
  • State Tax Identification Number
  • Sales Tax number (if needed)
_ Financial Focus
  • Raise capital for business
  • Establish a business bank account
  • Secure a business credit card
  • Establish business accounting system
  • Establishing line of credit for business
  • Create a Budget
  • Determine startup financial needs
  • Determine ongoing financial needs
_ Branding
  • Name of Company
  • Check name locally for use
  • Check name on Google
  • Check Trademark on Name
  • Tell you friends the name and have people say it out loud
  • Create Logo/Branding Information
  • Create letterhead, business cards, pre-printed invoices, sales brochure
_ Business Insurance
  • Check with insurance agent on your insurance needs
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Life insurance
_ Business plan
  • Executive Summary
  • Business Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Management Team
  • Operations
  • Critical Risks
  • Financial Projections
  • Appendices
_ Marketing plan/analyze market and competition _ Set up office
  • Home office
  • Commercial office space
_ Communications equipment
  • Telephones
  • Cell phones/Blackberry
  • Email
  • Website
_ Office Furniture _ Office Fixtures _ Office Computers and other Hardware _ Business Software _ Business Inventory