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10 Steps to Starting a Business

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.Step 1: Write a Business PlanUse these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.Step 2: Get Business Assistance and TrainingTake advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.Step 3: Choose a Business LocationGet advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.Step 4: Finance Your BusinessFind government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your BusinessDecide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.Step 6: Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")Register your business name with your state government.Step 7: Get a Tax Identification NumberLearn which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.Step 8: Register for State and Local TaxesRegister with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and PermitsGet a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.Step 10: Understand Employer ResponsibilitiesLearn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.Startup ResourcesThere are a number of available programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups. The following resources provide information to help specialized audiences start their own businesses.Environmentally-Friendly "Green" BusinessHome-Based BusinessOnline BusinessSelf EmploymentMinority Owned BusinessVeteran Owned BusinessWoman Owned BusinessYou can save money when starting or expanding your business by using government surplus. From commercial real estate and cars, to furniture, computers and office equipment, find what you need for your business in one place.


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