Getting Started with Your Small Business

So, have you decided you’re ready to enter the business world and launch your small business? Wondering where to start? Here are a few considerations to address to make sure you get you going in the right direction.

Writing a Business Plan

If you haven’t gotten started with your business plan, take a step back. This important living document is a roadmap for business success. It generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route your company intends to take to reach its yearly milestones, including revenue projections. You’ll also cover topics such as a market analysis, marketing plans and finances. A well-developed plan can help you think objectively about the key elements of your business venture and inform your decision-making on a regular basis.

Choosing Your Business Structure

How will you structure your business? This is important for legal and tax considerations, so be sure to weigh your various options to determine the best fit. From sole proprietorships to partnerships, different business structures offer benefits depending on the type of business you’re doing – and whether you’re going it alone or with others. You can read more about business structures on SCORE’s website here.

Organizing Your Tax Requirements

After you’ve registered your business, you’ll want to find out which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency. This number – an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number – is used to identify a business entity for tax reasons. Check with your state to determine if you need a state number or charter. You’ll also want to explore the tax requirements that are specific to your state – and every sta

Obtaining Business Licenses and Permits

So, you’ve registered your business and got your tax details straightened out. Next up, you’ll want to look into business licenses and permits. Most businesses need them to operate legally, but what you’re required to have depends on your location and your industry. You can read more about the process with this SCORE resource.

Getting Help

Starting a business can be an overwhelming task. It’s exciting, but there are a lot of details to work out. Luckily, you don’t have to take on the burden alone. Experienced mentors and volunteers are available with advice, ready to help guide you through the process and get you on your way to success. Find expert advice – online or in-person – from a SCORE volunteer today.

About the Author(s)

U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA is an independent federal agency that works to assist and protect the interests of American small businesses.

U.S. Small Business Administration
Business Owners