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Business Start-up
August 30, 2022


Steps for Starting a Business in Colorado

1. Research the structure, location, and potential for the business2. Determine the legal structure for the business3. Write a Business Plan4. Obtain EIN from the IRS and research employer responsibilities, if the business is to have employees5. Determine a business name and register trade name/business with the Colorado Secretary of State6. Choose a site for business and research zoning with the city7. Determine permit and license requirements: Colorado Dept of Regulatory Agencies, City, HOA8. Obtain tax accounts and evaluate insurance needs: Colorado Dept of Revenue, Professional Services9. Obtain financing


Writing a Business Plan


A business plan (BP) is required for any business seeking financing. However, it is recommended for all businesses. The BP for a start-up requiring financing should have detailed support for any assumptions. The BP for an acquisition of an existing business that is seeking financing does not need as much detail but should include the prior 3 years' actual financials and projections for the next 2 years.

The BP for a start-up should include:

1. Executive summary with a description of the business, goals, timeline, target markets, differentiation, strategy for success, management team skills and experience, 2-3 year key financial projections, a summary of the total project cost, and sources for any funding requirements. Take one point from each section of the business plan. This should be no longer than 2 pages. Make sure the information in the summary matches throughout the business plan. Keep to the facts and stay away from too many unsupported adjectives.

2. Details of the business with a history of the business, legal structure, organization, ownership, location

3. A marketing plan including products and services offered, competitive advantages, method of distribution, analysis of competition, competitive strategy, pricing strategy, and marketing budget. Use of a library to access databases with market averages for comparison is recommended, e.g. RMA, IRS averages by SIC

4. A 3-5 year financial plan with income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements. The first year should be monthly with the remaining data stated annually. Start-up costs and fixed assets should be listed, along with a break-even analysis (Break-even = Fixed Costs/(Unit Price of product/service – Unit Variable Cost)). Include a summary with total project cost, how much will be input by the borrower, funds expected from other sources like a bank, owner carried, etc. - breakdown of the total costs by: capital requirements for the business, working capital, SBA guarantee fee (if applicable), closing costs, and processing fees.

5. Supporting documents such as resumes, legal documents, references, credit scores/reports of owners



BplansSample business plan for an engineering consulting firm.   Small Business AdministrationHow to write a business plan Successful Business Planning in 30 DaysBusiness Plan in 30 days! Source for checklists. Buy the book. BizFilingsOnline incorporation and LLC formation small lobbying organization Business Forum OnlineResource center for owners of new businesses The Company CorporationOne-stop incorporation service company – articles of incorporation, name registration, registered agent, and compliance tools Wall Street JournalGood information on starting, running, or buying businesses. All-BizResource for small businesses and entrepreneurs to help owners manage their companies American ExpressSmall business how-to information, monthly articles on specialized topics, and a long list of references to other sites of interest Business2The magazine for up-to-date business information BusinesstownLinks to various articles and websites on how to start and run a small business CCH Business Owners ToolkitAdvice in many areas and business tools Entrepreneur MagazineProducts, services, and information to help entrepreneurs EntreWorld/EventuringFrom the Kauffman Foundation, starting or growing a business, and articles on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur’s Search Engine offers more than 1,000 web resources for small businesses. 

Growthink - Business Plan templates.

Inc. MagazineInformation, products, services, and online tools for small businesses. The Institute of Management and AdministrationSource of exclusive business management information for experienced senior and middle management professionals. NH Small Business Development CenterMany links to government, business, and economic development resources.  Also hosts a module training program. QuickenSmall business advice and tools TannedfeetSource of information and help U.S. Business AdvisorBusiness advise, entrepreneur, business resources USA.govThe official U.S. gateway to all government information. Gov. Research CenterSearch site for countless government-sponsored research reports, articles, and publications   
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