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EDC Steps to Starting a Business

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 Plan

Use 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.

  • Define your vision: What will be the end result of your business?
  • Define your mission: Different to a vision, your mission should explain the reason your company exists.
  • Define your objectives: What are you going to do -- what are your goals -- that will lead to the accomplishment of your mission and your vision?
  • Outline your basic strategies: How are you going to achieve the objectives you just bulleted?
  • Write a simple action plan: Bullet out the smaller task-oriented actions required to achieve the stated objectives.
Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counselling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 4: Finance Your Business

Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, non-profit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")

Register your business name with your state government.

Learn which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Step 7: Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 8: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 9: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

Step 10: Find Local Assistance

Contact your local SBA office to learn more about how SBA can help.

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