The Five Stages of Starting a Small Business in 2018
If your New Year’s resolution is to start a successful small business, there will be a lot more involved in keeping it than if your resolution was to lose a few pounds or take aikido classes. There is research, planning, financing and fulfilling legal requirements. Key financial decisions must be made and a series of legal activities must be completed.
These are five stages that are essential to launching a company or starting a business:
Is there a need for the service or product you intend to sell? This is the question you must answer before setting foot in entrepreneurial waters. Is there an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business? Do the research. Ask potential customers and existing business owners in the surrounding area. The intelligence you gather can provide a competitive advantage.
With your answers, you must forge a path. Outline the route you will take with a business plan. This is the perfect time to use at least four of the Five Ws and do not forget "how". What is the business? Where is it located? Who will be running it? When will it operate? How will it achieve a profit? If you wish to secure a small business loan, you will need answers to these questions. Remember to begin with a one-page Executive Summary, which is the most important element of your business plan.
How much money will you need to start your business? Draw up a budget. Will you finance it with your own money, call on family and friends or both? Is a traditional bank loan or SBA loan in your future? You will need to know your credit rating before applying for a loan. You will also be asked to provide tax returns from the last two or three years. Again, nothing inspires confidence in a business more than a good business plan, especially when it comes to asking for money.
Your revenues, taxes, legal requirements and cost structures are all directly impacted by your choice of location. It may seem simple, but your choice of a busy street for your restaurant may also mean poor parking. Failure to scout an area for competing businesses can be disastrous. Do not let price be the only deciding factor.
Consult a Business Law Attorney
To be honest, there are more than five stages to consider, but when it comes to certain ones, consulting or hiring the right business law attorney will ensure that you complete each one without missing any crucial steps. For example, choosing a legal structure will not only legitimize your business, but will also affect the amount you end up paying in taxes, not to mention the protection of your personal assets. A business law attorney will assist in the formation of an LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, or some other type of business structure.
A business law attorney can also make sure your business establishes a federal employer identification number, which will allow you to open bank accounts or credit card accounts. You will also need this to pay taxes. There will also be licenses and permits that must be applied for, another process an attorney can help navigate.
Consulting a business law attorney can help prevent the sort of occurrences that you will end up having to retain one for anyway. The local, state or federal government may file a complaint or wish to investigate your company, for which you will certainly have to retain an attorney, but consulting a business law attorney can prevent this from happening in the first place.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment