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Steps to Starting a Small Business

Starting a new business means more than just ownership. Launching your own startup also means dealing with various amounts of paperwork and compliance at the state, federal, and local levels. Additionally, there will come a day when you hope to expand your small business into something much greater.

Below are several helpful resources designed to arm entrepreneurs with a wealth of information on building a new business. Tick off items on a small business or startup checklist, browse industry best practices on forming your own business, or determine for yourself what business structure best suits enterprise.

Free Business Startup Checklist

Free Business
Startup Checklist

Stay on track with your
startup tasks!

Download Now
Free Business Startup Guide

Free Business
Startup Guide

A comprehensive workbook
for entrepreneurs.

Download Now

VIDEO: 10 Steps to
Starting a Business

A quick 2-minute look at
what it takes to get started.

Play Now
INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Steps to Form a Business

INFOGRAPHIC:
10 Steps to Form
a Business

An interactive guide.

View Now
Business Structure Questionaire

Business Structure
Questionaire

Decide between incorporat-
ing and forming an LLC.

Get Started
State Guides

State Guides

State-specific information
to decide what's right for
your business.

Get Started

10 Steps to Starting a Business: Video Transcript

  1. Write a business plan. Form goals and objectives for your new company. Start with a detailed outline of what you plan to accomplish. This is the first of many steps to starting a business.
  2. Obtain start-up capital. Whether you use your own savings or obtain loans, starting a business requires money. The loan process can take months to check off your business startup cheklist, so start early. Lenders often request a completed business plan prior to approval of funding.
  3. Set up a legal business structure. Corporations and LLCs are popular entity structures for many small businesses. They protect owners' personal assets from business debts and liabilities. Additionally, incorporating can provide credibility and tax benefits. Let The Company Corporation help you cross this item off your business startup checklist.
  4. Click to expand list…

Other Tasks to Consider

  1. Appoint a Registered Agent. Businesses must maintain an address for service of process where legal documents can be received. The Company Corporation provides Registered Agent service for all companies that we form. This is an important, often overlooked, task on a business startup checklist.
  2. Satisfy insurance requirements. Incorporating or forming an LLC does not provide a company with business insurance. Most companies obtain general business insurance from an insurance provider. Corporations and LLCs that hire employees also typically obtain unemployment and workers compensation insurance.
  3. Complete additional filings as needed. Companies that expand to do business outside their original state of incorporation or LLC formation generally register in those additional states. The Company Corporation can assist with these registration filings, also called "qualifications." Amendments can also be filed if the information listed on the formation document, like the legal name of the company or address, changes.
  4. Click to expand list…

I have been thinking about becoming an LLC for a few years, but dreaded the "process". The Company Corporation did everything for me and made the "process" simple and affordable.

Katherine P., 8/25/2013

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