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Starting a Small Business

Thinking of starting a small business? It's an exciting and challenging pursuit. Begin your entrepreneurial journey with these 6 steps!

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Learning how to start a small business can be a complicated process. Entrepreneurs who have the heart and passion for starting a small business will be successful if they can also keep track of the important details. Make sure you’ve considered all of the following as you get your business up and running.

  1. Create a business plan. Think of you business plan as your roadmap to success, outlining your goals for the next several years of business. The Small Business Administration has lots of helpful resources for what it should include.
  2. Line up your finances. Start with a budget and be specific: how much money will you need to get started? Do you have it saved up already, or will you need to secure a loan? Figure out where the money will come from: this is the key difference between actually starting a small business and just dreaming about a small business.
  3. Choose your business name. Will you do business under your own name, or will you choose to name your business something else? Consider a name that sets you apart, and makes sure it doesn’t infringe on any existing trademarks.
  4. Get your paperwork in order. You’ll need a tax ID number, and you may also need business licenses and permits. If your business is named something other than your own name, you may need to file a DBA (Doing Business As) name.
  5. Learn your local tax laws. In addition to federal taxes, there are state and local taxes to take into account. Find out the specific laws for your area. It will likely also be helpful to find an accountant and/or attorney to support you in navigating your small business taxes.

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