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What You Need to Know When Starting A Business

Starting your own business takes more than just an idea. You need to decide if you want to take the leap and start a business. Then you need to decide if you want to have a partner or work for yourself. Even with a partner, running your own business is time consuming and a lot of hard work so be sure that you are willing and able to take on that challenge.

Once you have made that decision, you need to determine what type of business you want to be in. Are you interested in providing a service, selling products or a combination of both? This decision should be both one of personal desire and strengths along with market research to determine the feasibility of your new business. Next, you will need to determine if you are going to start full time with this new business or start slowly while you are still employed full time elsewhere.

Often, it is not financially feasible to leave your fulltime job and start a new business. Not only are you foregoing a steady paycheck but there is no guarantee of a steady income at the beginning. Therefore, if you do decide to work at building your new business full time, you will either need to have cash reserves from which to draw a salary and operating expenses or you will need to get a start up loan for your company.

After you have made the decision to start your own business, you should create a business plan. Every successful business has a plan. This forces you to know everything you can about your products and services so that you can successfully market them to the public. If you want to sell to customers, you need to be able to convince them that your product and services are unique and that they need them.

You also need to decide what type of business organization is best for you. There are several types of business organizations: sole proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Corporation, S Corporation and Limited Liability Company. Each of these has their own benefits and you need to determine which one will best suit your needs. Often, an attorney or tax professional can help you determine which entity is right for you.

Before you can actually open your doors, you will need to get the necessary licenses and permits. These include local, State and Federal Licenses and permits. Are you going to be working under a DBA (doing business as)? If so, there are regulatory requirements attached to that decision. You will also need to determine if you will need a seller's permit and an Employer Identification number.

If you are trying to create a brand or public recognition of the name of your company, it is important that you trademark the name. you don't want someone to come in and trademark your name and deny you the use of the name that you have spent time, energy and money on. If you own the trademark, it will also prevent others from using the name and benefitting from all of your hard work.

Often times, business owners forget or decide not to purchase insurance. Insurance is a necessary purchase. You are going to putting a lot of blood, sweat and tears into your new venture and you want to protect those efforts from any surprises that could lead to liability. You will need to look into Business Property Insurance, Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance, Excess Liability Coverage, Employment Practices Liability Coverage and Commercial Renter's Insurance.

Last but not least, you will need to finance your business. How much money will you need to start the business and for how long will you need to finance it before profits will kick in? Will you be looking for a loan or for investors? How do you plan on repaying it? These are all questions that you need to answer so that you have a clear picture of the financial needs and projected earnings of your new company.

Starting a business can be challenging and invigorating. You are creating something all your own and you control the destiny of your creation. Thoughtful planning will help your new business thrive and grow.