Let’s face it – job security is not what it used to be. I bet that’s what encouraged you to take the leap to start your own business. Or, maybe you have a stable job, but would like some extra income to take care of your kids or get ahead of the bills.
Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you need to do before you can officially open for business.
Choose your company name
People spend a lot of time trying to pick the perfect name. It’s one of the first ways people will interact with your business, but don’t get so caught up in choosing the perfect name that you delay starting your business! You’ll need this name to register with the IRS and to open a bank account. You can also change it later if it turns out the name doesn’t suit your business after all.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN is the federal tax number that will be used to identify your company. It’s free and you can apply online. This number can be used in place of your Social Security number and that’s important considering all the identity theft going on these days.
Register your Trademark
If you’ve selected the perfect name and logo, then you should register them with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It’s important that you protect your name and logo as this will be how many of your customers recognize your brand and prevents others from profiting off of your brand equity.
Get a business license
Depending on the type of product or service you’re offering, your city or state will require a business license. You can apply online in most states and should only take a few minutes of your time.
Open a bank account
The last thing you want to do is mix personal and business funds. One way to avoid this is by getting a business bank account. You can open an account practically anywhere, but be sure to select one that has a lot of free features because you may not make a lot of money early on and will want to avoid paying hefty bank maintenance fees.
And presto! You’re a small business owner in just 5 easy steps. Okay, it won’t all be seamless. Now that the paperwork is out of the way, you now you can do the things you really want to do — like finding customers, hire employees and most importantly…make some money!