Things You’ll Need Before Starting Any Business

This past weekend I went to a business conference (Seller’s Summit) and met a lot of great folks, many of whom were either thinking about starting a business, or we’re just getting started. I decided to write this Blog Post about things you will need to start your business, so you can hit the ground running.
There are certain things you need for different platforms, but I will be giving a basic list of things you will need for sure.

1) First off you need to decide what kind of company you will have. Will it be a Sole Proprietorship, an LLC, or something else? If you are starting out small and want to test the waters, I recommend a Sole Proprietorship. That means even though you must still register your business, everything is under your own name. As an example, your business license might say: John Doe, DBA Waxy Turtle. The downside to this is that you are personally liable for everything including business debts, etc. But you can always switch over to an LLC later after you see that your business is going to do well.

2) Next you need a name for your business, and a website address. I recommend searching the trademark database to make sure the name you want isn’t being used by someone else. You can also just “Google” it and see what comes up. Also, go to “Go Daddy” or another website that sells domain names and check there.

3) You will need an EIN (Employer Identification Number). This is a number assigned to you by the IRS to identify your business for tax purposes. You will be asked for this number when registering for different accounts, so it’s best to get it up front. It’s super easy…you just fill out a form online and it gives you your number immediately.

4) A Tax ID#. You need this for collecting sales tax in your state. Most states have a website where you can register your business and request this at the same time.

5) You will also need a business license, and can get this at your local County Clerk’s Office. I recommend calling in advance and asking which office you need to go to, or you will waste a lot of time running from office to office.

6) Lastly (for this week’s post) you will need a physical address for your business. If you work from home, do not use your personal address. Go get a UPS box, and use that address for anywhere that it asks for your business address. You may need to provide your actual physical address on some legal documents, but anywhere where your customers will see it, use a UPS box or some other mailbox address. This is for your own personal security.

These are some basic’s. Next post I’ll go over a few more things you’ll need.