Having a business idea is one thing; actualizing that idea into a full-fledged business is another. When we think about putting up a business, we think about creating a business plan, learning as much as possible about the industry we want to enter, and presenting our idea to venture capitalists or investors. But what else? What other factors should you include in your list as you make your way into becoming an entrepreneur?
Have a Mentor and a Lawyer
Having a mentor as you create your startup gives you a leg because it gives you a great opportunity to learn from someone with more experience in the business. Finding a mentor can be as easy as asking someone you already know who’s been in the business and is succeeding in it for a while, or as difficult as finding an investor who will believe in your passion and cause.
As much as you can, attend events, network, and build relationships with people in your industry. This way, not only will you start to build your name, but you will also find people who will be willing to advise you.
Similarly, you must have a lawyer who will provide sound legal advice as you start your business. Setting up a business requires a lot of paperwork, from business licenses to contracts and tax forms, and you need a lawyer who will guide and assist you through these processes. They don’t come cheap, though, so do what you can to look for small to medium-sized firms that can give you discounted rates as a startup.
Decide Your Legal Structure
Your business’ legal structure will dictate how much you will pay in taxes, define your liabilities, and affect your ability to raise money. Typically for a startup business, LLC is the most popular choice because it gives you the benefits of corporation and partnership business structures.
Your lawyer can talk you through the different structures and help you decide which one to choose. Think about your local, state, and federal laws and think about the goals of your company. Understanding this information can narrow down your options so you can pick the structure that fits your company.
Get a Tax ID Number for Your Business
You need a Federal Employer Identification Number to open a bank account, apply for business licenses, and file for a tax return. Your FEIN is like a social security number for your business. It will separate you from your business, and it is also a way for your government’s tax agency to identify and track your business’s tax and financial activities.
In the USA, you can easily apply for a FEIN online on the IRS website for free. It takes about 10-15 minutes to apply, and it will take two weeks for your number to be active in the IRS system.
Apply for Business Licenses
As a startup, you will need to get licenses for your business, depending on its type. If you are manufacturing products, what kind? If you are selling goods, where and again, what kind of goods? These factors will help you determine what type of permits and licenses you need to acquire.
Laws vary depending on where you’re from, so this is also something you need to keep in mind. One thing for sure is you need to get a general business license to have the privilege to operate in your city/county.
Get Business Insurance
Apart from the business structure you choose, which helps separate your personal and business liabilities, getting insurance will ensure your startup’s protection in case of unexpected crises. Usually, insurance companies will offer General Business Insurance covering financial loss from injuries, property damage, medical expenses, defending lawsuits, and settlements. Consult with your insurance agency to know your other options and figure out what’s best for your line of work.
Plan Your Marketing Strategy
Finally, when your legal paperwork is done, it’s wise to prepare your marketing strategy before officially launching your business. Your branding and marketing will greatly affect how you build your company’s name and reputation. Whether you plan to DIY for now or hire an advertising agency from the get-go, what’s important is you can put your business out there. The sooner you advertise your company, the sooner you gain a customer base.
There are several avenues where you can start, and one of them is on the Internet. Register your domain, host your website, set up your social media, and make sure you commit to regularly updating them.