Starting a business is not a simple task and you will want to ensure that you follow
all of the necessary steps and complete them in the proper order. You will never
want to take the cheap route in setting up a business because you may need to spend
a little extra money to provide yourself with a little more protection. So if you
need to spend the extra money and take the extra time to become incorporated then
you should do so. By following these simple tips you will be able to save time and
money without skipping out on anything important.
#1: Begin by filing a Form SS-4 Federal Employer Identification Number with
the IRS. This can be done during the formation of your business. If you are a sole-proprietor,
you may not need to file for an employer identification number, unless you are going
to be hiring employees.
#2: If you don’t see a need to incorporate now, you can start as a sole proprietor
or partnership and then “upgrade” your business entity status later on down the
road. This is a great thing to keep in mind if you are unsure as to how successful
your business will be or the extent that it may grow to.
#3: Secondly, you will want to consult an accountant for tax filing advice.
They will be able to help you with the different tax rules and with filing information.
A CPA who works on their own is usually the best choice because they are able to
personalize their services to fit your needs.
#4: Prepare your information in advance for your lawyer. Include all of your
contact information, the number of shares available if you are a corporation, the
purpose of your business and the duration of your business. Go lawyer shopping by
calling around and asking what services they include with their price.
#5: Save on W2 forms for your employees by getting them directly from the
IRS. They will often give you a small amount, which should be sufficient to get
you started. You can also purchase them from office supply stores or download them
off of the Internet.
#6: Attend any local workshops or events that may provide you with useful
information on suppliers, vendors and other useful resources. You may also be able
to network and meet people who could benefit from your business or perhaps you could
benefit from their services.
#7: Continue to brush up on your business skills by attending continuing
education classes. These classes are offered at many community colleges and state
colleges. They can be very useful in keeping you up to date on business activities,
new computer software classes and more. These classes do not typically require any
prerequisites or prior degrees.
#8: Keep your business records forever if possible. If you keep them on computers,
consider burning your information to CDs or using an offsite storage company. Back
up your information periodically to ensure that it is safe and conveniently found.
You should keep your start-up records forever as well. Periodically, you may be
able to go through and get rid of some of this information, but it is always smart
to keep it at least five to eight years.
#9: No matter how big or small your business is going to be, you need to
have a professional look. Be certain that you use professionally printed business
cards, letterhead, invoices and other related forms. These are essential in giving
your business the professional look that you require. This also means that you may
need to have a logo professionally designed as well.
#10: Always check with local authorities on zoning regulations. If you are
a home business, you then you will want to ensure that you are following the rules
on the type of business that you can run out of your home. If you are manufacturing
something, such as doing carpentry in your backyard, you need to ensure that you
are not breaking any noise zoning laws or other zoning laws that may pertain to
you. You also want to ensure that you have the proper licenses for the type of business
that you are running.
Following these simple tips can save you a lot of headache down the road when it
is time to file taxes or conduct other business. You will be able to ensure that
you are playing by the rules and saving money as well.