Before you start a business, it is of the utmost importance to start off on the right financial path. This process can take a little time; however careful planning and implementation can save you from making mistakes and wasting time down the road. This post covers 10 important points to consider about finances and start up.
Your Finances And Start Up Information
- Have you written a business plan that includes your start-up capital requirements? Have you identified the start-up expenses required and allocated necessary capital for those requirements? Have you identified financial goals, both short term and long term, and created a plan to achieve those goals?
- Have you investigated my options, or sought assistance, and registered your business with required government agencies. Which business entity model have you chosen:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Have you protected your business name and filed the appropriate documents? Have you registered "Doing Business As" (DBA0 name if you are going to conduct business under a name other than the legal name you filed with the Secretary of State or other appropriate office? Have you conducted a trademark search to ensure that your unique company name isn't already being used?
- Have you created your articles of organization? Articles of organization are typically required to open a business checking account.
- Have you obtained your federal Employee Identification Number, EIN, from the IRS? An EIN is often required to open a business checking account. It is required to hire employees. And it is often used as a unique identification number for your business.
- Have you opened your business bank accounts? You may want to establish any or all of these:
- checking account
- savings account
- online banking
- Have you determined your choice of payment processing system(s)? Have you registered for one or more payment processing systems, i.e. PayPal, Stripe, etc.? Have you linked your payment processing system(s) to your business bank accounts?
- Have you established a system for proper accounting procedures? Have you found a system, like Quicken, to track your sales, expenses, and profits? Have you identified a source of accounting help and knowledge? You may want to consider hiring an accountant and maybe a bookkeeper.
- Have you started the process of establishing business credit? Have you obtained a business credit card? A business credit card helps separate professional and personal expenses and can help protect personal assets from business liabilities. Have you obtained a small business loan?
- Have you obtained the necessary business licenses and/or permits for your area. Have you investigated other insurance and government requirements for your business niche and local regulations? Have you researched and obtained the following:
- Insurance needs
- Permit needs
- License needs
Congratulations! If you have accomplished all of the above that apply, your business is now set up and you are ready to start enjoying your efforts. It is time to begin marketing, selling, and making money from your new business. Future posts will discuss these and other related topics.