While the idea of starting a business may be daunting, over 500,000 new businesses are started annually in the United States, according to the Small Business Association.
Own your name - Make sure the company name you choose is available and an appropriate internet domain name can be obtained. Check for fictitious name registrations or trademarked names. Failure to properly obtain a trademark could put your business at risk — not to mention that the time and money you have invested in establishing your business name could go to waste if someone else owns the trademark.
Know the law - Understand the regulations, licenses and taxes you will need to follow, obtain and pay for your new business. Consult with an accountant or a lawyer to help structure your business to be in compliance with the law. Typically, you will need to need to be sure you are charging the correct amount of tax that your business is promoting and have all of the proper licenses needed to run your new business. A good accountant can help you with all of the filings you will need to start your company.
Know your needs - When working on your business plan, do not forget about your needs. Consider all of your living costs from rent, mortgages, health insurance, gas or groceries. - all things that don’t pay for themselves. Make sure you account for unforeseen or unexpected expenses by factoring a little flexibility into your budget for those “just-in-case” moments. To do this, you will most likely need to cut out all the unnecessary extras you can live without.
Don’t over (or under) spend. Starting a business can be financially taxing on you and your family. You will need to learn good cash flow management practices as well as the best places to spend your money. It’s important not to waste those precious seed dollars but it’s equally important to spend where necessary. In any business, you often have to spend money to make money. Be sure to provide for the things your company needs, but have a clear definition of ‘need’. For example, it may be worth it to put $1500 in an online vendor listing, but it may not be necessary to give every new customer a $15 coffee mug. Beware of impulse buying and be disciplined with your funds.
While there’s so much to starting a business, be sure to get experienced guidance. It is the best support system of all and can save you a lot of headaches. Ask friends and colleagues who have started a company for a list of what to do or what not to do. and hire competent partners to help with the process, and feel free to contact Jones and Company CPAs at 727-845-4166 if you have questions.