10 Steps to Starting a
the Resources You
Need to Start a Business
Starting a business involves planning,
making key financial decisions and completing a series of
legal activities. These 10 steps can help you plan,
prepare and manage your business.
Step 1: Write a Business Plan
Use tools and resources to create a business plan.
Your Business Plan
SBA's Business Plan Tool provides you with a
step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training
Take advantage of free training and counseling services,
from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to
expanding or relocating a business.
Small Business Development Centers
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide
assistance to small businesses and aspiring
entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its
Step 3: Choose a Business Location
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and
comply with zoning laws.
How to Choose the Best Location for Your Business
Whether itís Main Street or Silicon Valley, your
business location can mean the difference between
success and failure.
Step 4: Finance Your Business
Find government backed loans, venture capital and research
grants to help you get started.
Small Business Loans
Most small businesses rely on lenders to provide the
capital they need to either open a business or to
finance capital improvements.
Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole
proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company
(LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.
Choose Your Business Structure
The business structure you choose will have legal and
tax implications. Learn about the different types of
business structures and find the one best suited for
Step 6: Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")
Register your business name with your state government.
Choose & Register Your Business
Choosing a business name is an important step in the
business planning process.
Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number
Learn which tax identification number you'll need to
obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.
How to Apply for an EIN
Applying for an EIN is a free service offered by the
Internal Revenue Service. Beware of Web sites on the
Internet that charge for this free service.
Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes
Register with your state to obtain a tax identification
number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability
State Government Websites
Visit your State Web site and find information on doing
business in your state, taxation, links for
employers, and more.
Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and
permits required for your business.
Business Licenses & Permits
In order to operate your business, you must comply with a
wide range of local, state and federal rules.
Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities
Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire
Hire & Retain Employees
These eight steps can help you start the hiring process
and ensure you are compliant with key federal and state