Checklist for Starting a New Business

Background work

 Analyze your business idea by doing a SWOT analysis

 Assess your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur

 Establish business and personal goals

 Assess your financial resources and identify potential sources of funds

 Identify the financial risks

 Determine the start-up costs

 Decide on your business location

 Do a thorough market research

 Identify your customers

 Identify your competitors

 Develop a marketing plan

Business transactions

 Select a lawyer and an accountant

 Choose a form of organization (proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, for example)

 Create your business (register your name, incorporate the business, etc.)

 Prepare a business plan

 Select a banker and set up a business checking account

 Apply for business loans and grants (if applicable)

 Establish a line of credit (if possible)

 Select an insurance agent and obtain business insurance

First steps

 Prepare corporate brochures

 Build a web site

 Set-up corporate e-mail accounts

 Get business cards

 Obtain a lease

 Line up suppliers (if applicable)

 Get furniture and equipment

 Obtain business licenses or permits (if applicable)

 Get a federal employer identification number (if applicable)

 Get a state employer ID number (if applicable)

 Send for federal and state tax forms

 Join a professional organization

 Choose a starting date

 Prepare and deploy your communication/marketing strategy