Starting your own business can seem intimidating if you don’t know where to begin.
A big part of setting up any company, though, is following the law and making sure you have your paperwork in order from the very start.
If you want to run an ethical, legitimate business, you must follow these five tips for starting a legitimate business.
Do your research
Research your business idea thoroughly. Do some online research, talk to people in the industry, and assess all of the pros and cons.
✓ Get a business license. You may not need one for certain types of businesses, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry
✓ Choose a name for your company that is unique and has meaning
✓ Create a logo for your company that reflects what you do
✓ Design an initial website
✓ Register your domain
✓ Develop a brand identity
✓ Apply for social media accounts
✓ Pick an appropriate payment processor.
✓ Set up accounting software
It’s important to have a solid plan for your business, whether it’s an idea you’ve been working on for years or something you’re trying to get off the ground. These tips will help you do just that.
✓ Make sure your business is legitimate by filing with the IRS and getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
✓ Find your niche by researching what other companies in the same space are doing and how they are succeeding.
✓ Get set up with accounting software like QuickBooks so you can track your finances.
✓ Create some sort of formal agreement if you’re working as part of a team so everyone has a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
✓ Plan out your marketing strategy to make sure potential customers know about your company and products.
Utilize platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share images and details about your company. Participate in interviews with local blogs or TV shows.
Create customer incentives such as discount codes, contests, surveys and giveaways so people will want to buy from you.
If someone visits your site and doesn’t end up buying anything, follow them up via email or phone call to try again!
Be consistent with posting content on social media channels so that people remember who you are when they need a product.
Create a business plan
To create a business plan for your new business, you’ll need to think about the following:
– What is the goal of your company? – Who will be your target customer or client? – How will you reach this customer or client? – Where will you be selling or providing goods and services?
Remember that if you are not sure about any of these things then it might be best to consult with someone who has experience.
The last thing that you want is for your business idea to fail before it even gets off the ground.
You’ll need to make sure that your idea is unique enough and valuable enough so people would want to buy from you.
One way you could accomplish this would be by using surveys or focus groups to determine what kind of product people would want.
You should also research similar businesses online to see what they’re offering and if there’s anything they’re doing differently than what you’re considering.
Find the right funding
Planning to start your own business? The first thing you’ll need is funding. There are many different sources of funding including angel investors, crowdfunding, and grants.
Start by asking friends and family for money or try some crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe.
You can also apply for a small business loan through the Small Business Association.
To qualify for this type of loan, you must meet eligibility requirements and be an eligible business owner.
Loans from the SBA range from $500 to $35 million in size with terms up to 30 years.
The average size of an SBA 7(a) loan is $380,000, but there are much larger loans available as well.
These loans may require collateral or personal guarantees if your credit score isn’t great.
Find a way to protect your intellectual property (IP):
Trademarks, copyrights, patents – all these things help protect the intellectual property that makes your company what it is.
The most basic protection involves registering it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Patents offer more protection than trademarks do because they prevent anyone else from using your invention without permission.
However, they’re also more expensive and time-consuming to acquire – sometimes taking over two years!
Promote your business
Start your business with an LLC. In order to do this, you’ll need to file articles of organization in the state where your business will be operating.
This should cost less than $200. Keep good records of all paperwork, including tax documents and contracts.
It’s a good idea to have digital copies as well as physical copies so that you can always find them when needed.
If you’re using social media to promote your business, make sure that any information on these accounts is accurate.
To run a legitimate business, make sure there are no typos or incorrect contact information anywhere on your site.
If you’re doing freelance work for someone else, use your full name (or something close) in the signature block of emails and invoices.
Include a phone number and mailing address if they differ from your place of business.
Be sure to keep up-to-date addresses on hand for customers who wish to correspond with you by mail.