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Business Checklist: How to set up a business

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Setting up business is so super important! We need to make sure you’re on the right path!

Biz 101 Checklist

Here is a superficial business checklist to get you on the path to getting your business set up properly!

  • Choose a name – Make sure you’re not violating any Federal or State trademarks, as well as ensuring your name is available.  Don’t want to get kicked out of business for a mere issue with name. (See Business Bites episode 62: Choosing a biz name, trademarks and more.)
  • Choose a structure (Sole Proprietor, LLC, Corp) – You can choose from Sole Proprietor, LLC, C Corp, S corp and Partnership structures.  Choose the one that fits your plan – not just what everyone else is doing! (See Business Bites episode 31: Business Entities 101 for Entrepreneurs.)
  • Make the appropriate tax elections with the IRS (if applicable) – You could be saving more money on your Income Taxes through special elections – be sure you’re doing it! (See Business Bites episode 69: 5 Quick ways taxes can save you money.)
  • Get your sales tax permit – Remit your sales taxes if applicable and be sure you know WHAT products and/or services to charge on.  Careful if you’re doing all inclusive collections without breaking out sales tax; that may be a state law no-no! (See A brief explanation of sales tax on digital goods and Sales tax, VAT tax & your business.)
  • Get other appropriate license and permits for your jurisdiction – Don’t get shut down for simply not getting the right licenses and permits for shooting.  Licenses can include extra business licenses on top of your formation.
  • Set up your EIN and Employer account  (if applicable) – Make sure you’re in line with the IRS and State law requirements – get these down!
  • Use the right contracts to protect your business – Are you using the right business forms for your business? You need to make sure you have a contract for EVERY independent contractors, clients and anyone else you do business with! (Contracts can be found here!)
  • Get the right insurance – There are many types to choose from – get 3-5 quotes from various businesses PER type of policy!
  • Set up your budget and retirement savings – Every business needs a budget and appropriate retirement savings. Get these accounts set up! (See Business Bites episode 14: 6 Budget areas small biz owners foget to include.)
  • Get an appropriate price list – Make sure you’re actually pricing for success – don’t just fly by the seat of your pants!

Don’t forget you also need the appropriate web presence, client management and other aspects to drive your business to success!

Want a downloadable version of the business checklist? Snag it here!

Business Checklist: How to set up a business

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about your host

Hi, I'm Rachel.
Your BFF + Tough Love Biz Strategist.

I'm a multi-faceted entrepreneur, business strategist and intellectual property attorney ready to help you start building the life + business you dream of!

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Free Legal Checklist

As a business strategy consultant, intellectual property attorney AND entrepreneur (just like you!), I created this checklist to run through the top legal and strategic questions your business needs. 

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I'm Rachel

I'm a multi-faceted entrepreneur, business strategist and intellectual property attorney ready to help you start building the life + business you dream of!

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