1. Create a business plan
    Before starting up a new business, create an outline of what you plan to accomplish, so that you have a clear focus from the outset.
  2. Raise capital
    Capital allows you to achieve your initial goals and gives you the freedom to start a new business in the way you desire. If you plan to raise equity capital from others, consider contacting angel investors  (Angel Capital Association)  and venture capital firms (National Venture Capital Association). Remember, concise business plans win investors.
  3. Form your entity
    Forming an entity will protect personal assets from business debts and can provide credibility and tax benefits.
  4. Fictitious name registration
    If your entity will do business under a name other than the legal name filed with the Secretary of State, the law requires your entity to file a fictitious name registration (called assumed name or alternate name in some states).
  5. Get a registered agent
    Under state law, entities must appoint a registered agent located in the state of formation where state annual reports and legal documents such as service of process can be delivered.
  6. Trademark registration
    You should hire a trademark attorney to protect the brand names of the products and services sold by your business.
  7. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    All banks require your entity to obtain a federal tax identification number known as an Employer Identification Number.
  8. Licensing requirements
    Depending on your type of business, you may be required to obtain licenses from state, county, or city government agencies before you start your business.
  9. Governance documents
    You can obtain standard governance documents from Corporate Creations such as bylaws for a corporation and operating agreement for a limited liability company. These documents are ready-made and can be tailored to suit your businesses needs, ensuring you have everything in order.
  10. Check insurance requirements
    Consider obtaining general liability insurance to protect the assets of your entity. All entities with employees typically obtain unemployment insurance and workers' compensation insurance.
  11. Business expansion
    You can establish a business presence in other states by qualifying your entity to transact business in other states.
  12. Create your website
    When starting a new business, it is important to claim your internet presence early on. Register your website address as soon as possible to ensure you own a suitable domain for your business name.
  13. Think about marketing materials
    Consider hiring a marketing firm to design business cards, brochures, and other marketing materials for your business.
  14. Open a corporate bank accounts
    You must open a bank account in the name of your entity to protect your personal assets from your business assets. To simplify accounting, consider opening the following separate bank accounts for your entity: an Operating Bank Account to receive check deposits and to pay invoices, a Merchant Bank Account to receive credit card deposits, and a Payroll Bank Account to pay staff compensation and payroll taxes.
  15. Establish a payroll service
    You should hire an accountant or payroll service company to handle your payroll, Employer's Federal Unemployment Tax Return (Form 940), and Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return (Form 941).
  16. Obtain an accountant
    You should hire an accountant to help set up your chart of accounts and to prepare the annual tax return for your entity. Form 1120S is filed by an S corporation and by a limited liability company taxable as an S corporation. Form 1120 is filed by a C corporation and by a limited liability company taxable as a C corporation. Form 1065 is filed by a limited liability company taxable as a partnership.
  17. Business credit cards
    You should use one or more credit cards exclusively for business expenses. To simplify accounting, consider using one credit card for certain types of business expenses such as travel and entertainment, and other credit cards for other types of business expenses such as office supplies and equipment. Personal expenses should be charged on different credit cards used only for personal expenses.
  18. Seek out legal advice
    Hire an attorney for legal advice if you’re unsure of anything during the creation of your new business. It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared.
  19. Stay on top of your compliance
    As your company changes and grows, you may need to file entity compliance forms for qualification, amendment, annual reports, merger, and dissolution.

Discover how Corporate Creations can help you start a new business

Corporate Creations offers a range of services to help new businesses. From incorporation to registered agent services and helping you stay compliant, there are many ways in which we can assist with your business development. Contact us to find out more about our services.