DID YOU KNOW? SBA's 10 steps to starting a business • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
U.S. Small Business Administration

DID YOU KNOW? SBA’s 10 steps to starting a business

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10 steps to starting a business
(Provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration)

Statistics show that owning your own business is the second-best way to grow wealth behind owning your own home.  Ready to change your life and become an entrepreneur?  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help!  Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities.

Here are 10 steps to help you get started:

  1. Conduct market research — Market research helps you find customers. Competitive analysis helps you make your business unique. Combined, they help you find a competitive advantage for your small business.
  2. Write your business plan — Your business plan is the foundation of your business and is a roadmap for how you structure, run and grow your new business.
  3. Fund your business — It costs money to start a business. Your business plan will help you figure out how much you need, and the SBA can help you find ways to find that capital.
  4. Pick your business location — Brick and mortar? Your neighborhood or somewhere else? Online? Your business location determines taxes, zoning laws and regulations your business will be subject to.
  5. Choose a business structure — The legal structure you choose impacts your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes and personal liability.
  6. Choose your business name — It’s not easy picking the perfect name for your small business. You’ll want one that reflects you, your brand and captures your spirit. You’ll also want a name that isn’t already being used by someone else. And you’ll want to legally register it with the right agencies to make sure no one else uses the name you choose.
  7. Register your business — You’re almost there! Registering your business makes it legal and depends on your business structure and location.
  8. Get federal and state tax ID numbers — Part of becoming legal, you’ll use your employer identification number (EIN) for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a business bank account and paying taxes. It’s like a social security number for your business.
  9. Apply for licenses and permits — Most businesses need a combination of licenses and permits from federal, state and local agencies to operate legally. 
  10. Open a business bank account — A business bank account helps you stay legally compliant and protected while providing benefits to your customers and employees.

Ready to learn more? Check out the Small Business Administration website for in-depth tips, learning, resources and tools. Need help one-on-one? Our SBA resource partner network provides free or low-cost personal counseling and training in your area for the life of your small business. Simply type your zip code in at Get local assistance and set up your first appointment today. Good luck!

This month's “Did You Know?” tip was contributed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.


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