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10 steps to starting a business

  1. Create a business plan

    A detailed business plan helps you navigate every stage of your entrepreneurial journey. Use it to define your goals, attract investors and manage cash flow.

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  2. Figure out funding

    Will you apply for a microloan? Have you considered crowdfunding? Get your business moving forward by deciding how you’ll obtain financing.

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  3. Incorporate as a legal entity

    Whether you form a limited liability company (LLC), corporation or partnership, incorporating your business builds credibility and can help protect your assets. Learn about the different business structure options to find the best fit.

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  4. Get a logo and website

    Your logo and website tell your audience who you are and add legitimacy to your business. Take time to consider which design elements best reflect your growing brand.

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  5. Set up trademark protection

    Your business’s unique name, logo and slogans differentiate you from the competition. Protect those creative assets by filing a trademark registration.

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  6. Obtain a business license

    To legally operate a business, you may need certain permits and licenses. Requirements are determined by factors like location and industry. Find out what you need.

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  7. Create a marketing plan

    Get ready to promote your business. Your marketing plan documents the tools and channels you’ll use to reach your target audience.

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  8. Prepare for new employees

    Whether you choose to outsource payroll or take care of it in-house, you need a plan for paying employees. Learn more about your options to decide what makes sense for your business.

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  9. Order company merchandise

    Build your brand and publicize your business with customized items that feature your logo. From stationery and office supplies to T-shirts and drinkware, you have hundreds of options. Choose items that are useful to your audience and align with your business’s personality.

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  10. Prepare for your grand opening

    The big day is almost here! Let everyone know you’re open for business. Email, social media, fliers and banners are just a few of the many ways that you can bring attention to your launch.

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