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Know These Startup Business Checklist

The business start-up checklist below is meant to remind you of the tasks you may have to perform when starting your business.

Not every small business will have to complete each step. For instance, you may decide not to register your trademark with state or federal officials. Or, you may not be required to publish a notice of intent to do business.

Since laws vary by state and by type of business, be sure to check with local authorities to determine if there are any additional legal steps you need to take.

  • Choose a business based on your skills and interests
  • Research the business idea

    – What will you sell
    – Is it legal
    – Who will buy it and how often
    – Are you willing to do what it takes to sell the product
    – What will it cost to produce, advertise, sell & deliver
    – With what laws will you have to comply
    – Can you make a profit
    – How long will it take to make a profit

  • Write a business plan and marketing plan
  • Choose a business name
  • Verify right to use the name
  • See if the business name is available as a domain name
  • Register the business name and get a business certificate
  • Register your domain name even if you aren’t ready to use it yet
  • Choose a location for the business or make space in the house for it
  • Check zoning laws
  • File partnership or corporate papers
  • Get any required business licenses or permits
  • Reserve your corporate name if you will be incorporating
  • Register or reserve state or federal trademark
  • Register copyrights
  • Apply for patent if you will be marketing an invention
  • Order any required notices (advertisements you have to place) of your intent to do business in the community
  • Have business phone or extra residential phone lines installed
  • Check into business insurance needs
  • Find out about health insurance if you will not have coverage under a spouse