How to Start a Business

  1. Write a Business Plan
    Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.
    Step 1 >

  2. Get Business Assistance and Training
    Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.
    Step 2 >

  3. Choose a Business Location
    Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.
    Step 3 >

  4. Finance Your Business
    Find government backed loans, venture capital and resesarch grants to help you get started.
    Step 4 >

  5. Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
    Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.
    Step 5 >

  6. Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")
    Register your business name with your state government.
    Step 6 >

  7. Get a Tax Identification Number
    Learn which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.
    Step 7 >

  8. Register for State and Local Taxes
    Register with your state to obtain a tax identification, unemployment and disability insurance.
    Step 8 >

  9. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
    Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.
    Step 9 >

  10. Understand Employer Responsibilities
    SBA: "8 Steps to Hiring your First Employee"
    Step 10 >