how to start a businessThe U.S. Government has a lot of tools and advice available to those looking to start or grow a business. You just need to know where to find those resources. The official business link to the government is Business.gov, and it features a great ten-point list on how to start a business. This list is less about coming up with creative ideas and more about making sure you cover all the legal issues, government steps and paperwork needed to get your business going. Here’s the list of steps you should follow:

  1. Research and plan your business – What are you planning to offer?
  2. Get free training and advice where possible – You don’t have to go it alone
  3. Choose a location, and be sure to follow any local zoning laws that are in place
  4. Get financing, including loans, venture capital and grants where available
  5. Figure out your business’s legal structure: sole proprietorship? LLC? Corporation? Non-profit?
  6. Register your business name with the state government
  7. Get a Tax ID number from the IRS and state revenue agency
  8. Register for state and local taxes – you can also get workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance at this step
  9. Get any needed business licenses and permits
  10. Get ready to hire employees, but first, make sure you know what your legal responsibilities are as an employer

These tips for how to start a business are ideal for setting up a brick-and-mortar business in your local area. On the Business.gov site, each of the steps listed above comes with a link to the resources that will help you answer the relevant questions and get the help you need, so be sure to check out those links. There are also additional start-up resources on that page for specialized businesses like “green” businesses, online businesses, veteran-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses.

The U.S. Government wants your business to succeed, so be sure to take advantage of all of the resources made available to you! Good luck.

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