A 10-step guide to starting a business

How do you start a business, anyway? As we continue to work through the pandemic, opening a new business has been a popular way to make headway. The pandemic came with plenty of downsides, but it allowed many businesses to identify market trends and opportunities – and capitalize on them.

Below are 10 quick steps to starting a business, brought to you in part by the Small Business Administration. Before you pull out your laptop and get started, be aware that a good business attorney can be of real help to startups. It may be tempting to fill out an online business formation program and hope for the best, but your business would be missing out on decades of practical experience solving just the problems you’re trying to solve now.

Step 1: Do your market research

If you have an idea that you think could catch hold, you’re probably right. You need to find out if someone else is already doing it, though.

Step 2: Create a business plan

A business lawyer could be a great resource here because you’ll need to make decisions about your business structure, name, location and management so you can show investors that your company is ready to get going and safe to invest in.

Step 3: Locate funding

How do you plan to get the capital you need to start your business? There are personal loans, bank loans, loans through the Small Business Administration, venture capital, selling stock – we can help you find the right path to capital.

Step 4: Choose your business entity

Would you like to operate as a corporation, partnership or limited liability company? There are advantages to each type of entity. If you don’t choose one, you will default to an entity type you may not want.

Step 5: Pick a name

You’ll need to make sure no one else is using your name or anything so close to it that it could be confusing.

Step 6: Set up a business bank account

It’s essential to keep your business expenses and debts separate from your personal ones.

Step 7: Register your business

Texas and the federal government both have registration requirements for some types of businesses.

Step 8: Get state and federal tax ID numbers

Employer identification numbers (EINs) and state tax ideas are required before you can hire anyone – and that includes yourself.

Step 9: Apply for any necessary licenses or permits

Only some businesses require licenses or permits.

Step 10: Location, location, location

Find the right location for your business, considering questions such as legal requirements, zoning, tax rates and proximity to potential customers.

If you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to support you.