For aspiring entrepreneurs, there’s no better New Year’s resolution for 2024 than to make your business dreams a reality. The SBA is your resource for navigating the ins and outs of starting your own business. Here’s what you need to do before you open shop.

  1. Research and write: Determining whether there’s a need for your business in the marketplace is an important first step. You’ll want to identify the demand for your product or service, as well as both your prospective customers and competitors.  After that, it’s time to get your business plan together. An experienced SBA resource partner can help you write one.
  2. Choose your business location and structure: Did you know that your business location can impact the taxes you have to pay, the regulations you must follow, and the revenue you can generate? Pro tip: Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or an online shop in mind, be considerate of where you plan to operate. Additionally, the business structure you choose will affect your operations, finances, and more.
  3. Name and register your business: Registering your business will make it a distinct legal entity, opening the door for personal liability protection, tax benefits, and more. Before you can register your business, however, you’ll need to have an established name. Choose one that reflects your brand and captures your spirit. Some business owners, such as those conducting business under their legal name, don’t need to register at all. But for most, the process is as simple as registering your business name with state and local governments.
  4. Apply for licenses and permits and open a business bank account: You’ll want to apply for a federal tax ID number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), to open a bank account and pay taxes. It’s also important to stay legally compliant. License and permit requirements can vary by state. Visit your state’s website to find out which licenses and permits you need.
  5. Find funding:  To get a clear picture of how much money it will take to launch your business, you’ll have to calculate your startup costs. Once you have a number in mind, you can start requesting funding and attracting investors. The SBA’s funding programs include loans, investment capital, and grants. Use our Lender Match tool to connect with an SBA-guaranteed lender.

The new year holds all sorts of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs. If you’re considering joining the community of small business owners, reach out to one of the SBA’s resource partners today for assistance and support.

Article Courtesy of the SBA