Starting A Business – What Steps Should You Take First – Part 1

When I started my business I looked at many items and hyped up make money now type things and found most were not what they said they were. I finally found the products I wanted to sell and signed up with the company. So now I'm ready to start selling my products right! WRONG. You must do more research.

Q1: What else do you need to research?

A1: What type of ownership are you going to use? There are several types such as sole owner, partnership, scorporation, corporation. You should research them and find which will work best for you. Depending on what type you choose to use determines what state agencies with which you will need to file.

A1: One thing about partnerships you MUST DO is ask yourself will your partner actually DO THE WORK! I tried several partnerships only to find out that my partners talked a good game but when it came to results there was always an excuse as to why something was not done. Needless to say those partnerships are no longer in existence. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if they are already making excuses for small things what will happen when a deadline MUST BE MET. No the odds are they will not get better at handling responsibility.

A2: What business name are you going to use? If you are using an assumed name such as jbf enterprises you need to register your assumed name with the state. In Illinois you have to register the name and put an ad in the local newspaper and run it for five days this will cost a few dollars and may vary. If you are using your real name you do not need to do this.

A3: You need to find out about sales tax. If you are doing an online business you may need to charge tax for items sold in your state but not in other states. DO NOT skip this step, if you do not collect tax and you were suppose to be collecting tax, you could LOSE the business you worked so hard to create. You will charge the customers the tax so PAY the government. You may also get a tax exemption on some of the items you buy for the business. If you are making a product, and buy a switch to go into the finished product the switch purchase may be eligible for a tax exemption. Ask your local tax agency they have great information and don't mind answering your questions. If you have an actual store then you will need to collect sales tax from everybody.

A4: I recommend a separate bank account for your business. Shop around there are different fees for different things such as credit card transactions, low balance, check fees, money transfer service charges and many more. One reason for a separate bank account is it makes tax time a whole lot easier. Another reason is It also makes it harder for you to take money out for personal use because you have to stop and think about it when you have to use a different checkbook. With the business and personal accounts together it is far to easy to say I'll pay it back later.

A5: Get some good accounting software and put everything in it. This makes tax time much easier. It should have a report manager and this can tell you many things like customer information, inventory and how much your spending on advertising and other controllable expenses. We tend not to look at the whole picture. We see $ 5 a week as not bad for advertising but at the end of the month we look at $ 20 dollars a whole different way. We begin to ask if we got our moneys worth. Remember a $ 1 here a $ 1 there adds up and a weekly or monthly report can shock you as to how much money you are actually spending.

A5a: The accounting software also helps keep track of tax deductible items. For instance rent of office space ex. I rent and my computer is in my apartment so I can deduct part of the rent. Same can be said for my phone if I use it for the business. My cable internet can be deducted as well as a percent of my utilities. Other items can include gas for the car, oil changes etc … Keep your receipts!

A6: I used an accountant at tax time no not h & r block or some service like that but an actual accountant. Talk to your friends and neighbors and find out if they have someone they use and like. No they're not that expensive I had my taxes done for about $ 110 dollars which was cheaper than when I had my personal taxes done the year before.

For help on promoting your online business read my other article. Website Promotion Services – for the New Online Business Owner it contains many free and useful tips on getting links to your website.

You can become successful if you do your homework. I've worked all my life and figure if I work as hard for myself as I do for other people then I CAN NOT fail. You can do it to! Thank you for reading my article and I hope it has helped you out.

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