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The Ultimate Business Startup Checklist

by Olufisayo
Business Startup Checklist

Do you know how many businesses fail in their first year?

It’s actually not a lot. Around 80% of small businesses don’t have a problem surviving year one. It’s when they hit the 5-year mark that they start running out of gas.

About half of the survivors will make it. And then it becomes 1 in 3 when they get to the 10-year mark.

Don’t let these numbers discourage you though. Outstanding entrepreneurs don’t worry about failing. They focus on doing the best they can at any given moment.

For aspiring entrepreneurs like yourself that means having a business startup checklist, you can refer to for setting up your startup right. Here, we’ll talk about what that checklist includes with tips to help you complete each item.

Business Startup Checklist

1. Business Name

A great business idea needs an equally awesome business name. That means keeping it as simple as possible and making sure it stays relevant even as you scale your startup.

Tip: Don’t forget to do a thorough internet search. You don’t want to decide on a name only to find out that its .com domain name isn’t available.

2. Legal Structure

Your checklist for starting a business should include how you want to structure your startup.

Will it be a sole proprietorship? A limited liability company (LLC)?

Or do you have partners who will help you run the company? Perhaps, you’re also thinking about incorporating your startup?

Tip: Research on the pros and cons of different business structures. Also, keep in mind that ownership rules, taxes, liability, and filing requirements will vary from state to state.

3. Business License and Permits

No starting a business checklist would be complete without talking about business licenses and permits. That said, the best way to ensure you don’t miss out on specific obligations for your startup is to get in touch with your state and local government.

Tip: Consult a small business lawyer who can help you navigate the laws (federal, state, and local) and requirements for filing business licenses and permits.

4. Equipment and Software

Even the simplest business setup requires a computer and a business phone. So try to list down all the equipment, software, and apps you need and set a budget.

Now, if you’re worried about expenses, try to prioritize the essentials. For example, if you’re opening a small bakery, you may not need ERP (enterprise resource planning) software yet. But you do need ovens, bakeware, mixers, and so on.

Tip: Consider a paycheck stub maker to help you keep track of your finances. A tool like this can help you show proof of income if you’re trying to get approved for a bank loan or a business credit card.

More Items for Your Business Startup Checklist

Aside from the ones we’ve listed here, don’t be afraid to expand your small business startup checklist. Include a business plan that will help you secure funding for your startup or get other companies to partner with you.

You can also add your marketing and branding strategy here. The earlier you can get the word out about your startup, the better.

Ready to Launch Your Startup?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of things you have to do before launching your business. But don’t let it get the best of you.

With this business startup checklist, you can focus on the things you need to do so you can get faster to your company’s launch date.

Need more startup advice? Don’t forget to check out 10 Must Read Resources for Starting and Growing Your Business and 5 Bits of Advice for a New Business Start Up.

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