Start-up checklist

Clearly, thousands of tasks arise as you plan and launch your new business. Add to this checklist your own special tasks.

  • Understand the responsibilities/benefits of business ownership.
  • Evaluate your strengths, list your weaknesses and set goals.
  • Choose the business you want to start.
  • Obtain any training, education, licensing or accreditation you need.
  • Apply for needed trademarks, patents, copyrights.
  • Decide form of ownership.
  • Write a budget and decide how much money you will need for the first year.
  • Write business plan.
  • Research your market.
  • Define your niche.
  • Identify your most likely customer.
  • Determine how to handle distribution.
  • Develop a marketing plan.
  • Choose your location, sign a lease if necessary.
  • Apply for fictitious business name.
  • Retailers obtain resale license.
  • Obtain tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Apply for city business license or home occupation permit, if needed.
  • Reserve web site domain name.
  • Set up financial records.
  • Establish on-going relationship with an accountant.
  • Open a business bank account.
  • Get a business phone number.
  • Obtain a merchant account for accepting credit card payments.
  • Buy necessary business insurance.
  • Order business cards, stationary.