Planning to start a home business? Congratulations!
Your journey to create a home business is bound to be exciting...but it can also be overwhelming if you don't have all your ducks in a row. One way to keep the stress and overwhelm in check is to have a checklist. Here's a good one to keep you on track:
6 months before __Determine viability of business by researching current market and trends __Research competition __Save at least 6 months worth of salary for business startup costs and salary __Create a business plan __Choose a business name __Check name against current trademarks __Find a lawyer to file for any copyrights, trademarks, or patents __Start a filing system to organize all your business papers
5 months before __Learn about your industry by subscribing to trade publications, newsletters, and finding a business mentor __Describe products and service offerings __Determine selling points __Determine pricing structure __Develop marketing materials __Buy a domain name
4 months before __Find a web developer __Develop a web site (4 weeks) __Compare small business bank accounts at local banks __Sign up for a corporate checking account __Order business checks and deposit slips __Get a corporate credit card __Set up accounting software __Set up financial and record keeping systems
3 months before __Find an accountant __File for incorporation (about 4 to 6 weeks) __Decide on a legal structure for your business (with accountant) __Apply for a federal identification number __File a fictitious business name statement
2 months before __Obtain a business license __Obtain necessary permits from city and state __Determine if you will have to charge sales tax __Check the zoning laws and other ordinances __Register your web site in the search engines Note: It can take 6 to 8 weeks to get indexed __Print business cards __Purchase stationery __Sign up for a merchant account
1 month before __Sign up for business insurance __Purchase office supplies __Sign up for local and long distance phone service __Sign up with an Internet service provider __Set up extra phone line __Build business network by contacting business associates __Prepare any advertisements __Prepare any publicity pieces such as a press release or news articles