The Ultimate Checklist for Starting a Business

You want to start a small business. That’s great. It’s a courageous adventure that can be fulfilling and challenging. You may also feel unsure as to where to start. Here are some things you should include in your checklist when starting your business. This will help you turn your dream into a reality.

Lease Office Space

Depending on the type of business you own, arrange to lease office space. Find a suitable location that’s not too far from your home. Reach out to a realtor in your area to help you find the right office space. Make sure your desired space is clean on the inside and out. Go to to find a pest control service that can inspect your area for an infestation. Make sure to set aside a time to set up your office furniture and utilities.

Decide Your Business Structure

The first order of business is to determine your business structure. This varies upon the types of products and services you plan to offer. A sole proprietorship may be the best option if you’re freelancing or going solo. On the other hand, incorporations, partnerships, and LLCs are best for small businesses or startups. They offer more benefits, such as protecting your assets and getting more tax breaks. If you need help determining your business structure, speak to a credible small-business attorney.

Write a Business Plan

The next thing you need to do is write a business plan. This helps you lay the groundwork for your business. This is where you come up with your idea and create the strategies needed to successfully launch your business. Your business plan should include the goals you want to achieve in one year, three years, and five years so you can meet your short-term and long-term goals. Create a business plan that’s useful enough to help you achieve those goals. If you never created a business plan before, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a free template that helps you as you fill it out at your own pace.

Develop a Brand

You need to have a business name and logo. Ask yourself what kind of “voice” you’d like to have. Who are your customers? How do you want to come across to them?

Think about your customers. What are they struggling with? How can you help them out? What products and services can you provide? Write the answers to each of these questions down on a sheet of paper. Once you have these in mind, brainstorm business names that fit within that scope. If you’re having trouble, hire an expert who has experience in your industry.

Protect Your Business

When it comes to legal and tax issues, you need to protect your business as much as you can. Cover all of your bases and follow the steps to starting a business on the IRS website. Consult the services of a small-business tax attorney that can help you with any legal questions you have. A qualified account can help you keep track of your finances and income to prepare you for success.

Build a Team

You may want to do everything yourself, but it’s better to have some help. Think about the areas where you think you may need more help. Customer service? Clerical? Janitorial services? Determine how much help you’ll need in these areas. Hire a few part-time employees in the beginning stages of your business. You can also outsource some of your tasks and responsibilities to a virtual assistant.

Get a Mentor

It’s not easy to start a business on your own. Having a mentor is an important asset for small business owners. A qualified third-party can provide an objective look into your business when you’re grappled with tough decisions. Hire someone who’s not only trustworthy but also has experience within your industry. If you can’t find a mentor, SCORE can connect you with one. They have a program that matches entrepreneurs with mentors based on your industry and other determining factors.

Starting a small business can be stressful. It takes a lot of patience, organization, and perseverance. Using this checklist will keep your business on track to rapid growth. After you check off the boxes, the fun stuff begins.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan