Every hopeful entrepreneur knows some of the basics of building an ethical business of his or her own. They know that in addition to a good product or service idea, they need a place of operations, that they need a website, they need startup capital. There are hundreds of articles all over the internet that talk about these essentials. Today, we’re going to talk to you about the details that many new entrepreneurs miss or mismanage when starting a business.
It is vitally important that you make sure you have the proper licenses and permits to operate a business of your type within Forsythe County (and elsewhere). If you aren’t sure what licenses and permits you will need, contact either the state trade association or the state’s government website.
More and more businesses are hanging their shingle in virtual space now, using technology like the cloud to grow and expand their companies. Some companies even have entirely virtual workforces. According to a solution brief on network protection released by Trend Micro:
As you take advantage of the operational and economic benefits of virtualization and the cloud, it’s critical to secure your virtualized data centers, cloud deployments, and hybrid environments effectively. Because if you neglect any aspect of security, you leave gaps that open the door to web threats and serious data breaches. And, to meet data privacy and compliance regulations, you will need to demonstrate that you have the appropriate security, regardless of your computing environment.
The last thing you want is to be the next Sony, right? Make sure you (and, by extension, your clients and customers) are safe.
Make sure that you correctly register your business with the county and state’s offices. This means choosing an official name for your business and making sure that the name doesn’t infringe upon anybody else’s copyright, trademark, etc.
It is also important that if you are going to be doing business under a name that is not your own or your company’s name that you register your fictitious business name, which is colloquially known as a “doing business as” registration. The rules for this vary from county to county and state to state so call your county clerk’s office if you have any questions.
Taxes and Incorporation
In the world of startups, there are few subjects scarier and more confusing than figuring out your company’s tax structure. Here are just some of the taxes you have to pay (and pay correctly): federal taxes, state taxes, sales taxes, estimated taxes, and payroll taxes. You will also have to set up a tax identity (EIN) for your business so that you can file your company’s taxes separately from your personal taxes. Unless you are, yourself, a CPA do not try to do your company’s taxes yourself. Always hire a professional to do this for you. And before you ask, TurboTax does not count as “a professional.”
It’s also a good idea to look into incorporation. Even if you are doing business by yourself, as a sole proprietorship, looking into incorporation is an especially good idea. This is because incorporating your company is the best way to make sure that if your company finds itself in financial hot water you, personally, won’t be held liable for those mistakes. There are other benefits to incorporation as well. Talk about your options with a lawyer before you start selling or trying to acquire venture capital for your company.
Every company has to meet certain environmental requirements. For example, you might need to obtain a clean air permit, a RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) permit or any number of others depending on the nature of your company. Make sure you have all of these in place before you conduct any actual business.
These are just a few of the details that need to be taken care of before you can legally do business. If you need help, there are many local resources available to you to help you make sure your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed.