No time is better than now to start your business

If you are a little like me, you’re not happy with anything other than perfection. When it comes to starting your business, perfection can make room for process and legalities.

I, legally, opened my business when I decided to work for myself. This was October 2018. Officially, I started working on my business in February 2019. I wanted to make sure I had it all set up before diving in.

Here’s the steps I learned from starting my own business, and the information I wish I had:

  1. Choose your business name:
    • Don’t go for purrrfection, go for simple.
    • An idea is to incorporate your “why” (My Cats are my why) or go for simple formulae by [your name].
    • You can change your business name later or file for a “DBA” (Doing Business As”.
  2. Form a Legal Entity:
    • You can go for a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, LLP, S-Corporation or C-Corporation.
    • LegalZoom as very good resources on the different entities.
    • I cannot stress enough this portion: seek legal counsel when setting up your business.
    • Look for an attorney that knows about business laws in your area.
  3. Apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) + State registration if applicable:
    • EIN application is free! Yes, free!
    • Make sure to follow the steps outlined on the website, and you’re all set.
    • Here’s the link for the application.
    • Your legal counsel can advise on any state registration if needed.
  4. Apply for business licenses and permits, if needed:
    • Again, your legal counsel (and google) can help you out with this one.
    • Considering that the US alone has over 40,000 different licensing jurisdictions, it’s safe to say that there is no one rule fits all on this case.
  5. Create a business bank account:
    • This is ah-so-important. You want to honor the business expenses being separated to your personal.
    • We recommend you create the following: Business Checking Account, Business Debit Card and Business Credit Card.
    • Then you can plan on paying yourself by transferring $$ to your personal account, or running payroll if applicable.
    • Look into setting up merchant accounts – such as Stripe, Square, etc. – this will allow your clients to pay you with a credit card.
  6. Get Insurance:
    • Yes, this might seem silly, but it’s extra important.
    • By having insurance you’re passing any liability to a third party.
    • We never plan on using, but it’s an extra layer of security.
    • I have Errors & Omissions, General Liabilities, and Cyber Insurance.
  7. Set Up your bookkeeping:
    • Yes! To know if your business is being profitable, to plan for the future, you want your financial information at your fingertips.
    • You can use a spreadsheet, a cloud-based system, whatever floats your boat – as long as you’re tracking your income and your expenses, everything is easier.

Thank you so much for reading this and don’t forget to share your wins with me!