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"How to Start a Home Business" Checklist


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The "Home Business Start-Up Checklist" explains how to start a home business in 21 simple steps. Download the book free at

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"How to Start a Home Business" Checklist

  1. 1. STEP 1Do you know what type of businessyou want? Then you are ready to getstarted!If not, you can check out the article,“How Do You Find the Best Businessfor You?” or use the free SmallBusiness Finder tool.
  2. 2. STEP 2Before doing anything, you want toresearch your market to make surethat your business has the opportunityto be profitable.Youll want to look atthings like consumer trends, currentmarkets (local, national andinternational), industry knowledge,competition and future growth.
  3. 3. STEP 3You may need to check zoningrequirements for your businessto make sure you can operate inyour neighborhood (for example,if you plan to run a group home,day care, commercial cookingbusiness out of your home).
  4. 4. STEP 4Make a plan for your business.Planning your business beforeyou start is important,especially if you need to securefinancing.
  5. 5. STEP 5At this point, you want to decidehow you will structure yourbusiness. Will you operate yourbusiness as a sole proprietor ordo you want to set up apartnership or corporation?
  6. 6. STEP 6Choose a name for yourbusiness.You will then need toregister your company namewith with the city or countyclerk.
  7. 7. STEP 7Apply for a business licensewith your local city office.
  8. 8. STEP 8Get a Federal Tax ID Number,or Employer ID Number(EIN), from the IRS.
  9. 9. STEP 9Open a business bank account.You will want to keep yourpersonal and business financesseparate with a separate bankaccount.
  10. 10. STEP 10Apply for business financing ifnecessary. There are severaloptions outside of thetraditional bank loan.
  11. 11. STEP 11Register your business withyour state for collection ofsales tax, if applicable, andregister your company withyour city/county for localtaxes.
  12. 12. STEP 12Get a payroll book, accountingsoftware or hire an accountantto handle businessbookkeeping.
  13. 13. STEP 13If you need work space outside ofyour home, you can lease or buycommercial space, rent sharedspace or even an inexpensive virtualoffice with a variety of services(including a professional addressand live phone receptionist).
  14. 14. STEP 14Meet with a local insuranceagent to find out businessinsurance requirements andoptions.You can also compareplans online for free.
  15. 15. STEP 15Set up a dedicated businessphone line. This can be the firstimpression you give topotential, and you wantprospects to take you seriously,even if you work from home.
  16. 16. STEP 16Order business cards.
  17. 17. STEP 17Get office supplies such as software,computers, printers, paper,telephones, store display fixtures,whiteboards, office furniture, filingand storage, promotional supplies,cleaning products and other businessnecessities
  18. 18. STEP 18You will also want a website,even if you don’t sell anyproducts online.You can get adomain name for about $10 anduse a free website builder, or youcan hire a designer from a veryaffordable source we work with.
  19. 19. STEP 19Set up a credit card merchantaccount so you can acceptcredit card payments fromcustomers. We’ll show youhow to do this for free.
  20. 20. STEP 20Hire employees, if applicable.
  21. 21. STEP 21Let the journalists and newsoutlets help promote yourbusiness for free. We show youhow, along with 31 otherinexpensive promotionaltechniques.
  22. 22. Many business owners find thatstarting a business was not ashard as they originally thought.They actually had so much doingit, that they decided to do itagain.