More than 28 million small businesses exist in the United States, accounting for 99.7% of all enterprises, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Preparation and research is the key to success, as only about two-thirds of all businesses with employees last two years, while the SBA says only about half survive for five years.
10 steps for starting a business
Creating your own company takes extensive planning, financial acumen and executing a series of legal maneuvers, including:
- Conducting market research to determine whether your “good idea” has a chance to be successful
- Writing a business plan, which shows how you will structure, run and grow your company
- Once your business plan is ready, figure out how much money you’ll need and whether you’ll have to borrow or raise the capital
- Deciding on a business location, which can be one of the most important decisions you will make, affecting your revenue, taxes and legal requirements
- Choosing your business structure, such as sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability company (LLC), which affects taxes, ability to raise money, paperwork requirements and personal liability
- Selecting a business name that reflects your brand and captures your company’s spirit
- If you register a business under a different name than your own, you’ll need to register with the federal government, and possibly state government as well
- Getting your federal employer identification number for tax purposes and complete Form PA-100 to receive your Pennsylvania tax ID number
- Applying for appropriate state licenses and permits
- After completing your paperwork and registration, open a business bank account
Most businesses fail without proper planning
Many creative people with great ideas are unable to sustain successful companies due to poor planning or a lack of knowledge about the legal requirements and procedures involved in starting a small business.
An experienced business law attorney here in Pennsylvania can discuss your plans, goals and options while helping you devise a strategy that best fits your needs for long-term success.