Business Startup Checklist

Starting a new business has a lot of moving parts.  Use this template to work through all the details when looking to start a new business.
How often should this be used?
On initial startup of a new business.
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Business Startup

The Plan

Conduct a proper market research analysis
Know the trends, forecasts, developments, opportunities, risks, competitors, etc.
Decide whether you will pursue this venture full-time or part-time.
If you are in a relationship, discuss this lifestyle change with your partner.
Write a business plan.
Choose your company name
Register company with the appropriate authorities.
Choose the hours and days of operation for your business.
Outline a monthly and annual budget.
Make plans how to get funding / financing
Find investors and consult with your bank.
Investigate business startup courses and seminars

Getting Started

Obtain required business licenses and permits.
Choose a legal form for your business: limited liability, sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation.
Form a legal entity
Acquire an Employer Identification Number.
Obtain company contact information: telephone and fax number, email address, post address.
Open bank account
Get a merchant account.
Find a financial advisor.
Find business insurance.
Find a lawyer.
Find a tax advisor.
Find an accountant.
Find a notary.
Become familiar with regulations and compliance requirements.
Register trademark, copyrights, logos, patents, etc.
Find a real estate agent to help you source a property.
Sign a lease contract for your new office or production space.
If you’re moving to new office, find a moving company.
Consider using mail box rental services.
Find office equipment supplies
Make sure your office has a high speed Internet connection.
Create a floor plan for your new office space.

Initial Phase

Select your accounting software
Write a sales and marketing plan.
Create a customer service policy.
Register domain name for your website.
Hire or outsource IT services.
Post available jobs
Find a recruitment company.
If you have staff, find payroll services.
If you will have employees, become familiar with labor laws.
Find a web hosting company.
Create a website Make a site map for content and functionality.
Find a web designer.
Find a graphic designer.

Short Term Preparations

Find a search engine optimization SEO company to increase your presence on the web.
Create marketing material
Think of signs if you have a storefront, sales literature, stationery or business cards.
Take advantage of networking opportunities to build your business
Write and distribute a press release announcing your new business.
Find an answering service solution for when you can’t take phone calls.
Look into telemarketing companies
Explore virtual office options for added services at a low cost.
If you have an office, look into professional cleaning companies
Make sure you set up a green business!

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