Starting a small business is an ambitious endeavor that requires careful planning and knowledge of federal, state and local business laws. If you are starting a new business, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides valuable resources for entrepreneurs. Aspiring business owners can find information regarding how to perform market research, how to understand market and economic conditions and determining whether entrepreneurship is right for you.
To determine if you possess the traits necessary to start a business, the SBA describes characteristics that business owners should possess. According to the SBA, business owners should be driven, confident, goal-oriented and hard-workers. Entrepreneurs should also have integrity and the ability to make quick decisions. Individuals who possess these characteristics are more likely to succeed in running a business than those who are lacking such characteristics.
The SBA recommends following certain steps before starting your business. The first step to starting a business is writing a business plan. The SBA provides templates to assist you in writing your business plan. They also provide information about registering your business, obtaining a tax number and receiving business training. Business owners can also receive information about the different legal structures available for their business. Many first-time business owners operate their businesses as sole-proprietorships. Other legal structures available to businesses include partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations.
Business owners who plan to hire employees can gain guidance from the SBA regarding setting up a payroll system, obtaining necessary state licenses and paying employee taxes. Entrepreneurs can read about the best pay period schedules for their business, understand the difference between an employee and independent contractor and learn how to provide employees with the proper employment paperwork. You can research information on the SBA’s website about workers’ compensation laws and unemployment and disability insurance.
Another important aspect of starting a business is finding adequate funding. The SBA offers information about applying for business loans, grants and other financial resources. The SBA guides you through the loan application process, provides a loan checklist and gives you information concerning credit scores needed to obtain lender financing.