September 3, 2009

Checklist for Starting a New Business


Hostway Team

By Winmark Business Solutions

Think you know everything there is to know about starting a new business? There is a lot involved in getting a new business up and running. Winmark Business Solutions provides a basic, starting checklist for making your dream of owning your own business a reality.

Read on for a checklist of all the steps you should take before you start a new business. It's a "to do" list for starting a new business in much the same way that a grocery list is a "to do" for grocery shopping.

It contains a general, high-level listing of the tasks you need to complete in starting your new business. So, for example, while it lists "prepare a business plan" as one of the tasks, it does not list every step you need to take to create a business plan.

Special Features:

  • a listing of all the background steps you need to take, including establishing business goals, determining the best location for your business and assessing your financial situation
  • a listing of all the business transactions you need to take, such as hiring a lawyer, establishing a line of credit, and getting business insurance
  • a listing of all the pre-opening steps you need to take, including reviewing building codes, obtaining business licenses and joining professional organizations

Owner’s Checklist for Starting a New Business

Background work

  • assess your strengths and weaknesses
  • establish business and personal goals
  • assess your financial resources
  • identify the financial risks
  • determine the start-up costs
  • decide on your business location
  • do market research
  • identify your customers
  • identify your competitors
  • develop a marketing plan

First steps

  • select a lawyer
  • choose a form of organization (proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, for example)
  • create your business (register your name, incorporate the business, etc.)
  • select an accountant
  • prepare a business plan
  • select a banker
  • set up a business checking account
  • apply for business loans (if applicable)
  • establish a line of credit
  • select an insurance agent
  • obtain business insurance

Business transactions

  • get business cards
  • review local business codes
  • obtain a lease
  • line up suppliers (if applicable)
  • get furniture and equipment
  • obtain a business license or permit (if applicable)
  • get a federal employer identification number (if applicable)
  • get a state employer i.d. number (if applicable)
  • send for federal and state tax forms
  • join a professional organization
  • set a starting date

About the Author

Winmark Business Solutions (WBS) is a free Web site for small businesses and entrepreneurs containing over 6,000 pages of business-critical information and downloadable tools at WBS is a division of Winmark Corporation, a multi-brand franchisor with nearly 900 franchise locations in North America. With over 25 years working with small businesses, WBS draws upon years of experience to bring important small business articles, information, tools, forms, checklists, calculators and downloadable forms to the small business owner to help their business grow. WBS contains over 6000 pages of business-critical information all available at

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