Getting Started Startup Checklists

The Small Business Checklist

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Even for the severely organized individuals, sometimes running a small business can cause you to act like a chicken with your head cut off.

It seems like no matter how many items you check off of your to-do list, more and more consistently get added on to the list, making it never-ending.

While this may be true – because it is, running your own business has a never-ending to-do list – you don’t have to miss the initial and necessary beginning steps. Making a small to-do list of the things that are going to make your business take off are the important pieces of the puzzle.

When building architecture, the workers must begin with a sturdy base or the building is doomed from the get go. Solidifying the future for your business begins with the first few steps.


Yes, you can plan until your arms fall off; sometimes it seems like this step is never complete. Writing out a start-up draft can give the boost to get the basics in place for your business. If you need an office space, be sure to add that to your rough draft plan. It doesn’t have to go into extreme detail or even be a plan that goes into the next five years.

A simple plan that displays the beginning months of your business can actually pave the way into a permanent plan, without you even knowing it.

An unplanned plan…what a conundrum!


If you’re concerned about funding, writing out a separate plan for finances is a great way to relieve some of the stress. Finances are usually going to be tight in the beginning for most business owners, so plan ahead on what you may need and how much you’re going to need for the next couple of months.

Getting sponsors for your business is a great way to ease some of the financial woes, so if you have any possible sponsors in mind or fellow business owners willing to lend you a hand, utilize all of these options if possible.

Obtaining a License

Yes, you need a license to run a legal business. This is part of the legal mumbo-jumbo that gets mixed up in your dreams of owning a business and is sometimes forgotten. You don’t want to add legal woes to the stress of your business, so find out all of the necessities your business will require to get up and running successfully and legally.

There are different kinds of licenses for all businesses, so be sure to look into all of the details and apply for the correct license. Your local City Hall has all of the information and paperwork you’ll need.

Applying for Taxes

Depending on what kind of business you’re running, you may need to apply for a tax ID number, so when taxes come around, you’re doing everything correctly.

This part of running a business can be tricky, so be sure to speak with a professional tax representative or even the Small Business Administration website, which can offer tons of information about what kind of taxes you’ll be paying for your business. There are federal and state taxes, so be aware of everything you need to have completed for tax season.

Hiring Employees

While this may seem like a distant dream, one day you will be hiring employees to help you run your business. Whether they are freelancers, part-time or full-time employees, you will need to figure each employee into your payroll as well as how they will benefit your business.

Know what their job entails; don’t hire employees before you know that you will need their help in whatever area you’re hiring them for. If you need an assistant, be sure you weigh out your options on what areas you need assistance in. You may be able to find an employee who will take less pay but do the same job.

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