Helping you make decisions.Congratulations on deciding to start a business! It’s is an exciting but overwhelming time for most people.

Starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur is a lot like drinking water from a fire hose. There is much to learn about effectively bringing a product to market (whether it is a good or service) or running a profitable retail store or restaurant. Marketing alone is a massive topic!

And while I believe that “sales cures all” is a good maxim, I would probably revise it to: “sales cures most.” Having lots of money to throw at problems can get you through a lot, surely. But sometimes making a lot of sales won’t cure operational, regulatory or legal problems, no matter how much money you make.

In fact, making sales that you can’t deliver on will kill your business. And if you fail to comply with legal requirements, not only can you be sued or fined into oblivion, but the government or courts can actually shut you down!

So where do you start? Before getting to the fun ideas of product and marketing, do a little operational planning:

I don’t think you have to plan everything perfectly. Action is just as important as planning — perhaps more important. But planning should be done.

We have written an ebook that you might find useful. Click here to get a copy of How to Start a Business… Legally: A Quick and Easy Checklist.

Video Transcript:

I want to start my own business. What should I do first?

When starting your own business, the first thing you should do is plan what you want your company to look like. Where will it operate? Will you have employees? How will you conduct services? Then decide if you want to incorporate before doing anything else, so you don’t have to do any of your paperwork twice. Next, legally form your business and sign up for all your tax numbers, licenses and permits. There are more taxes than just income taxes: there are payroll taxes, self-employment taxes, sales and use taxes, excise taxes, property taxes, corporate franchise taxes, vehicle and equipment registrations, licensing and permitting, and various local taxes. Finally, make sure you have separate bank accounts and bookkeeping set up for your business. Got more questions? Visit us at bellatrixlaw.com to sign up for our free e-course “Starting a Business: 5 Things A Lawyer Will Charge You $500 To Tell You”.

You can see this video and more on Alicia Dearn’s YouTube channel.

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