Alright, you’ve looked at your savings account, chosen your business name, and hopefully at least outlined your business plan. A new chapter is beginning in your life. You should feel powerful and ready to take on the world..
Sole Proprietorship or LLC?
The next step is to decide your tax entity. Figure out whether you want to operate as a sole proprietorship or a corporation. Sole proprietorships are easier to set up and a little more inexpensive to operate. You use your own Social Security Number for all business transactions and tax materials. LLCs (Limited Liability Corporations) require more work to set up and typically need the help of a professional. The fees and taxes are a little higher, however; an LLC separates your personal assets from your business assets. That means if someone sues your business, your home and personal assets are, for the most part, protected.
Another benefit of a LLC entity? A government contract work requires one. So, if you know that you will be bidding for government contract jobs, a LLC entity is a “no brainer”. There are positives and negatives to both types of businesses. Some entrepreneurs start as a sole proprietorship, and then once they have significant revenue, decide to switch to a LLC. This can be cumbersome in the long run. You will want research both options and contact a tax professional to decide which is best for you.
Becoming an Official Business Owner
You’ve developed your business plan and you have the perfect business name picked out.
After you decide on a name and tax entity, register it with your state. Depending on which state you reside in, you many need to register it in both your city and county. Don’t worry; your state revenue department will help you with that. Just go to your state’s revenue website. They will have instructions, locations and common questions and answers.
Once you’ve filled out the necessary forms and paid the necessary fees, it’s time to start working (and making some money).
Developing a Website
If you haven’t already, purchase a domain name to use for your company website. Your website will be essential to your success. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling products strictly on the Internet or if you’re a dog walker. Your online presence is extremely important. People will look for your services or skills online. If they can’t find you, they will give their business to a competitor that they can find. Once you have a domain name, you will need to set up your actual website with a hosting company.
I’ve heard that other business owners have had success with WIX. You can build a website with one of their many templates for free and then use your completed template with any hosting company you wish, or WIX will host it for a small fee. They even have free resources, such as: blog posts ranging from website planning to local marketing and a SEO tool to help choose words to make your website stand out. (Please note that I don’t use WIX for my blog-so I’m not getting paid for referrals).
Now What Do You Do? Start Working and Marketing
Alright, you’ve named your business, the state recognizes you as business owner and you have a website. Develop your portfolio, craft your products or bake your goods, and then spread the news. Market yourself until you can’t market anymore. Get on social media and attend local meetings. Marketing is essential. If people don’t know that you exist, you will never get their business.
Marketing is a whole other beast, so we will save that topic for another discussion. By now you should have a pretty broad idea of what this business venture entails. Are you ready to take on the “Working from Home World”? I hope you are, because the rewards of entrepreneurship are amazing.