1. Business plan. Outline who will own the business and what the legal form will be, your qualifications to run the business, the competitive market you face, the products or services you will sell, and how you intend to advertise to prospective customers. How much cash will you need to start up and where will those funds come from?
2. Legal form. You can incorporate, or operate as an LLC, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship. Consider both tax and non-tax reasons for selecting a given entity.
3. Location. If your business will consist only of online sales, your world headquarters can be wherever you are. However, if your business needs foot traffic to thrive, you’ll need to research rents and other costs such as utilities, as well as zoning and traffic restrictions.
4. Taxes. You’ll have to work with the IRS, state tax agencies, and local governments to obtain permits and occupational licenses.
5. Advisors. Create a business financial team that includes a banker, an insurance agent, an attorney, and an accountant. Involve your advisors early and frequently.
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