Small Business Checklist

Starting and entering into a new business is an exciting adventure. We understand the numerous steps needed to start a new business can be overwhelming. Our checklist can help you determine what you need to do to protect your business.

Formulate a business plan.

A good business plan should include a mission statement, description of the company and its products or services, information on financing the business, market analysis and an outline of future plans for the business.

Choose a legal structure for your business and file appropriate documents.

Determine whether your business will be a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Liability Company, or Corporation (B, C, or S-Corp). Will you operate under a fictitious business name? File appropriate formation documents with the state and/or county.

Obtain a Federal and State Tax ID number (EIN).

Any business that has employees and/or pays any kind of taxes will need a tax ID number.

Select a location for your business.

Does your commercial lease cover your intended use of the property? Does your use of the property comply with local zoning regulations?

Obtain business insurance.

Your commercial lease or bank loan may include requirements for minimum policy coverage or named parties.

Open a bank account.

Establish business credit

Obtain a business credit card and setup your accounting books.

Determine if you need a business license or permit.

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Craft all necessary policies and procedures to support your organization.

Will you need an employee manual? Independent contractor agreement? Non-disclosure agreement?

Build your team.

Select an accountant, attorney, web developer, printer, office supply representative and other essential vendors.

Create contracts for your customers, vendors and users.

Do you have a letter of engagement or contract for the products or services you provide? Do you have contracts with your technology provider, manufacturer, graphics or website designer, or other vendors that provide services to your business?

Develop a legally compliant website.

Are you protecting your copyrights to the information on your website? Do you have a privacy policy? Terms of Use? Disclaimers? California has certain laws that dictate what must be present on a website that may pertain to you and your business.

Create your marketing toolkit

Obtain a logo, brochures, letterhead, business cards, signs, and other marketing collateral.

Protect your business name, brand and assets.

Your brand and original content are among your most valuable assets. Have you properly protected your copyrights and trademarks?

If you have not checked off all of the items above, contact us today! We offer affordable and fixed rates to support you and your business.  As a small business, we know the challenges you face in launching your dream!