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Old 11-15-2011, 07:22 AM   #1
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New Business Start-up - The "Ins & Outs"

I'm sure there are a lot of business owners within this forum & I'm sure that some of you have had some ups & downs starting it up. I have an idea to start up my own business and I am in process of making a business plan.

I would love to hear advise from other business owners for tips on getting a successful business up & running from the ground up.

How easy was it to get financial help? What tips can you give others that could help them get started? Are there any resources that helped you figure out how to manage your plans?
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:23 AM   #2
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:40 AM   #4
07tacoark [OP] 07tacoark is offline
ridin dirty
07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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damnit... guess i'll just have to sit back & eat popcorn too
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:49 AM   #5
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I started a lawn care business last summer with my cousin that went pretty well during the summer profit of about 900 a week split between the two of us which wasnt bad being that it was all extra money on top of our other jobs, he's in the process of starting up a towing and recovery business and im tossing the idea around of getting certified and starting a home inspection business, i wish you luck, i would say it depends on what your business is but advertising and people skill can take you very far
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:58 AM   #6
07tacoark [OP] 07tacoark is offline
ridin dirty
07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeckel7234 View Post
I started a lawn care business last summer with my cousin that went pretty well during the summer profit of about 900 a week split between the two of us which wasnt bad being that it was all extra money on top of our other jobs, he's in the process of starting up a towing and recovery business and im tossing the idea around of getting certified and starting a home inspection business, i wish you luck, i would say it depends on what your business is but advertising and people skill can take you very far
ive known lots of people that do lawn care either on the side or as an actual business & they turn really good profit. That's a great word-of-mouth type business especially in suburb communities.

Ive had experience w/ advertising & sales & have a degree in graphic design so ive done that on the side for 10 yrs so ive got all the design/marketing side covered for when i can hopefully launch everything. with the sales experience ive always been a people person so there's no problem in that area either.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:20 AM   #7
I need to go return some videotapes...
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Starting up a business differs slightly by state. I have started up 3 businesses here in Arizona, and depending on what city the business resides in will determine whether you need a business license to operate and what tax rate you should collect.

Start out by going to your local state/city government website and checking out their business resources. Usually you can find all the forms you need to get things going.

Here are some basics to starting up a company:
  1. Determine if you want to be sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation (LLC, INC or SCorp). This is important because if you start with one and decide to change to another it can be a little tricky
  2. Apply for an EIN (employer id number) - required for tax filing and collection purposes, as well as if you have people on payroll. I know in AZ you can apply for one online and get it immediately. You'll need this to identify your business on everything you do.
  3. Determine if you are required to obtain a business license for your city, and if so, get one
  4. Obtain a tax resale certificate. You are required to collect tax for all sales transacted in your state. If you're a brick and mortar shop, you collect tax from everyone. If you're an etailer, you only need to collect city/state tax from customers who are located in a state that you have a physical business location in. You'll need to sendin monthly tax payments to your city/state based on sales, even if you lost money that month or made $0.
  5. Pick a trade name and file for a trade name certification so nobody can legally steal your name (or so you can know that you're not using someone else's business name)
These are just some of the basics. I suggest consulting with a business attorney if you are serious. They can take a look at your desired business model and goals and point you in the right direction to keep everything legal, and also set up in a way that protects your personal liability.

It sounds like a lot to conquer, but actually it all can be set up in just a couple of days if you aren't incorporating. Incorporation (LLC, INC, S-corp) take a little setup time, but only a few weeks. I started up 2 sole proprietorships in literally one day with a trip downtown to get all of my licenses and necessary docs. Startup was less than $100, but again that's here in Arizona. Each state with differ.

How you operate it and become successful depends on your skills and dedication. It's rewarding work, so you'll find yourself putting twice as much time into it as you would for a "regular" job, so prepare to be busy. Here are some tips I found to be successful and profitable:
  1. Keep deadly accurate books. Consider using a part time bookkeeper to make sure you are doing it right and staying on top of expenses, taxes, etc.
  2. Keep ALL of your receipts, regardless. Everything has its expenses, and those are write-offs.
  3. Partnerships with friends/family can be disastrous. Don't choose a business partner out of emotion, but base it on skillsets that each of you have. Be careful who you go into business with, and put all duties in writing for accountability reasons in case your partner flakes out. Draft up a buy-out plan so if one of you wants out, the other one can have the opportunity to buy you out and you get out of the liability.
  4. Keep personal and business money SEPARATE. Using your own personal funds to start up is ok, but PAY YOURSELF BACK out of the business funds as soon as financially possible. Set up a separate business account.
  5. If you use an investor to start up, make sure the amount is reasonable to pay back in the shortest time possible. I recommend paying back an investor with interest, not a percentage of the business. It's easy to start dishing out percentages of your profits to those who helped you start up, but before you know it you'll have only a small share left for yourself
  6. Set money aside to constantly be improving the business with. Think ahead, plan big. R&D, investment in new equipment, getting better computers, etc. Always be moving forward, not catching up.
Hope this helps.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:29 AM   #8
07tacoark [OP] 07tacoark is offline
ridin dirty
07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed07tacoark is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
Starting up a business differs slightly by state. I have started up 3 businesses here in Arizona, and depending on what city the business resides in will determine whether you need a business license to operate and what tax rate you should collect.

Start out by going to your local state/city government website and checking out their business resources. Usually you can find all the forms you need to get things going.

Here are some basics to starting up a company:
  1. Determine if you want to be sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation (LLC, INC or SCorp). This is important because if you start with one and decide to change to another it can be a little tricky
  2. Apply for an EIN (employer id number) - required for tax filing and collection purposes, as well as if you have people on payroll. I know in AZ you can apply for one online and get it immediately. You'll need this to identify your business on everything you do.
  3. Determine if you are required to obtain a business license for your city, and if so, get one
  4. Obtain a tax resale certificate. You are required to collect tax for all sales transacted in your state. If you're a brick and mortar shop, you collect tax from everyone. If you're an etailer, you only need to collect city/state tax from customers who are located in a state that you have a physical business location in. You'll need to sendin monthly tax payments to your city/state based on sales, even if you lost money that month or made $0.
  5. Pick a trade name and file for a trade name certification so nobody can legally steal your name (or so you can know that you're not using someone else's business name)
These are just some of the basics. I suggest consulting with a business attorney if you are serious. They can take a look at your desired business model and goals and point you in the right direction to keep everything legal, and also set up in a way that protects your personal liability.
It sounds like a lot to conquer, but actually it all can be set up in just a couple of days if you aren't incorporating. Incorporation (LLC, INC, S-corp) take a little setup time, but only a few weeks. I started up 2 sole proprietorships in literally one day with a trip downtown to get all of my licenses and necessary docs. Startup was less than $100, but again that's here in Arizona. Each state with differ.
that is great advice! My bf's sister works at the mayors office & his dad works for the city here (or town actually) where I live. so i'm sure i can get advice from them as far as what all i will need to have for a business license & whatnot.

i have thought about having an attorney for legal matters that would help out in the long run. with what i am wanting to do i will more than likely need a terms & service agreement drawn up for liability. i plan to work with animals & possibly training unless i need to get certified just to do simple ones.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:32 AM   #9
Bullwinkle J. Moose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
Here are some basics to starting up a company:
  1. Determine if you want to be sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation (LLC, INC or SCorp). This is important because if you start with one and decide to change to another it can be a little tricky
  2. Apply for an EIN (employer id number) - required for tax filing and collection purposes, as well as if you have people on payroll. I know in AZ you can apply for one online and get it immediately. You'll need this to identify your business on everything you do.
  3. Determine if you are required to obtain a business license for your city, and if so, get one
  4. Obtain a tax resale certificate. You are required to collect tax for all sales transacted in your state. If you're a brick and mortar shop, you collect tax from everyone. If you're an etailer, you only need to collect city/state tax from customers who are located in a state that you have a physical business location in. You'll need to sendin monthly tax payments to your city/state based on sales, even if you lost money that month or made $0.
  5. Pick a trade name and file for a trade name certification so nobody can legally steal your name (or so you can know that you're not using someone else's business name)
These are just some of the basics. I suggest consulting with a business attorney if you are serious. They can take a look at your desired business model and goals and point you in the right direction to keep everything legal, and also set up in a way that protects your personal liability.
It sounds like a lot to conquer, but actually it all can be set up in just a couple of days if you aren't incorporating. Incorporation (LLC, INC, S-corp) take a little setup time, but only a few weeks. I started up 2 sole proprietorships in literally one day with a trip downtown to get all of my licenses and necessary docs. Startup was less than $100, but again that's here in Arizona. Each state with differ.
This. Unless you're taking on a lot of debt, sole proprietorship filing taxes on 1040 schedule C is simplest. Incorporating protects your personal assets in the event that the business goes bankrupt. That may not be as important as you think since, as a practical matter, most small business owners end up pouring pretty much everything they have and then some into the business -- so there's pretty much nothing left anyway if it fails.

Open a bank account exclusively for your business, and keep your business and personal finances separate.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:33 AM   #10
I need to go return some videotapes...
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Made some edits to my original post. See above for more bullet points on tips for success.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
Starting up a business differs slightly by state. I have started up 3 businesses here in Arizona, and depending on what city the business resides in will determine whether you need a business license to operate and what tax rate you should collect.

Start out by going to your local state/city government website and checking out their business resources. Usually you can find all the forms you need to get things going.

Here are some basics to starting up a company:
  1. Determine if you want to be sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation (LLC, INC or SCorp). This is important because if you start with one and decide to change to another it can be a little tricky
  2. Apply for an EIN (employer id number) - required for tax filing and collection purposes, as well as if you have people on payroll. I know in AZ you can apply for one online and get it immediately. You'll need this to identify your business on everything you do.
  3. Determine if you are required to obtain a business license for your city, and if so, get one
  4. Obtain a tax resale certificate. You are required to collect tax for all sales transacted in your state. If you're a brick and mortar shop, you collect tax from everyone. If you're an etailer, you only need to collect city/state tax from customers who are located in a state that you have a physical business location in. You'll need to sendin monthly tax payments to your city/state based on sales, even if you lost money that month or made $0.
  5. Pick a trade name and file for a trade name certification so nobody can legally steal your name (or so you can know that you're not using someone else's business name)
These are just some of the basics. I suggest consulting with a business attorney if you are serious. They can take a look at your desired business model and goals and point you in the right direction to keep everything legal, and also set up in a way that protects your personal liability.

It sounds like a lot to conquer, but actually it all can be set up in just a couple of days if you aren't incorporating. Incorporation (LLC, INC, S-corp) take a little setup time, but only a few weeks. I started up 2 sole proprietorships in literally one day with a trip downtown to get all of my licenses and necessary docs. Startup was less than $100, but again that's here in Arizona. Each state with differ.

How you operate it and become successful depends on your skills and dedication. It's rewarding work, so you'll find yourself putting twice as much time into it as you would for a "regular" job, so prepare to be busy. Here are some tips I found to be successful and profitable:
  1. Keep deadly accurate books. Consider using a part time bookkeeper to make sure you are doing it right and staying on top of expenses, taxes, etc.
  2. Keep ALL of your receipts, regardless. Everything has its expenses, and those are write-offs.
  3. Partnerships with friends/family can be disastrous. Don't choose a business partner out of emotion, but base it on skillsets that each of you have. Be careful who you go into business with, and put all duties in writing for accountability reasons in case your partner flakes out. Draft up a buy-out plan so if one of you wants out, the other one can have the opportunity to buy you out and you get out of the liability.
  4. Keep personal and business money SEPARATE. Using your own personal funds to start up is ok, but PAY YOURSELF BACK out of the business funds as soon as financially possible. Set up a separate business account.
  5. If you use an investor to start up, make sure the amount is reasonable to pay back in the shortest time possible. I recommend paying back an investor with interest, not a percentage of the business. It's easy to start dishing out percentages of your profits to those who helped you start up, but before you know it you'll have only a small share left for yourself
  6. Set money aside to constantly be improving the business with. Think ahead, plan big. R&D, investment in new equipment, getting better computers, etc. Always be moving forward, not catching up.
Hope this helps.
Good tips!

I'm in the middle of starting up my own business here in Baltimore (in addition to my 9-5). The regulatory/red tape SUCKS. So many hoops to jump through. I'm excited though. I've got my capital, business accounts set up, etc. I'm also an accounting major, so I've been doing my own bookkeeping/accounting. Its really rewarding using that knowledge.
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