First Steps In Launching A Business

Launching a business can be overwhelming.  You have to navigate government regulations, select the appropriate business entity form, obtain licenses and insurance, and so much more.  How-to books and legal websites make it appear simple, but there are many pitfalls for the inexperienced.  Here is a brief guide to your first steps in launching a business.

What are the basic requirements to form a business?

These are your basic requirements to launch a business.  These are just the basics and your attorney and tax preparer can guide you through more advanced steps.

  • Select a unique business name that does not infringe upon another business’s name
  • Select your choice of entity (ex. corporation, limited liability company, etc.)
  • File organizing documents with the Pennsylvania Department of State
  • Obtain tax identification numbers
  • Obtain any necessary government permits
  • Create governance documents (ex. partnership agreement or bylaws)
  • Complete the Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration (PA-100) to obtain certain business tax accounts

Other considerations prior to launching your business.

After you have completed the first steps, you have important decisions to make about the daily operations of your business.  Some important items are:

  • Identify your business location (ex. home office, a building you own, a building you rent)
  • Identify vendors for inventory, equipment, products, utilities, and services your business needs
  • Negotiate leases, employments agreements, or independent contractor agreements
  • Purchase insurance
  • Review zoning, parking, signage, and building code ordinances
  • Obtain financing
  • Open a bank account for your business
  • Purchase accounting software to keep track of your income, expenses, accounts receivables and accounts payable
  • Post required labor law and safety posters
  • Develop employee handbooks and policy & procedure manuals
  • Create job descriptions

There are many more items to consider when forming your business, which depend upon the type of business.  My office does more than simply complete the legal paperwork necessary to form a business.  I will identify these practical business needs, guide you through their implementation, and recommend tools and resources to help your business succeed.

About Christine Jarzab Kuntz

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