When starting a new business, using a checklist is a wise decision because starting a business is no simple task. It involves careful research and planning on your end. And while launching a new business is exciting, it can also be a bit scary. You will invest many tears and sweat into this new venture, so spending your time wisely and not wasting valuable time should be important to you.

To guarantee you are doing things correctly, here is a checklist of what steps must be taken before officially opening your business to the public.

Conduct Market Research

Take your idea to the streets. Even if you think your business idea is brilliant, it is still essential that you gain feedback from possible consumers as well. Is there a need or want within the general public? It would help if you also researched similar businesses in the same industry. By doing this, you will help you determine how successful your business may be moving forward.

Write A Business Plan

A well-written business plan will cover every aspect, from how you plan to run the business, marketing strategies, how you will fund the startup to how you intend to achieve growth in the future. A business plan will also come in handy later if you discover the need for investors or to acquire a business loan.

Fund Your Business

Now that you have a clear business plan, you can determine your needs for startup costs and what you will need to fund your business. Have you been saving up, or will you need to start saving? Maybe you’ve decided to use investors or plan on taking out a small business loan. Whichever way you choose, you will need to know how you will cover the costs moving forward.

Choose A Business Structure

Choosing the correct business structure is extremely important because it will be used when filing business taxes and for liability reasons. The main business structures you can choose from include Sole Proprietorship, LLC, and Corporations. Selecting a business structure will protect your assets from your business assets. If you are still deciding which to choose, you should consult with an attorney.

Choose A Business Name

You may have already decided on a business name long ago, which is great! Your business’s name is the first impression you will make, so be sure it accurately portrays what you are selling and reflects your own goals and values. To avoid setbacks, you should verify that other businesses are using something other than the name you intend to use. You can search to see if the name is being used by going to the United States Patent and Trademark Office or check with your local state offices.

Register Your Business

If you find that name isn’t taken, you can now register your business name and make it your own. There will be a small fee, depending upon which state you are doing business in.

Obtain A Tax ID

Your tax ID is similar to a Social Security Number, yet strictly for your business. Employee Identification Number (EIN) is crucial because you will need it to do things such as pay your business taxes and open a business bank account, along with other things of that nature.

Apply For Licenses and Permits

Licenses and permits will vary depending upon what state you are doing business in, so be sure to check on both federal and state levels. These will be required to conduct business legally.

Open A Bank Account

It’s a good idea to separate your professional and personal money, so opening up a small business account will be a wise decision. Opening up a business account will keep you organized and protect your assets if an unfortunate event is to occur.


Now that you’ve completed these steps, you are ready for the launch date! That doesn’t mean there still won’t be much work left. Besides the previous actions, you will still need to set up a website, market your brand, set up an accounting system, find vendors – the list goes on and on. You may need to establish a location for your company or hire some employees.

For additional help and resources, consider becoming a member of the Association for Entrepreneurship, (AFE), Join AFE Here, you will find valuable information from other like-minded individuals who can assist with launching your new business. Rest assured though, you are on your way to becoming a new business owner, and that is quite an achievement!


Article by
Ava Collins
Content Writer and Researcher

Student award winner Ava Collins