Building your own business from the ground up is an exciting opportunity, but it can also be challenging.
When starting your own business, these are some steps to follow according to the U.S. Small Business Administration
- Conduct market research
- Write your business plan
- Fund your business
- Pick your business location
- Choose a business structure
- Choose your business name
- Register your business
- Get federal and state tax IDs
- Apply for licenses & permits
- Open a business bank account
Avoid common mistakes and get advice from experienced small business owners who want to help. Local Small Business Administration (SBA) partner organizations offer free access to mentors and trainers.
The following tips and checklists can help you with other important parts of the process.
Business Funding Options
Learn about a wide range of funding options to help start your business, such as government-guaranteed loans, grants, and other financial assistance.
Tax Requirements to Start a Business
It’s important for your business to comply with federal, state, and local tax laws.
Make sure to meet all federal tax requirements for starting a business. Follow this checklist from the IRS.
Each state has additional tax rules when you start and operate a business. Get information on state-level requirements.
Learn more about business taxes, including energy tax incentives that can help you save money.
When starting your own business, you’ll need proper insurance coverage to make sure you are protected. Find out what kinds of business insurance you’ll need.
Learn about health insurance plans to cover you and your employees, including the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
Hiring Business Employees
When starting a business, you may decide to hire some help. Find information on hiring your first employee, including how to start the hiring process and make sure you comply with key federal and state regulations.
Hiring Foreign Nationals
By law, you must only employ individuals who have permission to work in the U.S. The online E-verify system allows companies to determine the eligibility of potential employees. Register your company with E-Verify.
Consumer Protection Law
As a business owner, it’s important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to protecting your customers. Get tips and advice on complying with consumer protection laws, including advertising and marketing, privacy and security, and more.
A wide range of programs and services help veterans and minorities in starting or growing a business. This includes tips to launch your business, support with selling to the government, and more.
Military Veteran Businesses
Visit the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP). This Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resource assists businesses in accessing federal services and connecting to relevant “best practices” and information.
Register your business with the Vets First Verification Program to be eligible for special opportunities to do business with the government. Small businesses that are owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans, and verified through the program, may also be given priority when competing for federal contracts. Learn how to apply, and find out which documents you will need to submit. You can also find VA-certified business counselors in your statefor free help.
Find information on starting a veteran-owned business, from creating a business plan to learning about financing.
Minority-Owned and Small Disadvantaged Businesses
Get suggestions and information on business certification, access to capital, and more to help you start a minority-owned business.
Learn about SBA’s requirements to qualify as a small and disadvantaged business. SBA also helps small businesses in underrepresented urban and rural communities gain access to federal contracts.
If you’re interested in selling to the government, you can find a wide range of special government contracting opportunities from the Small Business Administration (SBA). This includes programs to help women-owned small businesses and small disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.
Several federal agencies have a dedicated office to help small businesses get more information about contracting with their agencies. Search for an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to find an agency your business would like to learn more about working with.