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9 Steps to Starting a Business

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 9 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Please visit for links and additional information.

Write a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

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Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

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Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

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Finance Your Business

Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

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Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

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Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")

Register your business name with your state government.

Learn which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

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Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

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Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

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Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

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