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What steps do I take to form a business?

Starting your own business may be a dream you may have had for a long time. Unfortunately, doing so take more than a business idea, a storefront and an open sign. It takes research, planning and many legal activities.

Consider these steps to forming a successful business:

Market research

This cannot be stressed enough -- you must know who your competition is and what demand there is for your product and/or services. Market research combines economic trends with consumer behaviors.

Create your business plan

This details how your company will be structured, operated and grown. It will also detail how investors will see a return on their money.

Get funding

Whether your funding comes from your savings, a small business loan or from family and friends, getting e enough capital to make sure your business succeeds is imperative.

Find your location

Are you looking for a storefront or will you only operate online? Depending on where your business is located can affect your revenue, legal requirements, taxes and more.

Decide on a business structure

The legal structure of your business will be one of the most important decisions you make. It will affect your own personal liability, the requirements for registration, your tax bracket and other important aspects.

Decide on your business' name

It can be difficult to choose just the right name for your business. You don't want one that anyone else is using, but you do want a name that correctly captures the brand and essence of your new business.

Register your company with the state and federal government

Not every business will need to register with the federal government, but you will need to make your business legal at the local and state level. You may also need permits and licenses, depending on your industry, location, etc.

This a very brief overview of what is needed to start your own business. There are resources galore online, at the Small Business Administration (SBA) and many other places. You will also find that an accountant, a business advisor and an attorney can also be very helpful.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration, "10 steps to start your business," accessed May 25, 2018

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