Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Starting a business takes research, smarts and self-confidence — and a measure of fearlessness. You’ll ask yourself: Do I have enough money? The right equipment? Am I getting the best advice? Below we’ve rounded up the essential steps on how to start a business, including creating a solid business plan, securing financing, structuring your company and more.
1. Find a business idea
Many small-business ideas carry low startup costs and can be run from home.
2. Write a business plan
A strong business plan can help you prepare for every aspect of your business.
3. Choose a business structure
The legal structure of your business can affect everything from your taxes to what you're liable for.
4. Get a federal tax ID
Getting an employer identification number is necessary to file taxes, open bank accounts and perform other essential tasks.
5. Open a business bank account
A separate bank account just for your business helps keep your books straight and is easy to set up.
6. Get financing to fund your business
See all your options and what it takes to qualify for each.
7. Build a website
A strong online presence is critical for many businesses.
8. Secure the right software
You'll need some important tools to track your performance and run your business efficiently.
9. Hire employees
You may need to hire employees to run and expand your business.
10. Learn your taxes
You'll have some new tax responsibilities as a business owner, but you'll have some new tax breaks, too.
11. Protect yourself with business insurance
It's important to protect your business and your personal assets, and business insurance exists to do just that.