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Turning Your Business Hopes into Actionable Business Plans

Have you ever seen other products and services, similar to those you hope your business will pursue, and wonder how they got started? Starting a business can feel like hearing you’ll cross a marathon finish line someday when you’re having difficulties running a 5k. Starting a business may seem difficult when you’re at step one, but, just like how there are steps to marathon training, below are several actionable steps to launch your business from notepad idea to fully functional operation.

Step #1: Decide What Your Business Will Do

Will your business be a retail store or a restaurant? Are you going into wholesale, real estate, professional services, etc.? Decide what industry your business belongs to. Once you have that figured out, you can greater position your business for present and future success.

Step #2: Write a Business Plan

According to a study conducted by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, of the Dominican University in California, you are 42% more likely to complete your desired goals if you consistently write them down. A business plan is a thorough and strategic outlook of how your business will continue to provide services and produce profit. From this business plan, you can create your company’s mission statement and outline the specifics of your organization’s processes

Step #3: Determine What Business Structure You Will Use

There are a four different structures your business can choose from, each with different qualifications and business incentives. Will your business be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a LLC, or a corporation?

Step #4: Name Your Business

What will potential customers, clients, your community, and your competition call your business? That’s up for you to decide in this step. Come up with a handful of names you desire for your business. After that, look through your state’s Secretary of State to determine if the desired names on your list are available. Finally, choose your favorite available name. Click here if you’re a Minnesota Business.

Step #5: Obtain a Federal Tax Identification Number (EIN)

Once you’ve named your business, you’re cleared to register for a Federal Tax Identification Number (EIN). Click here for the IRS EIN Application site.

Step #6: Register Your Business with Your State’s Secretary of State

The next step is to register your business with your state’s Secretary of State. If you’re registering for a MN business, please click here to register your business.

Step #7: Obtain a State Tax Identification Number

You’re so close to officially launching your business! The next step is to reach out to your state’s Department of Revenue to receive a State Tax Identification Number. Click here if you’re a MN Business looking to receive a State Tax Identification Number.

Step #8: Open a Business Bank Account

In anticipation for your business producing financial returns for you, it’s wise to separate your own income from your business’s income. This step involves reaching out to a bank of your choice/your existing bank, and requesting a business bank account.

Step #9: Obtain Any State or Local Licenses and/or Permits

Does your business require any state or local licenses and/or permits to operate? If so, below are city and state resources to find out what licenses and permits you need before officially launching your business. For Rochester permits and licenses, please click here. For Minnesota permits and licenses, please click here.

Congratulations!! You’ve completed all the steps necessary to begin your business operations, and progress from business plans to business operation! We wish you continued success, and are happy to assist you with your businesses accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation.