In 2020, the number of businesses less than a year old was recorded as 804 398, the highest number in over twenty years. For anyone looking to add to this number, there are ten steps that must be taken. For each step, there are handy Tools Every Startup can use for business to achieve success.
10 Best Startup Tools You Should Use
1. Business Plan
Every new business needs a business plan. There are free online tools that can be used to formulate a simple, effective business plan. While the business plan does not need to be over complicated, it does require serious time and consideration. Before making use of any free online tools, the following basic elements of your business plan must be considered:
- What product or service are you selling?
- What is your operational budget?
- How do you want to market your company?
2. Business Name
Your name should be something that encapsulates the business, that represents the brand you are trying to create. Once you have a name that you love, you need to make sure that the name is available.
Most states have an online register of names that can be used to determine whether your name is available. Should you wish to reserve your name, there are professional services such as BizFilings or MyCorporation that can do this for you.
3. Registered Agent
An incorporated entity is required to appoint a registered agent, someone who will receive important government documents and ensure they are forwarded to your business. While it is possible in certain states to appoint yourself as your company’s registered agent, this will render your address a matter of public record, and you will need to be available at that address during regular business hours to accept delivery of documents.
Alternatively, you can appoint a registered agent service, such as ZenBusiness of Northwest Registered Agent to perform this function for you. This ensures that all important documents are brought to your attention and will help your business stay compliant.
4. Business Structure
If you are looking to create an incorporated entity, there are two options, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation.
Corporations are more complicated to start and maintain but encourage greater growth and investment, whereas LLCs are easier to start and are generally the more common option. Either structure will ensure separation of personal and business assets. Even the simpler of the two, the LLC, has various requirements in each state. You can read more about LLC incorporation services on Incorporation Rocket. The top five rated incorporation services are:
- Northwest Registered Agent
If your business will have an online presence, you will need to ensure that you register a URL with your business name. GoDaddy can help you first, acquire a domain name, and second, build a basic website for your business.
6. Tax Compliance
Every business needs to comply with the tax laws of the state in which it operates, which laws vary according to the chosen business type. Certain states allow you to register for and pay your taxes online. Check your state’s tax board website for applicable laws and resources.
7. Licenses and Permits
Depending on the nature of your businesses and the state in which it operates, there may be certain licenses and permits that you will be required to obtain. You can check your local state’s website to determine which licenses and permits you will need.
Certain states require certain types of businesses to obtain insurance. You can check your local state’s website to determine whether you are required to take out insurance. However, even if not required, it is advisable to take out insurance to protect you, your business and any potential employees from liability.
9. Business Bank Account
Incorporated entities are required to keep business and personal assets separate which is why a separate bank account should be opened for your business. Even as a sole proprietorship or partnership, while a separate bank account is not required, it can be desirable in order to keep assets separate and increase the professional image of your business.
10. A Helping Hand
You should never feel shy to ask for assistance. Certain states have small business development centres that you can turn to for assistance in establishing your business. These, in addition to paid services such as registered agent services and incorporation services, can help make the creation and maintenance of your business as smooth as possible
Final Thoughts : Tools Every Startup Should Use
Each start-up is unique, but if you follow the above ten steps and make use of all available tools, you can maximise your business’s chances of success.