Starting a Business – The What – Where – How

Starting a business isn’t as complicated as most people think it is. While it seems daunting at the beginning to think about all of the things you need to do in order to launch, you can usually break that list up into small parts. You’re not open until you actually open for business, and so that should be the first thing that you focus on. Get your business opened!

Breaking down the simple to-do list of starting a business

  1. Name and register your company
  2. Register your company domain name
  3. Open a dedicated business checking account
  4. Open a merchant account

Your Business Name

What’s in a name? When it comes to your own business, a name is everything! Think of your new business as your baby. It needs to have a name that you love, that is easily marketable, that is memorable, and that is something you’re going to be able to live with, and get behind every day moving forward. That being said, the name of your business is your choice, and your choice alone! Have fun with it!

Once you’ve decided on a name, it’s time to register that business name with the State that you live in and will be doing business in. For more information on how to register a business in your state, click here. 

Registering Your Domain Name & Website

Once you have a business name, it’s time to register your online presence. Your domain name will be your home on the internet for your business forever, so choose wisely. Some people actually choose a domain name FIRST instead of second, as in the past, having a .com domain name was very important. It still is for some businesses, but depending on your industry, you may be fine with a .net, .biz, etc.

Bank Account Importance when Starting a Business

Many people are tempted to use their personal checking accounts when they start a new business. This account is already open and functioning, meaning one less to-do item on the list, which just grows longer every day. Often a determining factor for doing this is that someone believes that there would be no extra fees to pay, or new checks to order. Sounds like a solid plan, right? Definitely not!

Take it from someone who has a lot of experience with this. You do not ever want to mix your personal and business funds. Regardless how you structure your business, make sure that you do everything by the book financially, and that begins with having a dedicated business checking account for your business. Trust me when I say that the additional cost is more than worth it! A lot of times if you use particular banks, those additional costs are actually slim to none.

If you’re struggling to find a bank that will work with you, or if you’re looking for online business banking options, checkout this link for some great information.

Opening A Merchant Account

Once you’ve made the arrangements for adding e-commerce capability to your web site, your goal should be to make it easy for your customers to buy from you.

This means that it’s time to open a merchant account. One thing every bank will need is a voided check from your checking account (or account verification document). Your merchant processor will be depositing your revenues into this account. Any fees assessed will be deducted from this same account.

For more details about opening a specialized merchant account for your new small business, click here. 

Obviously this is a very small and basic list of the things you need to do in order to get your new business off the ground. I hope it at least lets you feel a little bit more comfortable and less overwhelmed with everything that goes into it. The biggest secret to starting is to just START! Start anywhere, but don’t procrastinate!