What are the essential elements needed to start your business journey?
There are thousands of online sources available to you but a good starting point is the Small Business Administration. (Concerning writing a business plan, you may have to write one at some point, but do not let it stand in your way — take action today). http://www.sba.gov/content/follow-these-steps-starting-business
Most of these steps can be completed in a manner of minutes (please perform your due diligence).
1. What do you want to do? If you have business experience, a hobby, or something that you have a passion for, use it as the base to determine the type of business you would like.
2. Name your business. Check to see if the name of your business is available – I believe all States provide this service. In Virginia where I live, you can check for name distinguishability at https://sccefile.scc.virginia.gov/NameAvailability
3. Choose the Type of Entity. Determine what type of entity will work best for your business e.g. Limited Liability Corporation, Corporation, and etc.
For WSG, we chose to be incorporated as an S corporation; for Connectify Social, we chose an Limited Liability Corporation. You need to decide what will work best for you. http://www.sba.gov/content/business-structure-and-tax-implications
4. Register with Your State. Register your business through your State Corporation Commission. http://www.scc.virginia.gov/clk/formfee.aspx
5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-%28EIN%29-Online
6. Obtain a Business License. Check with your local Government to obtain a business license. Local Governments generally have resources available to help you launch your business.
Obviously these are just the initial steps to start your journey, but your business will soon be growing and evolving in remarkable ways and directions you might not have expected.
Here’s to you and your new business venture!