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Checklist for starting a business

Most businesses start out small. The checklist below provides the basic steps for starting a business. The list is not all inclusive. Your specific type of business could require other steps. The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov), Internal Revenue Service (www.irs.gov), and the organization SCORE (www.score.org) all offer free help to new small business owners with starting a business.
  • 1. Apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). You may need it for a variety of reasons, including some that are not tax-related, such as opening a bank account.
  • 2. Consult a tax advisor, even if you are just thinking about starting a business. There are many decisions to make in starting a business such as choosing a business structure, tax year and accounting method.
  • 3. Pay estimated federal and state taxes four times a year. Your tax advisor can help you determine how much to set aside ahead of time for your payment.
  • 4. Keep good business records of income and expenses. Save all receipts.
  • 5. If you plan to have employees, make sure you understand all the requirements and forms that you need to submit when hiring employees.

Provided by:
This information provides a brief overview from the Internal Revenue Service of issues and decisions involved in owning a small business and avoiding common pitfalls.


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