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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep good business records of income and expenses. Save all receipts.
- If you plan to have employees, make sure you understand all the requirements and forms that you need to submit when hiring employees.
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.