So You Want to Start a Business…

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an exciting journey filled with endless possibilities. Starting your own business can be incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. 

Don’t let what you don’t know hold you back! That’s where we come in. At Harper & Company CPA’s Plus, we empower entrepreneurs just like you to tap into your greatness and achieve financial success. Let’s look at some of the basics you need to know to get your business off the ground.

Choosing Your Business Structure

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is how you want to structure your business. The most common types of business structures are:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest structure where you are the sole owner. It’s easy to set up, but you are personally liable for all business debts.
  • Partnership: This structure is formed between two or more people who share ownership and responsibility. Partnerships are more complex than sole proprietorships and require a partnership agreement.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): This structure offers limited liability protection for its owners, meaning your personal assets are protected from business debts.
  • Corporation: This structure is separate from its owners and has its own legal rights and responsibilities. Corporations offer the most liability protection, but they are also the most complex to set up and maintain. Corporations can be S Corps or C Corps. 

The right structure for you will depend on your specific needs and goals. This can feel daunting for someone starting a business and unsure of which structure makes the most sense. 

We can help you evaluate your options and choose the structure that’s best for your business. Keep in mind that your structure may change as your business evolves. We strongly recommend having a proactive CPA and business advisor in your corner who can stay ahead of these things for you to ensure you are not only optimizing your tax situation, but also achieving your goals.

Registering Your Business

Once you’ve chosen your business structure, you’ll need to register your business with the appropriate government agencies. This typically involves:

  • Obtaining a federal employer identification number (EIN): This is like a Social Security number for your business and is used to identify your business for tax purposes.
  • Registering your business name: This is done at the state level and ensures that your business name is unique and not being used by another entity.
  • Obtaining any necessary licenses and permits: This may vary depending on your industry and location.

Registering your business can be a complex process, but it’s essential for establishing your legitimacy and complying with legal requirements.

Paying Taxes

As a business owner, you’ll be responsible for paying various taxes, including income tax, self-employment tax, estimated taxes, and employment taxes if you have employees. It’s crucial to understand your tax obligations to avoid penalties and interest. We can help you set up a tax plan that minimizes your tax liability and ensures compliance with all applicable laws.

Keeping Records

Accurate record-keeping is crucial for tracking your income and expenses, preparing financial statements, and filing your taxes. It’s also important for making informed business decisions and monitoring your financial performance. We can help you develop a record-keeping system that is efficient, organized, and compliant with all regulations.

Marketing Your Business

Once you’ve set up your business and taken care of the legal and financial aspects, it’s time to start marketing your business and attracting customers. This may involve:

  • Developing a sales and marketing plan: This outlines who your ideal clients are, sales and marketing goals, and the best strategies for reaching your customers.
  • Creating a website and social media presence: This gives you a platform to showcase your products or services and interact with potential customers.
  • Considering paid advertising: If you have the funding and want to accelerate your growth, there are a variety of options for advertising online as well as sponsoring events that put your business in front of your target audience.
  • Networking with other businesses and professionals: This can help you build relationships and generate leads.

Marketing is an ongoing process that requires a commitment to consistency, but it’s essential for growing your business and achieving your financial goals.

Starting a business is both exciting and challenging. You have the idea and the drive. Now, let’s make this happen!

With the right guidance and support, you can build a business that you enjoy and that is financially rewarding. At Harper & Company CPA’s Plus, we know what it takes to go from starting out to financial freedom, and we are committed to empowering entrepreneurs like you to achieve your financial goals. Contact us today at (614) 456-7222 to learn more about how we can help you start and grow your business.

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