Choose a business name and register your business with the appropriate state and/or federal agencies.
If your business will be selling, renting or leasing tangible personal property, you must obtain the proper state sales tax license from the Department of Revenue and determine if a separate local sales tax license is required. A sales tax license is also required, if you rent accommodations for less than 30 days.
Be aware of the personal and business tax implications of starting your own business. Self-employment tax will double an individual's contribution to social security and Medicare taxes. Property tax is collected on all personal property owned by a business.
Check if there are any special licenses required for the business you are starting.
Find the best location for your business. You can get information on traffic patterns on state highways. Some local governments have information on city and county roads. They may also have information on local population demographics. Observe pedestrian movement during business hours to estimate walk-in potential.
Check with the local city and county government regarding any special business regulations, sales taxes, personal property taxes and zoning restrictions affecting your business.
Assemble your team of professional advisors.
Develop a financial plan and include profit and loss projections, cash flow analysis and capital requirements. What type of financing will your business need? What financing options are realistic for your situation?
Obtain adequate insurance coverage. Protect your business activities far enough in advance to cover your growth.
Protect your "intellectual property rights," i.e. your ideas, products, symbols and logos, through the proper registration and maintenance.
Decide who, if anyone is to be included - as a partner, director, or employee.
Decide what will happen if you fall out with any other person involved.
Check delivery arrangements, payment arrangements, availability, and continuity.