By CAMERON ASMUSSEN
1: Planning and Preparation
Creating a new small business is not something to be done on a whim. Startups first require many hours of planning and tough decision making. What are you selling? Who is your target market? What kind of legal structure will you use? Where will you get the necessary capital and materials? All of these questions and more can be better answered by taking one of many business classes throughout the country. There, you should be able to develop a startup plan that makes sense for your new small business. This is perhaps the most important step in launching a new business, as planning things right from the beginning will ultimately be the biggest factor for your startup’s long-term success. Also, identifying the right strategies and goals before you launch will make all following steps and decisions much less complicated.
2: Licensing and Registration
After deciding on the best plan for success, the next step to launching your new startup is to fill out the necessary licenses and forms, beginning with the business registration forms found at http://sos.oregon.gov/business/Pages/register.aspx. The business registration forms are how you let the state know your Assumed Business Name, Domestic Business Entity (where they can mail you legal documents), and any trade and service mark registration. After paying the application fees for those documents your startup will now be registered. After that though you will still need to get the right license or licenses required for your particular industry to start up a business. As the Small Business Administration puts it: “State licenses are frequently required for occupations as varied as building contractors, physicians, appraisers, accountants, barbers, real estate agents, auctioneers, private investigators, private security guards, funeral directors, bill collectors, and cosmetologists. Since you can't always guess which occupations and professions are licensed by your state, you should always check with your state licensing authorities.” So if your start-up business is in the food industry, you need to track down the proper food handler licenses. Or if you are a contractor, you should track down the right contractors license. Luckily, the state of Oregon has made all of these available at http://licenseinfo.oregon.gov.
3: Tax Registration
After you have made the perfect plan and acquired the proper licenses for your industry, you will need to register your new business for tax and trade name purposes. You can register and obtain an employer identification number for free from the Federal IRS at http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-%26-Self-Employed/Employer-ID-Numbers-EINs. If your start up has any employees, you will also need to make unemployment insurance contributions and track down the W4 and I9 forms.
4: Hard Work
Now that your startup has been legally established, the real work begins. The road to success will be filled with many more hurdles, obstacles, and fees pertaining to whatever specific industry you choose. To help ease the burden you should also look into hiring a good lawyer and accountant. Following these three steps, however, should get your small business off the ground, and in good legal standing with the state.