When learning how to form a startup, you should begin by having a business plan. Other steps include the following:

  1. Conduct market research.
  2. Secure your intellectual property.
  3. Form a legal business structure.
  4. Raise capital.
  5. Develop final products.
  6. Launch.

Forming a Startup Company

You want to leave your day job and form your own startup. When you make up your mind to do this, it's best to take action quickly. Once you get the ball rolling on your plan, create a checklist to make sure you stay on track.

To successfully get your startup off the ground, plan and organize your materials. Know how to prioritize.

It's important to conduct market research to find out if your idea is truly worth pursuing. Start by writing down the problem you believe your idea would solve. Keep this in front of you for motivation.

One way to compare and possibly predict how your startup will do against competitors is to perform competitive analysis. Will your startup fill a void in the industry?

Execute a market survey, which is something all new businesses should do before launching. You can use online tools to easily send questionnaires to your target audience. This allows you to reach many more people than if you conducted on-field surveys.

You protect yourself against copycats when you secure your intellectual property early on. You must also make sure you're not copying someone else, even inadvertently. Otherwise, violating trademarks or copyrights could lead to serious legal consequences. Once you know you're not infringing on anyone, file for IP protection in the form of a trademark, patent, and/or copyright.

Branding and Money

Branding is not simply choosing a name — it's also about choosing an identity. You want to create something you love and that conveys the feeling of using your product as well as the problem that it solves.

You must choose a business structure. Incorporating your startup makes it a legal entity.

Your workspace typically reflects your working style. Many startup founders initially work from home to save money. However, you may find it helpful to work in one of the following:

  • Rented co-working space.
  • Shared office.
  • Rented private office.

Many startups will need a financial investment to move forward. Founders often choose to work with angel investors or venture capitalists in exchange for equity in their startup. You must understand exactly what you're exchanging for this financial help.

Decide how much money you need and what you'll use it for. Then you can decide how to raise it. Crowdfunding is an option if you don't want to give away any equity to investors.

Final Steps

Develop your final product. When you create something, it's going to go through a lot of changes. Implement any adjustments and tweaks to create your final product.

You may want to use a project management software to help you keep track of your progress. This way, you can refer back to each step and know what you've already done and what still needs to be done. Get customer feedback and measure your business results.

As a startup founder, you probably have dozens of ideas. Even some of your best thoughts and ideas will likely not come to fruition. Write down everything anyway. You can turn the most promising ones into prototypes.

Prototypes may be in physical form, or you might just design them in a computer program. Just taking steps that make them into more than simple ideas is going further than many other people do, so you're well ahead of the imaginary curve.

Launch your product when it's ready. Whatever the product is, its core features must be useful to your target audience. Without this usefulness, any extra features, faster load time, better interface, or other optimizations aren't likely to save it.

Finally, follow up with your users. Are they coming back? If not, conduct research to see why they're not and make changes as needed.

Forming a startup company is often exciting for new founders. With a useful, unique product to offer, you may have the beginnings of a promising company. Having solid backing and a good team behind you will increase your chances of success.

If you need help with how to form a startup, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.