You’re wondering how to start a business. There are many ways to get going, but it’s up to you to choose one that you’ve researched and decided it’s a valuable idea to turn into a business.

One way to start a business is by providing a low-cost service (either locally or via the Internet). If enough friends and family (or others) use your service and decide that it’s valuable to them, then you can turn it into a business.

Do Your Research

The important part to launching your business is to identify the target market. Doing your research will help you definitely get a clear understanding of your potential business. There may be other businesses out there already providing the same product or service that you want to launch. If this is the case, you might need to find a different spin on your business to make it work.

Your research might lead you to considering starting a franchise business. Franchising an established company can be another business option because the concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund the operations.

Make a Plan

A traditional business plan follows a common template, and lays out the top points of interest to potential investors and customers. Think of your business plan as a starting template to launch the business direction. It’s the document you want to follow to gain investors (if needed), find sales outlets, and get fast business growth. This is a must-have for your business. After you have a business plan, it’s time to find a lawyer to handle legal counsel and business development.

It can also work to your advantage to build up your business brand before actually launching the sale of goods and services. Building up momentum for a new venture can help with early sales after launch. Among the tools involved here might be pictures of your business location, images of your business logo, and using social media to build up the pending launch of your business. Using social media to spread discounts and other promotional tools can help build goodwill and solid word of mouth for your business.

Get Your Team Ready

Prior to the launch of the business, a business owner should try to fill up all positions that the business needs to be fully operational. This is the fragile time of the business when an owner should seek to work with trusted friends rather than independent contractors. The close friends can help understand the blood, sweat and tears going into the business.

Businesses that choose not to hire employees right away may work with outsourced staffers, but these agreements will need an attorney to handle the business agreements.

Plan Your Finances

Are your finances ready to plough into the business? The owner’s initial investment will help cover early ongoing expenses, but other sources are available to seek funding. You can look for start-up money at your local bank, find SBA loans, or use social media funding platforms like Kickstarter and others to boost your early funding.

Accounting System for your Business

Who will tend to the financial operation of your business? This person should be able to set up the operation with a software accounting stem that tracks fees and services, product prices and shipments, and tax related tools. Hiring an accountant early on in the startup’s period will help ensure smooth early days with sales transactions.

Choose a Legal Business Setup

Your startup business can choose one of several legal frameworks for your business. Owners can choose to register the company in multiple ways: as a sole proprietorship, an LLC (limited liability company), a partnership, or as a corporation.

You’ll want to consult a CPA or lawyer for this important decision. The legal structure you set up will affect your business in various ways, from your tax rates, your business name, and to your potential liability.

Register Your Web Domain and Name of Business

To be effective, your business name will have to be available for trademark, and not used by other companies. A memorable name is an important part of any new business. Check names on the Internet and file the paperwork with the state or county clerk when ready. Make sure to get your domain name and website up and running at the same time.

If you want help in getting your legal ducks all in a row to start your business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top lawyers, those leaders from Harvard and Yale. UpCounsel lawyers average 14 years of legal experience, including work with companies small and large.