1. Opening a Successful Business
2. A Guide to Starting Your Business

The easiest way to start a business is running a sole proprietorship. With a sole proprietorship, you do not need to file any formation documents with your state and can simply start doing business. There are, however, many other ways you could start your business, which means you need to do your research so that you can get your company up and running.

Opening a Successful Business

If you're like most people, then you might assume that starting your business will be very complicated and difficult. First, you'll need a one-of-a-kind idea for your company, and then will need a strategy for implementing it before someone else takes your idea. Second, you probably assume that you'll need a large amount of money to get your business off the ground, and that obtaining this money will take a long time.

Fortunately, neither of these issues are required for starting your business, although having them certainly couldn't hurt. Thanks to modern technology, starting a new business has never been easier. For instance, there are countless online businesses that generate a tremendous amount of revenue, and many of these businesses don't even have a physical store.

Even if your business idea is similar to another business, there is still likely room for you in the marketplace. For instance, you could improve upon the services or products offered by a business that's already in operation.

A Guide to Starting Your Business

Evaluating yourself should be the first step you take when you're interested in starting a business. For example, you should ask yourself what your reasons are for starting your business. If you can answer this question, you should be able to determine what type of business is right for you. If you're simply looking to make a little extra money, for example, then you may want to pursue a side job instead of starting a business. On the other hand, if you're tired of working for someone else every day of the week, starting your own business can be a great choice.

After you know why you are starting a business, there are a few other issues that you need to evaluate:

  • The skills you have.
  • What you're passionate about.
  • How much you can afford to invest in your business.
  • Whether you'll need to raise capital.
  • Your readiness to start a business.

Coming up with a business idea is the next step in starting your business. If you're struggling to come up with an idea for a new business, there are a few ways you can brainstorm to complete this step. For example, you could research potential advances in technology and determine if there's a way for you to get in on the ground floor. Many of the most successful businesses in the world have used this solution.

You could also think about problems that bother you that you could potentially fix. If you can make people's lives easier, your business will likely be very successful. Once you have a solid idea for your business, you need to research the market. Try to find out if there is another business that is already providing the good or service that you're planning to base your business on. If there are no other businesses similar to your own, ask yourself why.

In addition to researching whether the market will support your business, you should also research potential partners and competitors. It's important that you know if there are other businesses you can work with to help your own succeed, and what companies may interfere with the growth of your organization.

One of the most important parts of starting your business is squaring away all legal issues related to your company. Officially registering your business, for example, can protect your idea and also may reduce or eliminate your legal liability.

Here are a few legal issues you should take care of as soon as you can:

  • Choosing a formal structure for your business, such as a corporation or limited liability company.
  • Picking and reserving a name for your business.
  • Registering your business in your state.
  • Obtaining federal and state tax identification numbers.
  • Applying for any permits and licenses needed for your business.
  • Opening a business bank account.
  • Registering copyrights, patents, and trademarks, if necessary.

If you need help with the easiest way to start a business, you can post your legal needs 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.