Thinking of starting a business? This handy checklist can help you stay organized as you start your journey, from vision to reality:
▢ 1. Has relevant personal information been gathered for all participants in this business?
▢ 2. Has financial situation been assessed?
▢ 3. Has professional team been assembled?
- Insurance agent
▢ 1. Have the necessary licensees been secured?
▢ 2. Has start date been determined?
▢ 3. Has location been secured?
▢ 4. Will equipment be purchased or leased?
▢ 5. Have employees been hired?
▢ 6. Have supplies been contracted?
▢ 7. Has a name for the business been chosen and researched for availability?
▢ 8. Has the business plan been developed?
- Description of the business
- Market identified
- Operating costs
- Profit expectations
▢ 9. Has the type of organization been decided upon?
- Sole proprietorship?
- Corporation (C or S)
- Limited Liability Company
▢ 10. Has a checking account or other bank account been opened? Who has signature authority?
▢ 1. Has capital been raised?
- Available savings
- Traditional lenders
- Second mortgage/home equity line of credit
- Sell assets
- Borrow from friends/relatives
▢ 2. Has financial data been collected?
- Start-up costs
- Cash requirements
- Break-even forecast
▢ 1. Have the insurance needs of business owner been reviewed?
- Property, casualty, and liability
▢ 2. Have business insurance needs been considered?
- Business liability insurance
- Group life, health, and disability for employees
- Key employee life and disability insurance
▢ 1. Will business owner alone participate in a retirement plan
- Individual 401(k)/Profit-sharing
- Defined benefit
▢ 2. Will employees participate in a retirement plan? (May be required if business owner participates in a plan)
- Defined benefit
- SIMPLE IRA
- SIMPLE 401(k)
- Payroll deduction IRA
▢ 1. Have business succession needs been considered?
- Buy-sell agreement & necessary funding
- Sell business
- Transfer business with lifetime gifts
▢ 1. Have tax advantages/disadvantages of different business entities been reviewed with accountant?
▢ 2. Have tax issues unique to business owners been considered?
- Deduction & credits
- Taxable income
- Employee fringe benefits
- Record keeping