What to do when starting a new business: checklist.
* Choose management advisers-an accountant, an attorney
and a banker. * Develop a business plan, including cash flow projections. * Using the business plan, establish a relationship with
banker. Possible bank services include
1. Credit-card merchant account.
2. Business checking account.
3. Working capital loan.
4. Equipment loan.
5. Lock-box services. * Select the legal entity and yearend. * Find a location for the business. * Negotiate a lease. * Design the layout of the facility. * Prepare all the necessary legal documents, as applicable:
1. Partnership agreements.
2. Articles of incorporation and first organizational
4. Federal identification number (SS-4).
5. State and local license applications.
6. Sales tax identification number.
7. State unemployment number.
8. Industry-specific license. * Obtain quotes for and then order office furnishings an
equipment. * Order office supplies. * Order business cards and business stationery. * Order office telephone number. * Purchase adequate insurance:
4. Workers' compensation.
6. Fidelity bond.
7. Computer and equipment.
9. Employee dishonesty. * Register the business name with local and state authorities.
* Establish prices for your goods and services. * Promote the business's opening through
1. Press releases to local and national media.
3. Direct-mail announcement.
4. Other. (This depends on the target market defined in
the business plan. For example, a restaurant or store
might send special coupons for discounts to local residents
or present a grand opening event and send invitations
to prospective customers, or a manufacturer
or supplier of office supplies might offer special
discounts to local businesses.) * Seek, interview and make offers to job candidates. * Select and implement a financial recordkeeping system.
(While this can be either manual or computerized, it must
be implemented consistently. If the business records a particular
type of transaction one way at the start, such transactions
must continue to be recorded in a similar manner to
avoid confusion.) Aspects of recordkeeping include
1. Accounts payable.
2. Accounts receivable.
3. Inventory tracking.
4. Order entry.
* Develop personnel policies and procedures. * Prepare quarterly payroll returns and verify timely tax
deposits. * Prepare quarterly or monthly financial statements. * Perform yearend tax planning, at least one month before
the yearend. * Prepare annual federal, state and payroll returns. * Develop employee job descriptions.
Review existing insurance coverage at least once a year. * Prepare and maintain personnel files. * Establish a petty cash fund and policy. * Establish answering mechanism for after hours. * Join industry associations and groups. * Verify listing in the yellow pages of area phone directories. * Register trademarks (word, name, symbol or device) that indicate
a unique identity on which your business is building.
(*) The list is just for guidance, however, and no final conclusions should be reached by completing it without further review and consultation.