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What to do when starting a new business: checklist.

The checklist below shows some of the many things that have to be done when starting a new business - before the start-up, once the business is in operation and on an ongoing basis thereafter.(*)


* 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


3. Bylaws.

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:

1. Health.

2. Malpractice.

3. Liability.

4. Workers' compensation.

5. Life.

6. Fidelity bond.

7. Computer and equipment.

8. Umbrella.

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.

2. Advertising.

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.
COPYRIGHT 1995 American Institute of CPA's
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:May 1, 1995
Previous Article:Seagram and Dupont: exploring continuity.
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