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Small Business Startup Checklist


Here are a few items to consider when starting your business. Remember, doing everything yourself can be quite challenging, especially if you are doing them the right way. While your budget may be tight like so many other entrepreneurs, getting the right people involved to assist you can be extremely effective.


  • Business Plan (Mission/Vision, Location, Operational Plan, Management, Personnel, Sales and Marketing)


  • Choice of Legal Entity (e.g., limited liability company, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship)


  • Tax Form of the Business (e.g., disregarded entity, partnership, corporation)


  • Formal Creation of the Business (e.g., articles of incorporation if corporation, articles of organization if limited liability company, fictitious name filing if sole proprietorship, partnership agreement if partnership) (also consider state of entity formation including possible Delaware incorporation if applicable)


  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) Application (SS4 form online with the IRS)


  • Financial Projections for the Business including employee compensation.


  • Employer Tax and Legal Obligations (Federal and State, including payroll requirements)


  • Selection of Key Professional Advisors (Tax advisor, legal advisor, computer or business consultants if needed)


  • Selection of Tax Return Preparer (CPA, non-CPA accountant, or other tax return preparer)


  • Regulatory Checklist (permits, etc., if applicable)


  • Formal Team (employees, managers, etc. who will be formally working within the company)


  • Informal Team (Other stakeholders such as attorney, accountant, other advisors, key customers, other business partners in the industry or related industries)


  • Review/prepare necessary agreements to the extent applicable (office lease, employee contracts if applicable)

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