5 Steps to Launch Your Business

Are you wanting to quite your day job and have decided to test the waters by freelancing? Maybe you have a always wanted to sell your art online, but don’t know where to start. I am breaking it down into 5 easy steps, really, it’s the easiest part of working for yourself!

  1. Once you decide on a name, do a Google search to see if a matching domain name is available.
  2. Search the US patent and trademark registry here. Usually this is not necessary, but you are going to go big right? So, lets just be safe.
  3. As a person who runs a business with no employees, you will be a sole proprietor. This means you can operate with your social security number, or get an EIN number here. This is what you use for reporting money to the IRS and turning in your taxes. I recommend getting your EIN number and keeping your SSN private.
  4. Getting a business license. Getting a business license is very affordable. Here in TN, it’s $25. Unless you are in a field like a contractor,  getting a business license is only necessary if you make more than $10k a year. You can apply for a license anytime at your local county clerk’s office, and in many states, you can do this online.
  5.  Bookkeeping. You are going to want to keep up with your expenses so you can deduct those babies at the end of the year. Set up a separate bank account for your business. This can be as simple as adding another free checking account through your online banking system or adding a business checking account with a credit card. Once you start making money, I also recommend using some kind of accounting software. Being on top of your money helps you stay accountable for your work, set big goals, and makes tax time a breeze.