It is now the best time to start an online business. Consumers are in love with the digital space plus it is easier and less costly to start than brick and mortar stores. You only need a good internet connection to communicate with your suppliers and customers. Well, what are the steps to start an online business? This quick guide has all the answers to set the ball rolling.
Identify and select a business structure
The first step while setting up a business is identifying the business structure. If you are setting up the business alone or with your spouse, it is ideal to choose a sole proprietorship. However, this business structure has unlimited liability. For that reason, a corporation or a limited liability company could be a perfect choice. However, LLC is more flexible and involves less reporting and record-keeping. But, if you would want to seek money from investors, a corporation is the best choice. If you choose LLC or a corporation, you will be required to file papers with your states. This is to aid in the formation of your business entity. Upon formation, you receive a certificate that allow you to do business legally.
Choose your business name
Take time to choose a unique name for your business as it will help you market your business. Before settling for a name, conduct a search for trademarked names at the Trade Mark Office website or the US Patent to ensure no other business with a similar name. This is essential to avoid any trademark infringement.
Get a Domain Name and create a website
After deciding on your business name, it is time to get a domain name. A domain name is your internet address ending with a “.com.” Several companies register domain names on payment of an annual fee. You are required to create an account and identify the domain name you want to register. Moreover, ensure that you come up with a website for your online business. Luckily these days, you can create website for free with little to no coding skills. You can use drag and drop tools with beautiful templates and widgets to make your site attractive to your customers. A nice-looking site will help pull more customers to your business.
Set Up Finances
Even for the least costly businesses, starting capital is a requirement. You need to ensure that they are in order. Remember to ensure that a business account that is separate from your bank account. This helps you organize your business finances and avoid mix-ups. If you intend to process transactions through our business website, ensure you have a good online payment service like PayPal, Skrill, and the likes.
Meet tax and licensing requirements
Tax and licensing issues can be complicated, and you need to sort them too before proceeding with your business. Thus, first, contact your state’s taxation department so that they can highlight your tax responsibilities. Find out if you require any business licenses by consulting your city or county. It is also best to speak to a tax attorney to help you understand your obligations.
You are now good to go. Remember that you cannot set up your online business and sit back awaiting customers; you will have to market and find ways to grow your business. Find clever growth hacking methods to build your venture.