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Business Start-Up Checklist

by Bonnie Davis

Starting a new business can be confusing. Where does one begin? Ive taken some of the most common start-up issues and compiled them into this checklist. I recommend you print this checklist and use it like a to-do list. First, check off all the items that will not pertain to your business and then start work on completing the applicable tasks.

____ Open a business checking account.
____ Choose a bookkeeping system.
____ Research cost of leasing an office and/or tax deduction for working at home.
____ Purchase/lease computer equipment.
____ Purchase/lease copier or arrange for an account at a local copy shop.
____ Sign up for a Federal Express, DHL or UPS account.
____ Order office supplies.
____ Obtain free postal mailing supplies.
____ Obtain necessary permits, licenses, or zoning variations. Check with both local and state licensing agencies.
____ Register your fictitious name with your county (if required).
____ Decide on a business structure (i.e. corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership).
____ Obtain Federal Tax identification number if incorporated.
____ Research and obtain business insurance.
____ Research and obtain loans or financing.
____ Order office furniture.
____ Obtain sales tax permit (if necessary).
____ Research and obtain signage.
____ Research and purchase computer software.
____ Obtain a business telephone line.
____ Decide on an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a host for your website.
____ Prepare a business plan.
____ Prepare a marketing plan.
____ Print business cards, stationary, and invoice or statement forms.
____ Decide on business hours.
____ Choose a business name and verify that the name is available in your state and on a federal level.
____ Obtain payroll and insurance benefit services.
____ Join your local Chamber of Commerce and appropriate associations.
____ Establish a record keeping system.
____ Retain an attorney and CPA, if appropriate.
____ Register copyrights.

about the author
Bonnie Jo Davis is a Virtual Assistant specializing in frugal marketing techniques. Bonnie recently published an e-book Articles That Sell focusing on her favorite technique. Visit Bonnie at


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