1. Prepare an initial business plan to clarify your marketing, management, and financial plans.
2. Determine your start-up capital needs.
3. Identify sources of start-up capital and backup sources if needed.
4. Evaluate and quantify your borrowing power so you know how much money you can get your hands on if needed.
5. Select a business structure that best fits your needs by evaluating tax advantages, legal exposure, ease of operation and portability should you need to relocate.
6. Select the right accounting software by evaluating your budget, needs and hardware.
7. Prepare a Cash Flow Budget so you know exactly how much money you need to keep the business alive each month for the first few years. Unplanned cash requirements are always emotionally painful.
8. Establish billing and collection procedures to maximize your cash flow.
9. Establish procedures to monitor and control costs.
10. Setup a home office so you can maximize your tax deductions.
11. Prepare and file all required state and local licenses and permits.
12. Prepare and file your application for your Federal Employer Identification Number.
13. Provide payroll and payroll tax filing when you bring on your first employee.
14. Comply with employment laws so you don’t get hit with fines and unhappy employees.
15. Identify your business insurance needs.
16. Develop a solid Partnership Agreement. This is an extremely important document for all new partnerships and will help prevent a tremendous amount of financial and emotional problems down the road.