There’s so much to do when starting a business, it can be hard to know where to start! This post will give you the lowdown you need to open a business of any kind, be it retail, office, or home-based.

Start with the Fun Stuff

This is where your creativity shines. You need to determine what you want to sell, who you’ll sell to, and where you’ll market. Oh, and pick a business name. Find one that’s unique to you, that accurately describes your business. Make sure no one else is using the name you want with a free corporate name search.

Build out your business plan so you can organize your thoughts around your product, pricing, and marketing.

Next, Tackle the Legal Details

Now that you’ve at least got the bare bones of what your business will look like, solidify it with these legal details.

Choose a business structure. You’ll protect both yourself and your brand better if you choose either a corporation or an LLC. Forming an LLC or a corporation is fairly straightforward, but it’s a step you want to start before you operate so that you’re protected when you launch your business.

Next, look into the business permits or licenses you need. Even if you operate out of your home, you will need them (a business license as well as a home occupation license in many states). If you plan to operate a restaurant or other business that deals in food, you’ll work closely with your local health department to ensure your space is up to code.

Find Space

If you’re operating a retail or office-type business, you’ll need space. Keep in mind your customers, if they will visit your location. You want a space that is easy to find, easy to park near, and in an area where you’ll attract some foot traffic.

If you will run an office that customers won’t visit, location is less important, so focus on value and space with the features you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on your lease.

Plan Your Marketing

More fun! You’ll need to start marketing your business before you ever open. Make sure you’ve got a well-designed website up and running before you launch, as well as your social media profiles set up.

If you won’t be handling the marketing yourself, find your first hire — or outsource the work to a competent marketing firm or consultant. Get a plan in place with them now so you can focus on running your business once you’re open.

Send out a press release announcing your business launch. If you’re planning a grand opening party, be sure to invite local business journalists. You want as much of a splash as possible once you throw open your business’ doors!

You’re Ready!

You’ve done everything you need to ensure your business is a success, as well as protected it from risk. Set your open date and enjoy your role as a new business owner!

Opening a business requires a lot of work. Let CorpNet make it easy on you by forming a corporation on your behalf.