20-Point Start-up Business Checklist

If you’re getting ready to launch a start-up business, you’ve likely already figured out that it’s not as easy as it might at first seem. Hopefully, at this point, you’ve already determined what type of business you want to operate and what you’d like to accomplish. If you haven’t made it that far, you’ll want to dedicate some time to thinking it through. Believe it or not, the Small Business Administration website has a 20-question list that you should work through before getting started.

Once you’ve done that, and you’re ready to start your business, you’ll want to get organized. Getting organized and having a clear plan can be the defining factor between ditching the idea and following your dreams. We created a 20-point start-up business checklist that can help you identify what you need to do and when you need to do it so that you can move forward with creating your new business.

20 Things to Do When Launching a Startup:

  • Determine viability
  • Secure capital — bootstrap (your own savings), crowdfunding, venture financing, loans
  • Complete market research
  • Identify target market
  • Identify competitors
  • Write a complete business plan
  • Find a location for your business
  • Determine a legal structure for your business (sole proprietor/LLC/INC)
  • Name your business
  • Register your business (county/state)
  • Register a domain name (your dot com)
  • Obtain appropriate licenses/tax ID numbers, and insurance
  • Register intellectual property (copyright business name, motto, etc.)
  • Begin looking for and securing customers
  • Create and launch a website
  • Create social media profiles
  • Get business cards printed
  • Register for and attend networking events
  • Open a business bank account
  • Create/secure an accounting system and hire an accountant

That’s it! Certainly, there will be a number of things you’ll need to do beyond this checklist in order to ensure sustainability, but this is a great start to get ready to create and launch your business.

If you don’t have anyone close to you who can assist you with getting your business off the ground, the Estero Economic Development Council has a variety of resources available — for free — to help you move forward. Keep in mind that joining the Economic Development Council and getting involved with your local development offices and Chamber of Commerce organizations can prove to be incredibly beneficial. It will provide you with opportunities to network, ask questions, and get advice. Best of luck to you!