Updated: Nov 30, 2021
Have you ever wanted to start your own business, but had no idea where to begin? Have you ever wondered "how do I start my own business?" As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), I get asked this question a lot. No worries...you have come to the right place. I got you!
One of my favorite parts about business consulting is helping people start their own businesses. It is so exciting to watch someone's dreams come true. If you have an idea for a product or service you would like to create or offer, now is the time to get started. Don't wait until the timing is perfect to start. There will never be a perfect time. Just go ahead and take the leap and begin!
We live in a time where it has never been easier to start your own business. In fact, you can do it today from the comfort of your own home. All you really need is access to a computer and an Internet connection - you don't even need to buy a computer. Just head right over to your local library. They have computers you can use for free. They also have a ton of books you can check out to learn about all the parts that go into running a successful business. I guess that would be step one...get to a computer (or just use your smartphone).
The next step would be to decide on the name of your business and do a name search. If you live in Georgia, you can start here https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/BusinessSearch. Search to see if the name of your business is already taken. If not, go ahead and complete a name reservation. This holds your business name for a stated period of time until you can legally establish the business. Which brings me to my next point, there are several ways to set up your business. Here is a link where you can learn about the pros and cons of each type of business https://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/tools/compare-business-types.
There are companies out there, such as Legal Zoom (https://www.legalzoom.com) that will complete all the filing paperwork for you - for a fee of course. I set up Carson Madison as a single member LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), which is the type of business I will show you how to create. This type of organization provides legal protection of your personal assets, so if you get sued, they can only come after the business assets - THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT! This type of business also provides a tax benefit because income is taxed at the individual taxpayer level (see a tax advisor, preferably a CPA, for more information about business taxes - put that on your to do list).
You don't have to use a paid service to create a business. If you are a Georgia resident, you can go to https://georgia.gov/register-llc-georgia-secretary-state (each state has their own laws and regulations) and set-up an LLC on your own. There are many templates out there to help you create articles of incorporation for an LLC. Here is a good link to see how to create one on your own http://samplearticlesofincorporation.com/Georgia-Articles-of-Incorporation.aspx.
After you decide on a name, register your name in your state of residency, and create the articles of incorporation, you are ready to file to be incorporated. Click this link https://georgia.gov/register-llc-georgia-secretary-state and follow the instructions. This process will take a few weeks to finalize everything. While you are waiting, go ahead and apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online. This number is similar to a social security number, only it is for a business. This is an important step, but it is fairly simple to do. You will need an EIN to begin operating your business.
Finally, set up a separate checking account and pay all your business expenses out of this account. Do NOT combine your personal and business accounts. The IRS frowns upon this and it is a lot easier to keep track of your business finances if you use a separate account. Many banks offer free business checking accounts. Make sure you check around to find the best deal.
Congratulations! You are a business owner! WELCOME TO THE CLUB!
To learn more about setting up your business the right way, schedule a business consultation today. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (706) 499-7365 to schedule an appointment with one of our business consultants. Write down all your questions and spend an hour with us and we will share our knowledge with you. Don't skip this step!! A good foundation is important to the future success of your business.