Starting a Business in Alabama
If you dream of starting a business and being your own boss, you probably know that it is not an easy feat. Opening a business may be the easiest, while operating it and genuinely succeeding is the harder part, but it can be tackled by devoting yourself to hard work and offering real value to your customers. Before opening the doors of your new business, you must spend some time thinking about what your business will be about.
It is also important to conduct market research on the customer’s needs, see if there are other similar businesses in your area and how you can be original. Once you have your company plan laid out, it is time to start the procedure to register a business and ultimately open it. The best resource for information on opening a new business is the AL division of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
U.S. Small Business Administration Alabama
Every business starts small and then thrives in time. Planning every detail in advance and following the protocol, rules, regulations and laws are absolutely essential to starting successfully. To help you go through the process as smoothly as possible, the U.S. Small Business Administration Alabama suggests following 10 essential steps:
- Prepare a detailed business plan with a description of your services, your target market, your funding capabilities and organizational structure.
- Attend business trainings, workshops or courses if you are not familiar with the basics of owning a business (you can find such courses at the SBA website).
- Consider choosing a good business location to make yourself accessible to customers and suppliers
- Get financial assistance to jump-start your business, such as loans, grants or venture capital.
- Decide on ownership structure, or if your business is a partnership, non-profit, limited liability company or a sole proprietorship.
- Decide on your business name and register it with the state government authorities.
- Obtain a Tax Identification Number from your state revenue agency or the IRS.
- Register for local and state taxes you are obliged to pay for your business and staff.
- Obtain all necessary permits and licenses for your business.
- Get familiar with your staff’s responsibilities, obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS and learn the legal process for hiring workers
If you are still unsure about whether to start a business, you should consider some key points to help you decide such as:
- The kind of business you would like.
- The types of products or services you would offer.
- Why would you like to own a business.
- Who are your target customers.
- If you can handle the responsibility.
- How will your business be different from other similar ones.
- The ideal location to open your business.
- How well do you know the market and competition.