If you’re an entrepreneur interested in starting a business in Florida, one important step you should take to guide you along the right path is to find a good business lawyer, such as the Miami law firm PPK.
But there are other recommended steps you should take as well, volunteer SCORE counselor Gray Poehler told Florida Small Business.
Step one, and the most important step, is to come up with a written business plan Poehler said.
“I see too many entrepreneurs that invest a lot of money with start-up expenses before doing the necessary due diligence,” he said.
Other steps he recommends:
- Choose a legal structure — For example, a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
- Register a fictitious name — This is the legal term for an assumed name which a business uses instead of the name of the owner, also known as a DBA name
- State and local licensing — Your business may require either or both.
- Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) — Required unless you are operating as a sole proprietor
- Register to pay Federal, State and local taxes
- Secure adequate financing — Many small businesses fail in the first two years because they underestimate costs
SCORE is a nonprofit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that helps small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. The group has a network of more than 10,000 volunteers, and services are either free of charge or very low-cost.
The www.score.org website offers a free outline for a start-up business which includes financial templates for determining start-up expenses and a 12-month cash flow projection.
Volunteer SCORE mentors share their expertise across 62 industries in person, via email or by video. The organization also offers free business tools, templates and tips as well as inexpensive or free business workshops and webinars.
Poehler, who owned and operated an independent insurance agency with 20 employees and two locations, has been a SCORE counselor since 2005.