Are you concerned about job stability and want to keep some eggs in another basket, too? Chattanooga was recently rated the 4th best place to start a business. And here at the INCubator/BDC building, the launch success rate is 92%! You may be asking yourself, how can I be part of the 9 out of 10 success stories?
1. When you’re considering starting a new business, make sure the name you choose hasn’t already been taken by someone else. You want to avoid confusion about who you are and what you do. Click here to search and register with the state of Tennessee.
After you get your name approved…
2. You will need to apply for whichever legal structure you want to set up. There are several options available, including a sole proprietorship, an S-Corp, a C-Corp, or LLC. Click here for an overview from the IRS website.
3. Know what the tax requirements are for your business type.
If you are going to have employees then you need to register for an EFTPS number (electronic funds transfer payment system) with the IRS so they can automatically take out your payroll taxes each month or each pay period. You cannot use your SSN for payroll deposits!
Property tax - you will be required to pay for all of your assets listed in the business (they don't forward these forms so if you move, you will have to notify them of your address change or you will receive a penalty!). There may be others, too.
4. Will you be hiring employees? You need to:
- Apply for an EIN (employer identification number)
- Apply and register to pay and withhold SUTA (state unemployment)
- You have to file each month even if you have $0 payroll otherwise there is a penalty
5. Register with the County and City where you do business. This is also called a “Certificate of Registration.” You can do all of this online now with one website.
- City, county and sales tax number and registration
- Franchise and Excise tax (They will send it to you if you are required to pay - but you can pay it through this same portal.)
6. Know which licenses are required and how much they cost.
7. Get registered with any required regulatory boards. To find out which fields of business fall under a requirement, click here.
8. Arrange a business bank account that can be synced to your bookkeeping software. This will simplify receipts, statement reconciliation, and end-of-year paperwork. QuickBooks and Xero are a couple of our favorites for streamlining your bookkeeping. It must be a business account in order to sync with QB and XERO
9. If you’re applying for a business loan or grant, make sure you have your finances in good order. We’ll address this topic in an upcoming blog.
10. For additional help with start-up steps and to find out more about what resources are available, contact the Small Business Development Center here in the INCubator building on the second floor. Here’s a link to their FAQ section so you can get introduced to what they do.
The State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has an online guide to help you, too. Just click here.
If you haven’t yet heard the Chattanooga Business Radio interview on June 19th with Sharyn Moreland of the SBDC and Kathryn Foster of the INCubator, click here. You can learn more about how the INCubator works, what types of free classes are offered here at the SBDC, and how HR Business Solutions helps entrepreneurs with their finances.
Is there a start-up topic or bookkeeping topic you’d like us to cover? E-mail us and we’ll try to address as many of them as possible! Just send to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Our goal is your success!
Lynn Talbott, MBA, PHR, has over 20 years’ experience consulting with entrepreneurs of small to mid-sized businesses in the HR and office management capacity. Her specialty is Office/Human Resource Manager coaching and training and finding practical solutions for bookkeeping errors and HR blunders. Lynn has helped manage over 50 business start-ups and many of those companies continue to rely on her expertise today as they continue to grow.