The Steps of How to Start a Business in the USA
There’s much more than the American dream to consider when deciding how to start a business in the USA. Whether you want to support a movement with a nonprofit organization, or you’d like to use your time after retirement to create a company, the process of starting a business can be a daunting journey. We’ve listed a couple of necessary steps for the long trek, and wish you luck along the way!
The First Step: What are you selling?
Every business needs a goal. This is apparent in your vision or mission statement but needs to be established very early. Are you providing a product or a service to customers? For example, if you charge admission to a skate park, that is a service. If you set up a lemonade stand and sell drinks, then those are products.
The Honest Step: Are you really needed?
Before we jump into the paperwork and time-consuming phases, do some soul searching. Is your product or service unique enough to compete in a serious market? Your business won’t get off the ground if it’s only selling point is something already done by another company. Knowing how to start a business in the USA won’t help one with a little market. Make sure your business idea is a unique solution to a need in the marketplace and customers will run to you.
The Hardest Step: Paperwork time!
Each state has different tax, licensing, and registration requirements for doing business. Here is a link to check out what is needed in your specific state.
All business owners, however, need a tax id number, such as an EIN. An EIN is an Employer Identification Number and you can apply for one quickly and easily online through the IRS.gov website within the link above.
A sole proprietor (single person company) can use their social security number in place of an EIN. If you are a foreign national, your business can either be an LLC (limited liability company) or C-Corp (corporation. Resident aliens may have their business as an S-Corporation. A great resource for the type of business visa you might need based on your type of business is the usa-corporate.com website.
The Financial Step: Who will you bank with?
Every business needs a bank account. If your business is a partnership or a corporation or has an EIN number, they it will be required to have a business bank account. This must be separate from a personal bank account because you’ll need to be able to track the income and expenses of the business for tax purposes. A good business banker can advise you on financial matters when setting up your business.
For example, a banker may recommend that you set up a merchant account. This is a type of account that allows you to accept debit and credit cards as payment from your customers. Most people in the US pay with debit or credit cards when purchasing products and services. When you apply for a merchant account, you’ll need to provide your EIN or SSN, your business name or a DBA name (Doing Business As, or Trade Name), and an estimate of your monthly sales revenue. After your business has been determined safe by underwriters, you’ll receive your business merchant account!
The Best Step: Get Going!
Now, you’re finally ready to see your dream come true and take its first steps. It’s no longer a question of “how to start a business in the USA”, but “how soon can I start!” This is the best step, but a big one. Your enthusiasm for getting your dreams rolling shouldn’t penalize you with being trapped with a bad payment processor. We have no fees for canceling and prices that even a new business owner can afford! Check them out here: