These upstarts and the entrepreneurs that follow in their footsteps stand to benefit from today’s heightened risk awareness.
If you’re considering starting your own business in 2021 or you’re already at work on a new business plan, here are a few T’s to cross and I’s to dot before opening your doors.
1. Register Your Business
By registering your business, its name, and your own, you’re creating the foundation for future growth. This includes trademarking your logo and any taglines or product graphics.
Even if your small business is a bakery that’s currently based out of your home kitchen, you need to ensure that your business is officially registered with state and local governments in order to protect your brand.
2. Get Federal and State Tax IDs
Before you can open a bank account, get a small business loan, or pay taxes on your business, you’ll need to get an employer identification number (EIN). In some states, you’ll also need to acquire a state tax ID as well. Check your requirements on the Small Business Administration website before moving forward.
3. Open Business Bank Account
As part of your business plan, you decided how your business would be financed and secured a source of funding (or a few). To keep your personal finances separate from your business accounts, it’s a good idea to open a separate account for your business.
In addition to giving you access to a banker, who may become a trusted resource for you as you grow, this will help you identify which banking products are the right fit for your business as it grows.
4. Purchase Small Business Insurance
General Liability insurance is typically a requirement for small business loans and leases, and nearly all states require that businesses carry a Worker’s Compensation policy. From auto insurance to industry-specific requirements, buying appropriate insurance is a wise move for any new entrepreneur.
While the vast majority of small business insurance policies don’t include cover Acts of God – like a pandemic – they may help protect you from unforeseeable circumstances (small or catastrophic) that your new business may face in the months and years ahead.
5. Apply for Required Licenses and Permits
Whether you need food handler certifications or you’re opening your own brokerage, you need to ensure you acquire any state and local licenses and permits specific to your industry. As cities and states continue to roll out their reopening plans, it’s critical that new businesses stay abreast of new rules and regulations pertaining to operations as the pandemic continues.
Risk Aware Entrepreneurs Are Taking on the Future
In light of the pandemic, people in all industries are reassessing their financial cushions and their overall risk tolerance.
If you’re among the small business owners seizing the current moment to found the business of your dreams, don’t neglect these five administrative tasks. The fact is that your insurance options and pathways to licensure have become more digital during the past year, and these requirements may not be as inaccessible as they were when state and local government offices were open to walk-ins back in the pre-COVID era.
Stephanie N. Blahut is CMO and Co-Founder at B2Z Insurance. B2Z Insurance is a new small business insurance company that provides coverage for on-the-go business owners: simple explanations, easy application, digital quotes, and mobile claims. Stephanie N. Blahut is a seasoned digital marketing professional whose experience spans the insurance, publishing, and software industries. As B2Z’s CMO she leads their digital-first customer acquisition and marketing strategy.