This is not a comprehensive list but merely a list of suggestions from a variety of sources.

Download: How to start a business checklist

Starting a New Business

  1. List the reasons you wish to start a new business.
  2. Identify the niche the business will fill and answer the following questions:
  • What services or products will you offer?
  • Will your business fill a need?
  • Is the idea practical?
  • What companies will your business compete with?
  • What advantages will your business provide that others do not?
  • Is there an existing demand for your business?
  • What skills and experience do you have that are relevant to your business?
  • What equipment and supplies will you need?
  • What types of insurance do you need?
  • What will your company’s legal structure look like?
  • How will you maintain business records?
  • How will you generate a profit?
  • What financial or loan resources do you have and what will you need?
  • Where will your business be located?
  • Do I want to earn more money? Will this business earn more from the beginning or do I need to be prepared to initially earn less?
  • Am I looking for more flexibility in my work and family schedule? Will this business allow me to work the schedule I desire?
  1. Write a business plan, including profit and loss projections, cash flow analysis and capital requirements? Determine pricing strategy for your products or services. Define your long term and short term goals.
  2. Choose your team of professional advisors, i.e. accountant, attorney, insurance broker, real estate agent etc. Check with your local Small Business Development Center, SCORE Chapter, the Small Business Administration, Economic Development Director, local Chamber of Commerce, trade associations are all good resources.
  3. Register your business name with the appropriate, city, state and/or federal agencies? Sole Proprietors, general partnerships and unincorporated nonprofit associations are registered with the Colorado Secretary of State online.
  4. Have I checked with city and county government authorities regarding any special business regulations, sales taxes, personal property taxes and zoning restrictions that affect my business?
  5. If your business will have employees, you must open federal, state and local wage withholding and payroll tax accounts. File Form CR100 with the Colorado Department of Revenue. File Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, with the Internal Revenue Service by mail, fax or phone. Obtain workers compensation insurance from a private insurance carrier, an independent insurance agent.
  6. If your business will be selling, renting or leasing tangible personal property you must obtain the proper sales tax licenses from local and state agencies.
  7. Are there special licenses required for the business you are starting? If you need industry specific information contact SBDC Small Business Hotline 303-592-5920. They have information on federal, state and local licensing requirements.
  8. Have you protected your ideas, products symbols, logos through proper registration such as Trademarks, Copyrights or Patents?
  9. Open a Business Account