You’re business savvy. You work hard and you’ve made the decision to start your own business. You know you’ve got what it takes. Successful people who have gone before you would be able to give you some really good advice. Here are some questions you might want to pose to successful entrepreneurs prior to getting started.
Should I incorporate?
That depends on some questions you should honestly ask yourself:
- What kind of personal tax incentives are there if I incorporate?
- Am I thinking this will be what I want to do for the long haul?
- Am I going to be the only owner or will I have investors and/or partners?
- What are the business advantages of incorporating?
- Are there any issues surrounding liabilities such as product or credit liability?
- Incorporating costs money: Is it worth it in the long run?
How should I pick a name?
Come up with a unique name but make sure it will stick in people’s minds and won’t be used by anyone else. Spending money on branding and marketing to find another company has a similar name is something you don’t want to encounter. Also, pick a name that is going to last through the years. Imaginative names that don’t mean anything in particular but that are memorable, like Xerox, are good choices. And you can never go wrong with a proper name – they’re always respectable.
Fashion a start-up checklist
Making a list and checking it twice will outline the steps you need to take to give your business formality. Include things you’ll have to do from the start:
- Registering your business
- Getting a business licence
- Checking zoning and land use (if it applies)
- Register for provincial sales tax
- Register for federal tax
- Get a business phone number
- Get business cards, letterhead, email address, a website, a computer(s), a bank account, advisors like a lawyer and accountant and so on
Successful entrepreneurs will tell you to relax. Be open to receiving advice and mentoring because doing it your way may not be the best way. Look at successful people – mirror them, study them and learn from them. They’ve already gone through what you’re about to go through.
Lastly, ask yourself: “why am I doing this?” Is your business based around something you love to do and are passionate about? Research and read. No learning, successful people will you, is ever wasted.