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Tips for Starting a Business

I knew I wanted to write a blog about everything you need to know when starting a business… and as a result, I have been staring at my computer screen for an hour now. Then I reminded myself, what do I say to my clients when they feel overwhelmed? JUST GET STARTED!


So, since I’m the person to call when you start a business, let's get started!


Starting your own business can feel overwhelming.


Where do I start? What do I need to do? Do I need a business license? Do I need an entity? How much money do I need? These are all questions I get on a regular basis.


If you’re interested in starting your own business, here are a few “starting points”:


1. See an Attorney.


I know, I know, it seems self-serving, but seeing an attorney will give you direction. After a brief chat about your vision, I give my client a tailored to-do list. This is also one of the wonderful differences between having a local “real live” attorney versus using an online company. Your attorney is not only going to advise you on the big stuff (how you should set up your business, what licenses you need) but also on smaller practical matters, such as short and long term planning, efficiency, contractors versus employees, contracts, invoicing, collections and equally as important: what not to do. I sense a blog on this topic in the future. Stay tuned.


2. See an Accountant.


Unless you’ve spent countless hours (errr, years? Decades?) studying and understanding IRS code and their almost daily “love notes” (also known as Internal Revenue Rulings/Guidewire/etc.), it’s hard to know exactly how you should set up your entity. What nuances you need to watch out for Uncle Sam does not appreciate your jokes- I promise.


An accountant is going to help you make those decisions, as well as setting up other tax-related accounts. Most of all, an accountant should give you peace of mind.


3. Set a Budget.


This should be the first thing you do, however, an attorney and an accountant can help you tremendously with this item. It is almost always something my clients have not thought about enough.


I typically ask them to tell me a little about their budget and aside from an extremely rough idea (as in they thought about it in the shower or while brushing their teeth then forgot about it), they typically have no budget. I cannot stress how important having a practical budget is.


First, it gives you a road map. How much do you need to make to pay your bills?


Second, it allows you to find room to grow. How many MORE widgets will I need to sell to pay off my student loans in a year? Or purchase a house in 5 years? Budgets also allow you to do month-to-month comparisons with actual spending and will create red flags when your numbers don’t add up to projected numbers.


4. Have a Plan.


When I take a trip to a new place, I typically route the map on my phone. And, I print the directions. And I review them before I start on my trip. Business is much the same way. Route your course. Have a general idea as to how you get to your destination. Review the route regularly.


You may encounter some roadblocks and need to change course- that’s totally okay! If you know your destination though, rerouting won’t be a big deal. In fact, it may become the best thing that’s happened to you.


In the end, it comes down to just getting started- and calling someone who has experience with just that- getting started.


Let’s Talk! Call, text or email Rebecca at 843-801-4457 or Rebecca@epsteinhowelllaw.com.


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