Use this checklist as a starting point for your business. It covers everything you need. Check off all the items that apply to your business idea.
Think of a business idea you would like to pursue
Conduct research to validate that you have a feasible business opportunity
Do some planning—consider using the Business Model Canvas or writing a more formalized business plan
Consider meeting with a professional (lawyer, accountant, business consultant, mentor, etc.) who can offer business advice
Explore financing options
Choose a form of business structure: Sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Limited by Guarantee Company etc.
Register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
Determine a location for the business: Retail/office/commercial/industrial space or Home-based business
Apply for any required business licenses and permits (federal, state and/or industry-specific)
Learn about the various tax implications for your business (i.e. declaring revenue, deducting expenses, etc.). Your lawyer or accountant can advice you on this.
Determine which software you will be using to organize accounting and bookkeeping records for the year
Obtain a Tax Identification Number from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Set up a business bank account
Get a dedicated telephone number for the business
Acquire any commercial or business insurance you may need (e.g. fire, theft etc.)
Consider obtaining rights for intellectual property (Trademark, Copyright, Industrial design, Patent)
Develop marketing materials (e.g. logo, business cards, signage, digital graphics, etc.)
Understand all human resource requirements if you will be hiring employees (e.g. employment standards, completing payroll etc.)
Engage a lawyer to assist in drafting and reviewing any business contracts or other important agreements
Consider your payment processing system and which methods of payment you will be accepting (e.g. cash, cheque, credit card, debit card, etc.)
Purchase necessary equipment and materials (e.g. office supplies, tools, inventory, etc.)
Determine if you will be creating invoices and/or issuing receipts. Both are essential.
Organize and file all relevant business information, paperwork, and electronic files/data (retain any necessary records)
Secure a website domain name and associated email address, create a website, find a web hosting company, and acquire social media handles
Market and advertise your business to attract customers/clients
If you need a professional to hold your hand and walk you through the steps in this checklist,send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to help.