Free Gift Basket Business Online Learning Guide

Business To-Do List

Business To-Do List when Starting a Gift Basket Business

 

When starting a new business whether it’s going to be a small business or a home business, there’s a progression of steps you should follow.

When starting a new business whether it's going to be a small business or a home business, there's a progression of steps you should follow. If you’re a small business and will be applying for a business loan, these steps need to be taken to place you in the best possible position for obtaining a business loan.

 

 

 

Establish a Business Location and Business Identity
Decide on what address you’ll use for your business location. Your business address will be used in public documents, so many home businesses use a mailbox rental location, as this gives you a street address to use as a home business location. Make sure the address you decide to designate as your business address, is used on everything associated with your business – business documents, applications, bank accounts, business cards, billing address, magazine subscriptions, catalogs, etc.

 

Decide on Your Business Legal Structure
A business accountant or CPA can advise you on the best legal structure for your particular business, as your choice in business entity can have significant tax implications. A business entity will clearly separate your personal assets, credit and debt from your personal credit. Most businesses will establish themselves as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

The most common business structures are:

  • C Corporation
  • S Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Limited Partnership (LP)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Professional Corporation or PLLC

 

BizFilings is an online incorporation provider  of choice for more than 500,000 small businesses across the United States. BizFilings’ expert staff, step-by-step processes, and no hidden fees policy allow small business owners to form a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or other business structure with confidence. BizFilings also offers a full range of business filing and compliance products, including Registered Agent services in all 50 states equipped with knowledgeable staff and tools to help businesses remain in compliance with state regulations. You can visit BizFilings online or contact their Customer Care team at 800-981-7183.


Get Your Tax ID Number

Just as each individual has a social security number, each business has a Tax ID, UBI number and/or EIN. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a
Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. The IRS offers a good explanation of an EIN in this .pdf.  If your state taxes personal services, or if you’re required to collect sales taxes on your sales, you need a federal tax ID number. All government forms you’ll be required to file for your business will require either a Social Security number or a tax ID number. If you answer ‘YES’ to any of these questions – you need an EIN. Your Local Revenue office can also confirm if you’ll need an EIN number. All businesses with employees will need an EIN. For Small Business Self Employed and Independent Contractor, specific small business tax information. You’ll use your Tax number to open your business bank account and build your business credit profile. Apply for a business EIN online through the IRS site, the process is quick and simple. To establish business credit without a personal guarantee you must have an EIN. Business credit is tracked using your business  name, business address and employer identification number.


Establish a Business Telephone Number

Business phone that travels with you Set up a dedicated phone number for your business. If you use a cell phone (either a phone plan such as Sprint or Verizon or a prepaid phone) be sure you enter into an arrangement where you’ll always be able to keep that phone number. You don’t want to have to change your business phone number in a couple of years … it should stay with you always. Be sure the phone billing address is under your business name with your business address.

There’s one virtual phone system  that’s super affordable, gives you an 800 number, and allows you to take your business to the next level. You come across as a professional company – even though you might be a home business. Be sure and read their FAQ and Features.


Open a Business Bank Account

Open a business checking account using your exact legal business name and address. Consider opening a business bank account with an online bank. Online banking offers quite a few perks, so be sure to compare rates and benefits with each. If you find an online bank you want to go with – check to see if they have a brick-and-mortar business as well. A local bank is important in relationship establishing and getting information that can’t be obtained online. If it’s important to you to know there’s a real person you can sit down with if you need to, then an online-only bank may not be the best choice for you.

After opening a business bank account, contact the bank customer service department two to three business days after opening the account. Call them during traditional business hours to confirm the account was properly opened and everything is in order.


Apply For and Obtain Required Local and Permits

Depending on the address of your business, you may be required to obtain city, county and/or state business licenses. In addition, certain business types will also require a permit.

You’ll want to check your states’ Department of Revenue and determine if your business type requires a specific license or permit.

 

Alabama Dept of Revenue
Alaska Dept of Revenue
Arizona Dept of Revenue
Arkansas Dept of Finance & Administration
California Franchise Tax Board
Colorado Dept of Revenue
Connecticut Dept of Revenue
Delaware Division of Revenue
District of Columbia Office of CFO
Florida Dept of Revenue
Georgia Dept of Revenue
Hawaii Dept of Taxation
Idaho State Tax Commission
Illinois Dept of Revenue
Indiana Dept of Revenue
Iowa Dept of Revenue and Finance
Kansas Dept of Revenue
Kentucky Dept of Revenue
Louisiana Dept of Revenue and Taxation
Maine Bureau of Taxation
Maryland Controller of the Treasury
Massachusetts Dept of Revenue
Michigan Dept of the Treasury
Minnesota Dept of Revenue
Mississippi State Tax Commission
Missouri Dept of Revenue

Montana Dept of Revenue
Nebraska Dept of Revenue
Nevada Dept of Taxation
New Hampshire Dept of Revenue
New Jersey Division of Taxation
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Dept
New York State Dept of Taxation and Finance
North Carolina Dept of Revenue
North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner
Ohio Dept of Taxation
Oklahoma Tax Division
Oregon Dept of Revenue
Pennsylvania Dept of Revenue
Rhode Island Business
South Carolina Dept of Revenue
South Dakota Dept of Revenue
Tennessee Dept of Revenue
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Utah State Tax Commission
Vermont Dept of Taxes
Virginia Dept of Taxation
Washington State Dept of Revenue
West Virginia Dept of Tax and Revenue
Wisconsin Dept of Revenue
Wyoming Dept of Revenue

 

Establish Your Internet Presence
For any business, it doesn’t matter whether you’re selling a product or service, you should have an initial Internet website. Start small, and expand it as your business grows. For a service business (such as a daycare or dog-walking) a one or two page website is perfectly OK as a start. A service business website at the minimum, should include this information: About the Company, Services and Rates, Contact Info. If you’ll be selling a product, then more thought will need to go into it.

The most important element of your website will be the e-commerce piece – the method you’ll use to accept credit card payments, and using a dependable shopping cart program.

HostingCT.com is a woman-owned company offering web hosting, domain name registration, website design and SEO services. Established for over 15 years, they will give you fair pricing and personal customer service. You may want to visit HostingCT.com online or contact them directly via phone at 888-288-7162 ask for Paula.


Get a Dun & Bradstreet Number and Establish a Business Credit Profile

D&B (NYSE: DNB) is the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. They help small business owners position their companies as financially stable and creditworthy. A strong D&B business credit file can help your business when negotiating payment terms or seeking sources of financing. Dun & Bradstreet is the largest tracker of business credit. You’ll want to apply for a  D-U-N-S number which is a nine-digit identification for your business. You can apply for a D-U-N-S number online, and in most cases it will be issued within five business days.

Your D-U-N-S number can definitely be a valuable asset to your business as it enables customers, suppliers and lenders to find you and learn about your company. Keep in mind, that all information you give D&B may end up in your credit profile. All information reported to D&B will be public information. You don’t have to reveal ‘everything’ to D&B, because any financial information you list with them will be available to your business competitors to view.

You’ll want to have your business entity established and have your EIN. The D-U-N-S number is how lenders will determine your business credit worthiness (most business credit card and loan & grant companies will ask for your D&B number during the application process).


Apply for and Establish Business Credit

A logical place to start is with your local or trade vendors such as office supply stores. If you have a business that orders supplies of parts from companies on a regular basis, check with them and ask if they’re reporting your payment history to one of the credit bureaus, and specifically Dun & Bradstreet. If they don’t report to D&N, ask them if they will. If they won’t / don’t report your payment history to D&B, then you should create a trade reference sheet with at least three references. Include their name, contact information and credit limits. Use to augment your official business credit report. Open a business credit card in the name of your business, keep your balance low and pay always before the due date.

When you apply for business credit – use your EIN and D-U-N-S numbers only. Don’t use your social security number as you want to build your business credit under your business EIN number. It’s best to apply for new business credit sparingly, don’t apply for several accounts at one time.

Once you have business accounts in good standing, be sure to add them to your Dun & Bradstreet business credit profile.

 

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