A 5-Point Checklist for New Startups

Board with sticky notes

Watching your business idea come to life can be both exciting and nerve wracking. While it means being able to chase after your passion, with it comes the grueling process of government papers and administrative work. Not to mention, building a team and figuring out your operations can be a challenge — especially given how more and more companies like Google are going for remote work setups. Will you do the same? Or will you opt for a more traditional, in-office type of setup?

 The process of figuring out what will work for you and your startup is crucial. The right planning, however, can make the process much easier as you will be able to avoid potential hurdles. You will also have a better idea of what you need. Here’s a quick checklist to help you out:

Create a business plan 

A sound and realistic business plan is the basis of a successful business. In your plan, you’ll outline your goals, how to reach them, and potential problems and solutions. Through this, you’ll be able to determine if there’s a market for your business, costs and input needed, and strategies and timelines that need to be met. Lack of proper planning, according to Investopedia, is one of the leading causes of business failure. That said, it’s important to meticulously plan out your business — and make sure you follow through with it.  

Check out your finances 

Startups are expensive to get off the ground. Before putting all your funds into your startup, figure out how much capital you need and where your capital can come from — be it a bank loan or investor. It’s also wise to overestimate your capital to avoid the hassle of unexpected costs, as well as the ability to survive through the first few profitless months of business.

 Additionally, it’s important to watch your finances carefully, especially as you begin the initial steps of legitimizing your business. Government permits and leasing issues are just a few of the costs you’ll incur before business even picks up. 

 Assess your legal business structure 

Your business structure will legally affect everything — from how you file your taxes to your personal liability if something goes wrong. Sole proprietorship and partnerships have more relaxed tax requirements with more personal liability, while corporations are the opposite.

 One of the most common structures for budding startups is the limited liability corporation (LLC). This is because it’s a hybrid structure that has the legal protections of a corporation with the tax benefits of a partnership. The process is also simple, though it varies by state. A ZenBusiness guide to starting an LLC in California emphasizes how it can be done in six quick steps, from naming the LLC to creating an operating agreement and registering an Employer ID Number (EIN). The flexibility of how one can pay tax as an LLC is one of it’s most attractive features but ultimately, it’s up to you to determine which type of entity is best for your current needs and future business goals.

Register with the government 

Registering your startup with the government is the first step towards making it official. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, if your business structure is an LLC, corporation, or partnership, you will need to register your business by getting a registered agent and providing your business name, location, and business structure. By starting with a proper legal foundation, your startup will have fewer hiccups to worry about in the long run.  

Find a place to work 

A startup can grow easier when you have a solid place to work — and surrounded by a community that can help you move forward. As traditional office spaces can be costly for your startup, you can consider coworking spaces instead (once the pandemic has passed). After all, big businesses today such as Instagram, Uber, and Spotify all grew from coworking spaces.

This is also perfect given the trend of today’s workplace, as coworking spaces allow for a hybrid of remote and ‘in-office’ work. For instance, startup owners can make their onboarding processes easier by meeting and working with each other at least twice a week, while working remotely on other days. Promoting flexibility and a great work-life balance, coworking spaces are perfect for budding startup owners who want to train remote workers in-person or handle typical processes like onboarding or having meetings. 

By going for coworking spaces in Santa Barbara, we’ll help your growing startup by connecting you with like-minded individuals to turn your vision into a successful company. Call us at (805) 966-3722 today to learn more about our coworking community.

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