Starting a Home-Based Business Checklist

Starting a Home-Based Business Checklist

Now that you’ve decided to start a home-based business service, you’re excited and love to think about setting your own schedule, naming your business, selecting a cool looking logo — the fun stuff right? And then maybe the overwhelm hits because there are so many things to think about. To that end, here’s a checklist — not in any order because everyone has his/her own process — of tasks you want to complete before you go live with your business:

    1. Business Plan: – Many don’t want to take the time to think about their mission, goals and objectives, but really it’s the process of answering these tough questions that is the benefit. The Marketing Plan portion of the Business Plan forces you to figure out how to get clients in a concrete way, and without them you don’t have a business. The Financial Plan section helps you determine if your rate for services and forecasted revenue will bring you the level of income you need as well as determine your break even point. After completing your plan honestly, you’ll be able to tell if your business vision is viable.

    1. Legal Structure: – Many choose the default legal structure for their business, which is a sole-proprietorship. It’s the simplest and requires the least amount of work to combine your business with your personal taxes. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is worth considering, however, and is just a tad more difficult while protecting your family assets. Other options that you’ll want to research include partnerships and corporations of various types.

    1. Business Name: – Choosing the name of your business is fun and you’ll want to take into account how your business will be branded: by your name or a company name. Research if the name you want is available as a domain name, ideally one that matches your business name. Additionally make sure that the assumed business name is not taken on your state’s Secretary of State’s website.

    1. Legal Considerations: – Check your city, state, and county for government license requirements and laws. It takes a little time to research this, but then you’ll feel confident that you are compliant.

    1. Bank Account: – In an effort not to co-mingle personal and business funds, do set up a separate business account. Most likely you’ll want to get a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the IRS first, which is simple. Determine your legal structure before opening a bank account so that you won’t have to do this process twice.

    1. Services and Contracts: – In your Marketing Plan of your Business Plan, you will have determined what services to offer. In this area sometimes less is more because by forming a niche that you specialize in, you’ll attract specific clients (ideal clients) with whom you want to work. Start with an excellent boiler plate contract and over time you’ll tailor it to your unique business.

  1. Marketing Materials: – You’ll want business cards of course. Whether you’ll need brochures might depend on whether you’re networking online or in person. Often, business cards with a link to your website will suffice early on. Your Marketing Plan will determine other aspects of how you will get the word out about your business.


Sujatha was named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review. She is currently a senior creative content strategist at Oracle Marketing Cloud. She is also a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing. She provided informative articles on various topics like Business, Marketing & Advertising, Conference & Summits, Finance, and Investment & Insurance

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