There are 32.5 million small businesses in the United States, and that number continues to rise. Small businesses are an essential part of our economy, generating jobs that employ over 48% of the private workforce in the country. If you have a great idea and want to pursue the dream of having your own business, here are a few important steps you should follow to increase your chances of success.

What Are the First Steps to Start a Business in North Carolina?

The first step to starting a business in North Carolina – or anywhere — is writing a business plan. Your business plan is like a roadmap, and it should help you address important aspects such as your business’s purpose, target market, funding requirements, location (physical or online), and marketing strategies.

Once you have a solid business plan in hand, you can start thinking about choosing a name for your business, and registering your business name with the state. This step is also important because this is when you will choose your business structure. There are many business structures to choose from – sole proprietorships, LLCs, corporations, and so on. The right business structure makes all the difference for your business.

Will I Need a Business License or Insurance to Operate in North Carolina?

The state of North Carolina does not have a single, universal business license, because licensing requirements vary depending on the type of business you are planning to start. Some businesses may only require a local license to operate, while others may need further licenses at a state or even federal level. Do your research and make sure you know what type of license your business may require.

You may also want to insure your business so you have some protection against any legal claims that may arise in the future. The type of insurance again depends on the nature and size of your business, but going into business without any insurance in place is risky.

How Should I Plan for Business Taxes?

The type of business structure you choose greatly affects how your business is taxed. Your business may have to pay sales and use taxes, employee withholding taxes, machinery and equipment taxes, and state or federal income taxes. It is best to consult a financial professional or a business attorney to understand how your business will be taxed and how to prepare for it.

How Can a Business Attorney Help?

These are just a few of the many important steps a business owner may go through to start their business. By consulting with a business attorney, you can get professional help to plan a successful business, get answers to your questions, and move forward with confidence. Davis Legal, PLLC, is here to help you with all your business start-up needs. Contact us for an initial consultation at 919-756-6437.