Business Plan – This formal statement defines the nature and scope of the business, outlines the goals and showcases the founder’s ideas and how they will be realized. Its purposes are to provide a road map for the venture and to attract investors and lenders.
Start-up Capital – This asks and answers the amount of capital necessary to start the business and keep it running until it becomes profitable. This could be anywhere from a few months to never reaching successful operation, but the plan should cover at least the first year. The plan must also cover resources for the capital and cover personal needs of the owner. If the owner depends upon profit immediately to survive, the chances for success are compromised.
Business Structure – This is the legal entity that best fits the owner’s needs, tax advantages, and exposure. The business could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability corporation, “C” or “S” corporation and each offers different tax advantages and levels of control. A professional can help a business owner understand each entity type and determine which is most financially advantageous.
Bookkeeping System – Every company needs a system of tracking income and expense, cash management, payroll, billing and collection procedures and so on. A professional can help determine the level of need and the most economical ways to fill those needs.
Applications and Licenses – This includes local licenses and permits specific to the business operations, as well as state and federal tax identification numbers.