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									                     Business Start-Up Checklist
                                     Short check list

Note: This business start-up checklist is a general approach and other specialized
businesses may require additional steps. This business start-up checklist may be
distributed after the first counseling session to clients that need a structured approach
for business start up.

   1. Business plan

   2. Business structure and business vision

   3. Monthly reoccurring costs

   4. Cash flow

   5. Funding sources

   6. Research competitors

   7. Business name

   8. Business mailing address

   9. Incorporate

   10. Internal revenue ID number

   11. Register copyrights

   12. Apply for patent

   13. Banking set up

   14. Licensing required

   15. Business Insurance

   16. Required notices of your intent to do business in the community

   17. Accounting

   18. Business accounting software

19. Web site

20. Establish communications

21. Human Resource requirements

22. Business cards and stationery

23. Purchase equipment or supplies

24. Sales literature

25. Yellow Pages

26. Execute your marketing plan

27. Exit plan

                     Business Start-Up Checklist
                                     Detailed check list

Note: This business start-up checklist is a general approach and other specialized
businesses may require additional steps. This business start-up checklist may be
distributed after the first counseling session to clients that need a structured approach
for business start up.

   1. Build a business plan (SCORE offers a CD with a template business plan). You
       can also print out industry specific business plans as a guide. (See receptionist
       for details) You can obtain templates at SCORE Omaha web site

   2. Decide your business structure and business vision. Example: store front (lease
       location), internet business only, both store front and internet, work from home,
       employees, contractors, etc.

   3. Identify monthly reoccurring costs (fixed costs), one-time costs and projected
       income (revenue). If there is a gap between fixed cost and one-time costs versus
       projected revenue, identify funding requirements (cash or loans to cover the gap
       between expenses and income for two years minimum).

   4. From Item 3 identify cash flow. How many months until you are break even or
       profitable? Prepare a pro-forma (projected sales forecast into the future) 6-12
       months and if possible 2 years. Will your business profit finance your business,
       identify the months that you are short of funds, etc.?

   5. Identify funding sources as banks, relatives, investors, cash, grants, etc.

   6. Research competitors in similar businesses. What are their prices, programs,
       web site, advertising, etc?

7. Choose a business name (trade name) – You can research corporate names
   though the NE secretary of state SCORE Omaha website. You may research
   using Google for any names that are already used or similar in your industry. Is
   your business conducted in the state, U.S. or international? Design a company
   logo if used with company name.

8. Establish a business mailing address. This may be your home address whether
   the business is located there (home) or you establish a business location (store-
   front or office). Decide your business location requirements, lease, build-outs
   (interior construction). Check for zoning laws for your home or external location.
   If you want to use your business location (external to your home) for all business
   correspondence this will require a lease or purchase of a location. The decision
   to plan for no future expansion or a future expansion needs to be in your
   business plan. Plan your lease requirement based upon your plan.

9. Apply to the state for a business name (application for reservation of corporate
   name or trademark) John A Gale, Secretary of State, room 1301, State Capital,
   P.O. box 94608, Lincoln, NE 68509, fee $30.00, the name is good for 120 days.
   You can file the forms with the state yourself or an attorney can perform this for
   you. For national or international name reservation it will entail a difference
   process then from the state. An attorney can perform this national or international
   name reservation for you. SCORE Omaha website

10. Incorporate: Choose type of incorporation (C, S, LLC, etc.). You can file the
   forms with the state yourself or an attorney can perform this for you. Corporate
   fee schedule for Nebraska link below SCORE Omaha website

11. Internal revenue ID number: SS4. A Federal Employer Identification Number
   (FEIN) from the IRS will be necessary to open a bank account or process payroll.

   Call 1-800-829-3676. IRS forms and publications can be downloaded from link:
   SCORE Omaha website

12. Register copyrights (Text, company tag line, etc.)

13. Apply for patent if you will be marketing an invention.
   Google patent search

14. Banking set up: You will need your IRS corporate federal identity number.
   Corporate checking, credit card, credit card processing, etc. Banks generally
   require your corporate charter and incorporation documents. Some companies
   have a bank line of credit (LOC) for the business. A bank may require a personal
   guarantee for the business LOC.,,id=102767,00.html

15. Licensing required: Industry license, business license, permits, state tax
   collection – NE state application form 20, NE resale certificate (sales tax),
   professional license, certificate of occupancy (generally a certificate of
   occupancy is not required when a business is conducted in a commercial
   building that already has a general certificate of occupancy). , bonding, federal
   permits, state licenses, etc.

16. Business Insurance: liability, equipment, internal construction, etc. Get adequate
   business insurance or a business rider to a homeowner's policy.
       a. Business Owners – Comprehensive insurance policy that provides a broad array of
          coverage tailored to meet the needs of small-business owners. Liability and Property
          coverage as well as coverage for loss of business income are included to meet the basic
          business insurance requirements.
       b. General Liability – The main insurance that protects your business against lawsuits from
          bodily injury claims, advertising claims, and/or property damage. This is commonly known
          as Commercial General Liability (CGL). There are many kinds of liability insurance that
          meet your specific needs, such as professional liability and product liability.

      c.   Property – Covers your building and/or business personal property in the event of a loss,
           such as fire, lightning or windstorm.
      d. Automobile – Insurance that covers vehicles used in the course of doing business -
           whether it's a fleet or an individual vehicle. This should include liability, collision,
           comprehensive, medical payments and coverage for uninsured motorist. Make sure the
           policy has the business name and not your own if the vehicle is company owned.
      e. Workers Compensation – Coverage that protects your employees by providing benefits
           for job-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage includes medical and rehabilitation
           costs and lost wages for the injured employee and is mandatory in most states, per
           individual state statutes.

17. Order any required notices of your intent to do business in the community.

18. Accounting: Select a CPA firm for taxes or help in setting up an accounting
   system (QuickBooks, etc.), estimated quarterly taxes, payroll taxes, W2’s,
   unemployment taxes, etc.

19. Business accounting software: Many small businesses use QuickBooks for
   accounting and payroll. You will need a business computer or use your personal
   computer to start. Business computer you can depreciate or show as an

20. Web site: You can build your own web site with services like Intuit web site or
   have a professional web site design your site. The web site designer you choose
   should have marketing experience and be able to provide web advertising (as
   Google Adwords or other services), submit you web site to search engines
   (Google, etc.) and monitor marketing results. You will need a web site that you
   can update yourself with text and graphics as needed.

21. Establish communications: telephone number, answering system (internal with
   service provider), internet access, and email. Possibly a toll free number (not
   very expensive).

22. Human Resource requirements: If you have employees you will need to
   accommodate payroll, payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, insurance benefits,
   employee manual, employment verification, etc. If you have employees, call the
   Department of Labor to determine labor laws if you have employees. Apply for
   employer identification number if you will have employees. Find out about
   workers' compensation if you will have employees. An accountant can help you
   with employee reporting.

23. Have business cards and stationery printed. Include your business address,
   telephone number, fax number Email address and web address.

24. Purchase equipment or supplies, order inventory, order signage (including store
   front-outside), order fixtures, furniture, etc. Remember that used office furniture
   or equipment may be a way of saving start up money.

25. Have sales literature prepared (PDF or glossy)

26. Call for information about Yellow Pages (or other directory service) advertising if
   needed (can be an expensive monthly cost, but may be necessary.

27. Execute your marketing plan (section in the business plan) for products, services,
   pricing, promotion, advertising, business launch, publicity releases, etc.

28. Exit plan: You need to include an exit plan within your business plan. The exit
   plan would include some thoughts as in the following. If a partnership, spell out in
   writing how the business would be dissolved. If one partner wanted out, a
   divorce or if the unthinkable would happen and one were to die. You don't want
   an unexpected partner. Buy insurance on each other for such a tragedy.


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