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Should I Start a Business Despite Heavy Personal Debt?

I want to start a new venture but have little money and a good amount of debt. Should I go for it? I'm young, don't have children, have a mediocre paying job, don't own a thing, and it would take me years to pay off my debts given my current job. I really don't want to be stuck in my current profession and am eager to start this venture before someone with a similar idea tests the waters. If this becomes a viable venture, it may be my ticket out of debt and a free-flowing and creative new venture and lifestyle.
Ryan Himmel answered January 12, 2011
The answer to your question really depends on your specific situation and how much research and preparation you have already done to determine the viability of the venture. If you simply just have an idea that you believe will work, but you lack the data or experience that would bear it out, then you are not ready to launch. There are many elements that go into starting a business and execution plays a significant role in the success or failure of the venture.

But if you have done a significant amount of market research, have a team in place, prospective customers, interested investors and experience, then the timing may be right even though you are carrying debt.

You should be as informed and prepared as possible to start this venture. Even if it doesnÂ’t work, you want to be able to say that you left nothing on the table and gave it your best shot by making the smartest decision at the time.

I hope you find this guidance helpful and good luck with your decision.

Ryan Himmel, CPA and registered securities analyst, is the founder and CEO of, a professional network for small businesses and entrepreneurs to obtain trusted advice and services from a team of CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Financial Planners & Tax Attorneys.  His team provides answers to the many finance and tax questions that small businesses encounter every day. Ryan has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fox Business and Crain's New York, among other publications. Ryan also regularly contributes to the community with his finance and tax blog.