12 Months to Startup

Month 3: Choose a business, a location and its structure, and name it.

Gather books and other resources related to your respective business, i.e. "How to Open & Operate a. . . ." Use this material to determine how to best make your business real. Ponder how well a home office space will professionally accommodate your business choice. Then check out local home business zoning ordinances, so you can comply.

Your legal structure can make a big difference in how you pay taxes, handle lawsuits, or dissolve or pass on the business. Will you operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company? Seek advice from a professional on how to pick the structure that'll best manage your liabilities.

An effective name will establish your marketplace presence, convey what you do, and create a memorable impression. Thumb through phone books, DBA filings, directories and The Trademark Register of the United Statesto research names already in use or similar to yours. Determine if your chosen name has an available domain name for your future Web site, and reserve it. Be sure to choose a name that you can live and grow with.

Resource Guide

  • Read Space Questfor hints on assessing your new home office space.
  • Conduct a free trademark search on NameProtect.com.Search through federal trademarks, Canadian and European trademarks, domain names and company names.
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