12 Months to Startup

Month 7: Work through the startup paperwork maze.

Visit your city's "first- or one-stop" business center-you can usually find it through the government listings in your phone book or through your local chamber of commerce. These offices can provide information about licensing, permits, your particular business type, and running a local business in general. Find more information at your local library in Gale's National Directory of State Business Licensing and Regulation. You can also learn about other laws that may affect you from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission; the agency offers hundreds of free business publications.

Learn how to set up your books through free programs and resources offered by Uncle Sam. Request a copy of Small Business Resource Guide-CD 2000 (publication 3207) by calling (800) 829-3676. Sign up for the IRS's Small Business Tax Education Program(STEP) online.

You should also speak with an experienced insurance agent about purchasing a business owner's policy (BOP) and additional coverage that will protect you against lawsuits and natural disasters.

Resource Guide

  • Visit our Tax Centerfor all the tips, tools and resources you need to comply with Uncle Sam, including paying your taxes online.
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Barbara Corcoran on Risk-Taking, Failure and How to Get Back Up

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