Keep detailed records of the value of your office or store's contents off-premises. Include photos of equipment plus copies of sales receipts, operating manuals and anything else that proves what you purchased and how much was paid. That way, in case of a fire, flood or other disaster, you can prove what was lost. It's also important to be able to prove your monthly income so you are properly reimbursed if you have to close down temporarily.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business, 2nd edition: The Only Start-Up Guide You'll Ever Need