State And Government Requirements
Every state has different requirements for starting a small business. In some states, you may just need to file one or two simple forms and pay a small fee to launch your business. In other states, you may be required to provide more complex documents and obtain a business license or another type of license before you are able to start your small business. The Internal Revenue Service also will have requirements, including, in most cases, that you obtain a Tax Identification Number.
When you start a small business, you need to know what your liability may be, once you're in business. You can learn about your liability by talking with an attorney who specializes in business matters. Once you understand your potential liability, you can take steps with your attorney to protect yourself and your assets.
Most small businesses start out under capitalized. It's best if you know how much money you'll be able to invest so that you can plan your business budget accordingly. If you don't have a lot of money to invest, for example, you'll know that you can't invest in an expensive marketing campaign, and instead will want to focus on "Guerrilla Marketing" strategies.
One of the most important things any small business owner needs to know to start a small business is who your target market is and what it is that they want. Knowing this will help you to develop a brand that attracts your audience, devise marketing strategies that appeal to them, and even choose products and services that will meet their most pressing needs.
Many small business owners start their businesses without a plan, while others outsource the development and creation of their business plans. A business plan is a very useful tool that can help you foresee potential pitfalls in advance. If you outsource your business plan, make sure you know it inside out. If you're not familiar with your business and your plan, you may not be able to speak effectively to potential investors, clients and customers.
Odds And Ends
Some of the things you need to know about you business may be based on the particulars of your business. For example, if you're starting an online business, you'll need to know about domain names, websites and web hosting. If you're starting a retail store, you'll want to know about locations, leases and inventory.