Mindset. Goal. Action.

How to set up the business basics

Many people get so excited and wrapped up in starting a business that they might forget logistics such as costs of running a business, paying taxes, setting up a legal entity, obtaining insurance, protecting intellectual property rights, creating terms and conditions and privacy policy documentation, and getting paid to complete the process of getting started.

Once you have laid down a foundation for your business that you can build on, an important step is to get down to the nuts and bolts of starting a business. Here are eight things you have to do to set up your business.

Figure out Costs. It doesn’t have to take a great deal of money to start a small business, but there’s usually some investment, and you’ll have to figure out where that money will come from. Costs include things like licenses and permits, legal fees, insurance, marketing, rents or rental fees, event funding, and so on. Create a spreadsheet and brainstorm every single expense you might need.

Set up a Legal Entity. Your business needs to exist as a legal entity. Setting up this part of your business depends on the location where it’s based. Each country and municipality has its own rules for doing this. Part of this step is choosing an official name for your business.

Paying Taxes. Depending on where you set up your business, you’d need to have a plan in place for paying taxes; it can include setting up a tax ID. You’ll need to add filing taxes into your business operations and outsource to a specialist if necessary.

Take Care of Insurance. You’ll have insurance liabilities you’ll need to take care of, such as business premises and any staff that you employ. For a service like coaching or consulting, make sure you have insurance against professional negligence.

Intellectual Property Rights. Secure intellectual property rights over any products you develop and any content you create.

Terms and Conditions. Write out your Terms and Conditions or Terms of Service and prominently display them on your website and other important materials. These should cover areas such as ordering, pricing, delivery, returns and refunds, risk, and confidentiality. Include everything your customer needs to know before buying from you.

State your privacy policy. Write a statement that tells customers how you protect and use their data. Include all the data you gather, store, or manage; it’s an important legal requirement. Regulations are getting progressively stricter, and consumers are increasingly aware of privacy issues, especially when dealing with companies online.

Get paid. Figure out how you’ll get paid for your products and services and set everything up you’ll need for taking payments.

It’s easy to overlook these logistics so be sure to include them on your to-do list as you plan and prepare to launch your business, regardless of what you’re starting.

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