As of 2015, 9.1 million business in the United States were owned by women, 2.9 million of which are owned by women of color. These businesses generate $1.4 trillion dollars in sales. This has been a huge increase from years past. So basically, women are kicking butt in business! More women than ever are striking out on their own.
Are you one of them? Obviously, you’re not alone, so I want to help you get started.
1. Narrow in on your idea
Get clear on your vision. What do you want to bring to the world with your business? What are you dreaming to do with your life? The more specific you can get, the better. You don’t necessarily have to write a business plan at this point, but you should know exactly what you want to do with your business.
2. Come up with a name
You need an official business name in order to legally start a business. This name will be on your legal paperwork, on any business bank accounts or credit cards you open, and on your tax forms. You’ll probably also use it on your website and other public platforms. So make sure you like it! Also, try to choose a business name isn't too long, complicated, or difficult to spell.
3. Decide what kind of entity you want to be
There are a few options to choose from: limited liability company (LLC), sole proprietorship, or a corporation (from here, you can choose from an S corp or a C corp).
Do your research and see which would work best for you. For most small businesses, I recommend opting for an LLC. Being an LLC protects your personal assets if anyone takes legal action against you as a business owner. Make sure the name you choose reflects what your business is meant to do. And make sure you’ll feel proud and excited to introduce your business to strangers.
4. Register your business
Once you have a business name you want to go online and register your business. You may need to pay about $200 up front. That initial fee is then owed again every two years in most states (some states require this fee to be paid annually). These rules and fees can vary by state and type of business, so do your research.
You may also consider hiring a registered agent, who will serve as the recipient of any legal documents for your business. If someone decided to sue you, the paperwork would be served to your registered agent, who would make sure it got to you. This ensures you won’t miss any important paperwork if you move, etc. You can get registered agent for as cheap as $49 annually.
5. Open a business bank account
It’s very important to separate your business finances from your personal finances. This helps with planning, taxes, and tracking expenses. I would recommend that you open at least one savings account for your business as well. Get one for taxes and one for regular expenses. It’s important to have backup money for your business, just like you would for your personal expenses.
There are many banks to choose from. Fees and perks vary. If you’re looking for an account that doesn’t have fees, check out this list.
Once you choose a bank, bring your licensing documents with you. You’ll need them to open the account. You’ll also need an employer identification number, which you can get really easily register for online.
6. Register as a woman-owned business
As of now, the federal government is required to contract with a certain percentage of women-owned businesses. You can even apply for specific grants or contracts because you’re a woman who owns a business. But in order to qualify for all these things, you first have to register your business as woman-owned.
To be honest, I haven’t found this to be a very straightforward process, and I haven’t registered my business as such just yet. But if you’re interested in doing it for yours, find more information at the Small Business Administration. (And if you figure out how to make it happen, let me know!)
7. Now, get started!
I know you’re probably thinking something like “I’ll start my business later, when I’m ready.” Or “I’ll start my business when I’m more confident or more of an expert.” The excuses probably go on for days! I know they did for me. But the truth is, you’ll never be fully ready to take a leap and do something brave like starting a business.
There’s no such thing as perfection, and you only get really good at something once you’re actually doing it. So start writing blog posts, start soliciting clients. Put yourself out there! Don’t hold yourself back out of fear. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
Hello and Welcome! Proluxx is a Finance, Budgeting, and Self Development blog. Our mission is to educate, motivate, and inspire as many individuals to gain financial peace and financial freedom through budgeting, investing, and side businesses. Hope you enjoy our content and leave a comment even if it is just to say hello!