Especially if you’re a first time entrepreneur, starting your own business can be quite overwhelming and it helps to know about the small business resources at your disposal.
After all, there are many rules from both an accounting and a legal perspective that need to be followed or you risk getting penalized by the government.
Sometimes unexpected problems or disputes will arise in which you will have no clue how to proceed. That is why it is essential to have an experienced professional available to consult with when things become complex.
At a bare minimum, you should find an accountant or a tax expert to help in preparing your initial business tax return even if you think you know what you are doing.
Small Business Startup Guide
Trust me. Even if you have a strong grasp of the tax rules, an experienced accountant can help you squeeze out that last bit of tax savings.
Many of the tax rules are ambiguous and you’ll need an experienced consultant to tell you what the limits are to avoid an audit. In addition, even though your business may be easy to run now, things will get more complicated as your business expands.
How To Find An Accountant
The best way to find an accountant is through a referral. When my wife and I first set out to find an accountant, we mistakenly went straight to a large accounting firm.
After an hour consultation and $350 later, we came out of the meeting feeling intimidated by all of the potential accounting fees and tax rules. We were also in such a rush to minimize the hourly fees that we forgot to address many of our questions.
Ultimately, the accountant that you go with should be someone that you feel comfortable with. If you come out of the consultation feeling scared and overwhelmed, then chances are that accountant is not a good fit for you.
It’s also important that you don’t feel like you are getting nickel and dimed as well.
We eventually found our accountant by contacting a friend who runs a small retail business. Not only was our new accountant cheaper, but he made us feel at ease with our tax strategy. Even better, he was easily accessible by phone at no additional charge.
Other Resources Mentioned In This Guide
This final section of the guide contains a bunch of resources that I either used or consulted with when forming our online wedding linens store.
- Trademark Issues – Go to the USPTO Website to make sure that your business name has not been taken or registered as a trademark in the federal database. Or you can go to CorpNet.com and have them do all of the work for you.
- Incorporating Your Business – Instead of hiring a lawyer, you can pay a small fee to a service like CorpNet and they will handle all of the paperwork for you. (Click on the link to get a FREE 20 minute consult and 10% off with coupon code:MWQHJ)
- Getting A FEIN – Simply go to the IRS Website and register your EIN in a matter of seconds online!
- Register Your DBA or Fictitious Business Name – Services like CorpNet.com will handle all of the necessary paperwork for a DBA at a very modest fee. Don’t waste your time doing it yourself. Just pay someone to do it. (Click on the link to get a FREE 20 minute consult and 10% off with coupon code:MWQHJ)
- Obtain All Business Specific Permits – If you are starting a business in California, then the CalGold Website is an excellent free resource. Otherwise you can pay for a service like CorpNet.com to find and register all of the necessary permits for you. (Click on the link to get a FREE 20 minute consult and 10% off with coupon code:MWQHJ)
- Small Business Taxes – There’s no better resource for tax rules than good ole IRS.gov. You can find all of the necessary tax forms online here as well.
- Doing Payroll – Filing payroll paperwork by yourself is a major pain in the butt. Instead, you should contract out your payroll to a third party service such as Intuit Online Payroll
- Bookkeeping – For your bookkeeping needs, you can’t go wrong with Quick Books Pro. I currently work for a 125 employee company and they still use Quick Books today.
- Getting Financing – The SBA or Small Business Administration is an organization that specializes in helping small businesses get financing. Check with your local SBA office for more information or go to www.sba.gov.
I hope that this small business startup guide has provided you with a guideline of what to expect when starting your own business. All of the rules and regulations can feel overwhelming at first, but there are a ton resources out there to help you on your journey.
If you have any specific questions regarding any aspect of starting your own business, feel free to drop me a line and I will try to help you out.
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If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.
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Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and MSNBC.
He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.
In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts.
To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.
Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.
23 thoughts on “Small Business Resources And Where To Find Help- The Ultimate Small Business Startup Guide Part 7”
Steve, every time I come to your website and read your posts, I can’t thank you enough for your time and effort sharing all these information.
Thank you so much
Thanks for the kind words and also thanks for supporting the blog. I really appreciate your comments!
I’m surprised that all of your tips have to do with operational elements of business and nothing at all to do with marketing your business.
We all know that “building a better mousetrap” is no longer enough, that you must ensure that the right people know about your mousetrap at the right time – when they are looking for a mousetrap! 🙂
To be successful in business you MUST be a master marketer – being a master at the operational and infrastructural elements, to me, is secondary, to having a great product/service and getting the word out about it.
You are correct. Being a master marketer is equally as important as the infrastructure and operational elements of a business….which incidentally is going to be the topic of my next guide. However, talking about and giving advice about marketing in general is a fuzzier topic which is why it will probably take me a bit longer to gather my thoughts on the topic. But thanks for your comment! Being successful is definitely a combination of both things
This is incredibly helpful, Steve. Thank you so very much! I’ve already passed the link onto one of my clients and I hope to tweet this tomorrow.
Hello, Steve! You have the most amazing and comprehensive website I’ve come across for people trying to start an online business. The amount of information you provide is unbelievable, and to top it off – you can actually understand it!!! Thank you sooooooo much! I truly wish you continued success in your endeavors, as I am sure you’ve helped hundreds of people achieve their goals!!!
Thank you for answering all my questions! You’ve given me hope that it’s possible.
Good article, but also makes it more obvious why so many businesses fail, too many hands in the till, seems like the government would do something to encourage start-ups rather than punish them with a sea of regulation and taxes.
Thanks for this great article. Really helped me start to understand the big picture of starting a business.
Steve thank you so much for all the information here. I don’t always leave a comment but I feel this way every time I finish reading or listening to your new posts. You have really put things in to perspective for me with this article. I have read most if not all your material and it is all very straight forward and I like that. You’re an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Great material! I’d like you and your community to be aware that the US Small Business Administration makes free business consulting available to ANYONE starting a business. Before going out on my own, I was a paid certified small business consultant with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). These are NOT volunteers like SCORE (which is another good resource), but professionally trained folks who can help you from start-up to growth. Here is a link to find an office in your area. And, it is FREE!
My dear friend Steve,
This is a fantastic blog! I can’t say enough here as to how much I appreciate it. However, I am commenting from a faraway country and “I need your HELP.” Please contact me through the email address I have provided you above. I won’t say much as this is a public forum. I do apologize if it causes you any inconvenience. Please do understand. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.
Thank you Steve for the great information! It is very helpful!
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