8 Steps to Start Your Small Business

Once I got my prototype done, I felt I have done all that is required to start a business. Oh boy, Was I wrong? Yes, 100%. What looked like a huge mountain was just a step towards that mountain!. Sigh! Building your own business from the ground up is an exciting opportunity, but it can also be challenging. Below is the must-have checklist for starting a business. There may be additional requirements depending on the type and size of the company.  

  • Choose a Business Name
  • Website( Domain Name and Hosting)
  • Trademark
  • Register the Business 
  • Open Business Bank Account
  • Federal and State Tax ID or EIN Number(Employee Identification)
  • Business Structure 
  • Business License (Business Tax Certificate)
  • Seller permit (If collecting Sales Tax)

Choose a Business Name

Choosing the right business name is important. It's not easy to find one. Business name some interdependencies. One is Domain name. The second one is a Trademark. If you choose a name, you need to create a domain name right away. The next thing you do is protect your business name (trademark). If you find the name you love, you need to check if the domain name exists. If it's available, you are the luckiest one out there! Run with it. I named my business as Vimaneaa. No one understood what it was or how to pronounce. Gosh! Finally, I name my company as Pretty Pokets. How did I find that name? looong story.

Website/store for your business

 Once you have your business name, it's best to buy the domain name and hosting for the domain. You can capture what you are learning like I do until the product arrives!


Protecting your business name is important. Trademark costs you around $225, and it's non-refundable. Once you file a trademark it takes up to 3 months for the examiner to look into it. You can find out all about Trademark on USPTO Website

Register the Business 

Register your business to make it a distinct legal entity. How and where you need to register depends on your business structure and business location. For DBA you need to apply at the County Clerk's office. For LLC you need to file with the Secretary of State's office. For DBA you pay around $40, and then you have to publish your business in a local paper which could cost you $30. For LLC and other registrations, the fees will be higher. You have to pay the registration fee every five years.

Open Business Bank Account

It's important to separate your personal and business transactions. Make sure to choose the business account which is appropriate for you. There is a checklist of things that you need to understand before you open a business bank account. I need to prepare a spreadsheet.

Federal and State Tax ID 

Your state tax ID and federal tax ID numbers, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), work as a personal social security number, but for your business. They let your small business pay state and federal taxes.

The federal government requires each business to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as an Employer Tax ID. Having this number will help with state and local registration and with such tasks as opening a bank account for the business.

Once the business owner has a business name, and once it's registered, you can apply for an EIN with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  for Free.

You can check this link EIN With IRS

Business Structure 

For tax purposes, it's important to choose a structure(Sole Propriety/LLC/S-corp/C-corp) for your business.

Business License (Business Tax Certificate)

Most businesses require one or more licenses. These licenses depend on what you do and where you operate. A variety of offices administer licenses. It's best to check with the Business License office or the Tax collectors office in the city. Depending on the city you live your fees will vary. I pay $196 :(. You have to either pay this every year or every two years. Check with your city office.

Seller permit (If collecting Sales Tax)

If you are planning to sell products, you need a seller certificate. The permit allows you to purchase inventory from suppliers without paying taxes. To obtain a seller's permit, contact the State Board of Equalization. it's Free. For California, you can file for seller permit using this link.

There you go your checklist of things to start a business. One of my best and goto resources is the Small Business Administration website. Keep learning. Keep Moving!