Starting a New Business

Starting a business is easier than you think. Use these easy steps to jump-start the process of launching your company. Planning for every aspect of your business and having expert resources available is key to success. This guide will show you the steps to follow and the resources at your disposal.

Table of Contents

1. Plan Ahead Before Going Into Business

Is the timing right for starting your business? Complete our simple, five-minute questionnaire to find out if you're on the right track. -From the Small Business Development Center (MSBDC)

2. Write a Business Plan

Every great business begins with a plan. And while that plan will evolve over time, this initial document will serve as your guide over the next 3-5 years. Click to view a collection of short articles on creating your own business plan. -From the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA)

3. Get Training and Counseling

Starting a business can be tough, especially if it's your first time. You and your business can succeed by using training, counseling, and other assistance geared towards business owners. 

Small Business Counseling

Business Mentoring from SCORE

Development and Relocation

Tips from the Federal Small Business Administration

Location, location, location: Find your ideal spot

4. Get Advice on Business Financing

5. Use State Services and Grants

6. Choose a Business Structure

Corporation? Sole proprietor? LLC? 

Evaluate the options for your new business.

7. File for a 'Doing Business As' (DBA) Certificate

A "Doing-Business-As" Certificate (DBA) is a quick and simple way to set up your business through your town or city clerk's office. See if it's right for you and get simple instructions on how to file.

8. Register Your Business with the State

Corporations, LLCs and other business entities need to register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth before beginning business in Massachusetts. Annual updates are usually required as well. Begin and/or update your filings at the Secretary of State's Office.

9. Get a Tax ID and Learn About Tax Rules

Prior to registering your business with the state, you'll need an "Employer Identification Number" (EIN), issued by the IRS. Obtaining one is free and can be done easily online. 

Understanding and managing taxes is an important part of running a successful business. Here you'll find many helpful resources on this vital topic. 

Employer Tax Responsibilities

Tax Responsibilities by Business Type

Federal Tax Forms & Publications

10. Obtain Licenses and Permits

Successful businesses stay current through federal, state and local rules and regulations. Use this section to make sure you're up to date.

Licenses by Business Type

State Permit Assistance

State and Federal Business Regulations

Expedited Local Permitting Info

Building Code Info

11. Tips for Hiring and Managing Employees

Here you'll find information and resources related to the hiring, training, and managing employees in your business. 

New Hire Reporting

Employer Tax Obligations

Guide to Workers' Compensation

Learn About Withholdings

Heath and Safety Standards

Minimum Wage Info

12. Small Business Assistance Groups

Massachusetts has many organizations ready to help small businesses.

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