- February 9, 2021
- Kelvin Birk
If you’re thinking about starting a business in Missouri, then you’ve chosen the right place. The latest U.S. Census data shows that Missouri leads the nation in creating new businesses! New business start-up numbers are surging by more than 16 percent, double the number of any other state in the country, according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
What Are the Steps to Start a Business?
There are some important steps to start a business, and you want to make sure you consider all of these before jumping into the deep end and getting overwhelmed. A wise, thoughtful approach can prevent headaches later. Having a great idea is the first requirement for successfully launching a new enterprise, but it is by no means the only one. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers these 10 steps to start a business:
- Market Research
Spend some time studying your local, regional and virtual market to make sure there’s a demand for your produce or service. It’s also a way to size up the competition.
- Business Plan
Create a detailed written plan that provides a roadmap on how to get from an idea to a money-making enterprise.
Whether it’s an SBA loan, your personal savings, an angel investor or a combination of all of these, it’s important to know how you will secure seed money and ongoing funding to get your business off the ground.
If you have a bricks-and-mortar business, then choosing the right location is critical. It’s important to consider traffic flow, cost per square foot, commercial zoning and many other things. Location is much less important if your business is online or virtual.
- Business Structure
Here’s where a business attorney can really help. Do you want to set up your business as an LLC, an S-Corporation, a partnership or some other business structure? This is an important decision that has tax and accounting implications.
- Business Name
Sometimes choosing a name is easy and sometimes it’s harder. Choosing a memorable name helps boost your brand and marketing efforts. You also want to make sure you don’t choose a name that is already taken.
After choosing a name, you want to register it to protect your brand. There are both federal and state registration guidelines.
- Federal and State Tax IDs
To pay taxes on your business, both the federal government and Missouri provide tax IDs.
- Licenses and Permits
Some businesses like restaurants and construction companies require a significant number of licenses and permits, while other businesses may require fewer. A skilled business attorney can help you secure the permits and licenses you need to do business in Missouri.
- Business Bank Account
You’ll want to set up a separate bank account for your business so you do not commingle funds with your personal finances.
How to Form a Business in Missouri
If you’re thinking about forming a business in Missouri, then a business attorney can be one of your most strategic allies. Understanding state regulations, tax laws, and licensing are all critically important when launching a new enterprise. Attorney Kelvin Birk has decades of experience helping entrepreneurs navigate legal issues for both start-ups and more mature companies. To find out more about how he can help, call 573-332-8585 for a free initial consultation. We’d be glad to answer your questions.
A Business Start-Up Guide for Beginners
The SBA provides a wonderful checklist to help you create a business plan to get your great idea off the ground. It covers a multitude of topics, including identifying your customers, developing your product or service, finding financial resources, and developing a mission statement. The SBA is a fantastic resource for educational materials and networking ideas for would-be entrepreneurs. With 95 percent of total businesses in Missouri classified as small businesses (1 to 49 employees), the state is very friendly to start-ups and family-owned businesses.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development also has a Small Business Grant Program that provides financial assistance to small businesses that have suffered financial losses due to closures amid the coronavirus. If you’ve already started your business and run into difficulty because of the pandemic, you may be able to find relief at the state level if you meet their guidelines.Missouri is also home to many state and local resources that connect entrepreneurs to financing, idea incubation, co-working spaces, networking and mentorship. Following are a few to consider:
- Missouri IDEA funds
This co-investment program helps start-ups get access to early-stage capital to fund product development, hire critical staff, or commercialize and market your product.
- Missouri’s Startup Ecosystem
This is the place to look if you’re interested in angel investors, co-working space, networking opportunities, incubators and other business resources in your area.
- Missouri Works Program
Withholdings or tax credits are the centerpiece of this program that creates access to capital so business owners can purchase equipment or expand their facilities.
- Action Fund Loan
This loan program provides money for machinery and work equipment, construction space, or working capital for start-ups that have exhausted all their funding sources.
- Missouri Innovation Centers
Typically connected to universities in Missouri, these innovation centers around the state provide access to capital, specialized facilities, technical experts and other resources particularly for high-growth advanced technology companies.
- Economic Development Partners & Resources
It takes a village to build a business! There are dozens of training partners, chambers of commerce, and economic development councils around the state that provide networking, education, mentoring and other services for entrepreneurs.
- Small Business Loan Program
These low-interest or zero-interest loans can help an entrepreneur expand or create additional jobs for local residents.