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home business

Starting a Home Business

Home BusinessWhen I started my first home business, I didn’t have any idea what was really required to get from an idea to having a working business. I really wish there had been someone who could have at least walked me through the basics. 

To make it easier for you I thought a checklist might at least keep you on target for your business startup. This checklist is for the non online business, go to Internet Business Checklist if you are interested in an online business. 

Home Business Startup Checklist

Office Setup

Many people ask me why I put setting up your home business office on the list at all. I did it because to me, that was a mental attitude and statement that I was ready to get to work. Make your home business office as friendly and work efficient as possible.


Hot Target Market

Find a hot target market and research products that may excite you and that have a high profitability margin. The key words here are “Find a Hot Target Market”. The reason I say this is that you may be excited about a type of product but the market isn’t growing or is way too saturated to make a profit. Research is the key to finding a hot market and deciding on the product. 

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Inventory? 

Once you decided on your product you will want to sell, you will need to decide on how to handle inventory. Should I drop ship or stock inventory or run an affiliate program? What about all three?

Business Goals 

Having an idea of the marketplace, products and method of inventory, you now can start to form your home business goals and model. Can your product be on the internet, do you want to sell on the internet as well? Check out my internet business info. 

What’s In a Name? 

You will need to create your home business name and entity. Many people create a business name without any regards to their product. Sometimes that is appropriate and sometimes not. What message do you want your business to convey? Will having your name in the title be a benefit or not? Would it be better to put your product into the name? Think seriously about this. Check my article Is Business Image Important? 

Type of Home Business 

In regards to entity, I am talking about an S Corporation, C Corporation, LLC or Doing Business As (DBA) also know as fictitious name. This is a serious decision because it will depend on how you are taxed, how the money will flow to you and many other legal issues. Check with a qualified business tax accountant and lawyer. You want to get it right the first time! Read my article on Start a Corporation for more information.

Once you have the business name and company setup, you are ready to get a business account with the bank. It is really exciting to get your first business bank account. You are now officially a business!

Home Business Promotional Links

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Sales Tax Certificate 

If you are going to be selling products retail, you will need to have a State Sales Tax number and certificate. It is a good idea to have it even if you don’t believe you will be selling in your home state. Many sales tax laws are changing and you will need this certificate sent to every vendor you will be doing business with.

Receipt of Payments

When accepting payments for your product and or service, there has to be a decision on what payment method you are going to use. Do you want to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover? If so you will need a merchant account. There are many quality accounts out there. Check rates and commitment levels very closely so that you don’t get locked into unacceptable monthly payments. See my article on A Merchant Account for Your Home Based Business for more information.

Of course I wish I could cover every aspect of these steps in detail however that would take more time then I have here. Many of these subjects will be discussed in my monthly Home Based Business Solutions Newsletter.

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