You’ve got a great idea for a can’t-miss business. Now you’ve got to figure out how to turn that vision into reality.
It’s essential that you create and launch your company the right way. Many businesses fail not because they lack an excellent product or service but because they didn’t start from a solid foundation. The “trajectory” of your launch plays a significant role in where you are weeks, months, and years down the road.
Things you might not have thought of can be essential to your success. Take financial protection, for example. You need to assess your options for business insurance in Chicago or wherever your business will operate. Without adequate coverage, one lawsuit can result in expenses that sink your company.
And that’s just one of the many items you need to address before you open your doors—whether physical or virtual—to customers or clients.
Position Your Illinois Business for Success
Being meticulous about how you create your business is essential to success. Connect with the right experts (accountants, lawyers, bankers, etc.) and then take these seven steps:
1. Choose the appropriate legal structure. How you structure your business will affect your taxes, financing opportunities, and other factors. Small businesses are commonly sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), or corporations. It’s a good idea to consult a business lawyer or accountant for guidance.
2. Choose a name for your company and confirm it’s available. You want something memorable, but that’s easy to spell and pronounce. And, of course, it has to be unique. You can do a name search on the Illinois Secretary of State website and then file an Application for Reservation of Name.
3. Form your business entity. The process and paperwork requirements vary based on the type of entity. For example, you don’t need to file organizational documents for sole proprietorships and partnerships. There are more requirements for LLCs and corporations. Visit the Illinois Secretary of State website for details.
4. Obtain licenses and permits. These will vary based on your business type. For instance, if you will sell goods, you must register with the Illinois Department of Revenue. And if your business will be taxed separately from you, you’ll need a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). You may also be required to have other licenses and permits related to health and safety, environmental practices, etc.
5. Pick a business location. If you’ll have a brick-and-mortar presence, you need to decide where that will be. Be sure to check zoning regulations and also evaluate the cost of running a business in that location.
6. Learn about your Illinois tax requirements. Illinois taxes businesses in a few different ways. It’s important to know what to expect based on your research and guidance from a tax professional.
7. Obtain business insurance. Some types of business insurance are mandatory. For instance, most Illinois companies with employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. But even if a policy isn’t required, you should ensure that you have financial protection through general liability, professional liability, commercial auto, and other policies as appropriate. And you should have those policies active before you launch your business, as you never know when a costly incident will occur.
Start Your Business in Chicago the Right Way!
Starting a business in Chicago that goes on to be successful is challenging. But if you “do your homework” and take the steps above, your company will be well-positioned to grow and thrive!