10 Steps To Starting A Business In Los Angeles-Step One

Step One: Create A Business Plan

The first step in starting a business is creating a plan. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, and the plan for reaching those goals. It should also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.

A business plan provides a clear overview of what a business is, how the business owner plans to operate the business and what are the goals of the business. Some businesses will need more sophisticated plans than others. Businesses who intend to seek bank financing or investors will have to prepare a business plan in a format that is well known to the potential lenders and investors. However, business owners who intend to finance their business themselves need not create such a formal document. One of the first things to determine is what will be the legal structure and name of the business.

You have different options for your legal structure. The structure you choose will influence your businesses tax status, your tax filings, your exposure to liability for the business’s obligation and methods of dividing your earnings. The most common entity types are Sole Proprietorship, Limited Partnership, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Liability Company and a Corporation.

If you are going to use a fictitious business name you should research your ideas at the Office of the County Clerk where you will eventually file your fictitious business name statement. You want to make sure that the name is not already in use. Similarly if you were forming a corporation or Limited Liability Company you need to check to see if the name you wish to use has already been taken. The California Secretary of State can help you perform an online search. Helpful links:

SBA Business Plan Guidelines http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/writeabusinessplan/index.html

LA Business Assistants Program Business Plan Assistance


Registering businesses with the state of California


DBA Registration with the Office of the County Clerk


California Secretary of State Business Name Search


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