Starting a business can be a daunting exercise, but REDI and its partner organizations around Maryland are here to help! Whether you need guidance on drafting your business plan or information on obtaining a building permit, resources exist to help you cross the finish line and open the doors to clients.
The following information is just the tip of the iceberg, so don’t hesitate to give our office a call for resources tailored to your needs.
BUILD THE FOUNDATION
1. Develop Business Plan
A business plan is a crucial document outlining the route you intend to follow and is a key part of your pitch to investors, partners, and lenders. The plan displays your knowledge of the business including the concept, competition, financials, management structure, and marketing strategy.
Attend a workshop: the Maryland Women’s Business Center offers “Writing a Successful Business Plan” regularly.
Identify the key components: the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a list and tips.
2. Determine Business Structure
The first step in establishing a business is to determine the most appropriate operational structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company). Each structure has its own tax implications and legal liability; therefore, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney, account, or other professional before making a decision.
Know the structure types: the SBA provides descriptions along with the advantages and disadvantages of each
3. Explore Financing Options
Without the necessary funding even the best ideas won’t succeed, so spend time researching the various public and private options available.
Discover your options: the SBA provides information on various sources available nationwide.
Learn the local landscape: REDI and other regional organizations offer financing for target industries in Maryland.
CHECK THE RULES
4. Register Business Name and Tax Accounts
Choosing and registering your business name is a key step to legally operating a business, while various taxes may be levied on businesses at the city, county, state and/or federal levels.
Select a name: the State Department of Assessments and Taxation handles registration for your business name and structure.
Create a federal account: the Internal Revenue Service handles federal tax information, including a Federal Employer Identification Number.
Create a state account: the Comptroller of Maryland handles local, county, and state tax information.
5. Complete Employer Responsibilities
Hiring employees requires business owners to register as an employer, pay additional taxes, and obtain workers’ compensation insurance among other items.
Comply with key regulations: the SBA provides a guide to hiring your first employee.
6. Obtain Necessary Business Licenses
While a Maryland business license is required for most businesses, additional licenses may be necessary for your industry.
Learn the requirements: the State Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation is the source for business licensing
MAKE YOUR MOVE
7. Select a Location
Finding a space suitable for your needs is an exciting and important part of the process. Factors to consider include access to clients and customers and future growth needs
Know the market: REDI staff can conduct personalized searches for available space in Rockville, while providing preliminary information on zoning.
8. Obtain Necessary Building Permits
If you intend to do any construction or renovations to your location, permits from the City will be required.
Understand the regulations: the City’s Community Planning and Development Services handles zoning, building permits, and inspections.
Consider attending the Maryland Women’s Business Center’s seminar, the ABC’s of Starting a Business.
Find answers to frequently asked questions through the Maryland Department of Commerce.
Give our staff a call at (301) 315-8096 and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.