Building your own business from the ground up is an exciting opportunity, but it can also be challenging.
Follow the 10 steps from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to starting a business. You’ll learn about writing a business plan, determining the legal structure of your business, and more.
Avoid common mistakes and get advice from experienced small business owners who want to help. Local SBA partner organizations offer free access to mentors and trainers.
The following tips and checklists can help you with other important parts of the process.
Business Funding Options
Learn about funding options to help start your business, including government-guaranteed loans.
Tax Requirements to Start a Business
It’s important for your business to comply with federal, state, and local tax laws.
Make sure to meet all federal tax requirements for starting a business. Follow this checklist from the IRS.
Each state has additional tax rules when you start and operate a business. Get information on state-level requirements.
Learn more about business taxes, including energy tax incentives that can help you save money.
When starting your own business, you’ll need proper insurance coverage to make sure you are protected. Find out what kinds of business insurance you’ll need.
Learn about health insurance plans to cover you and your employees. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is for small employers who have between 1 and 50 employees. Through this program, employers can provide their employees with health insurance.
Hiring Business Employees
When starting a business, you may decide to hire some help. Find information about hiring your first employee, including how to start the hiring process. You can also get information about key federal and state regulations that your business will need to comply with.
Hiring Foreign Nationals
By law, you must only employ individuals who have permission to work in the U.S. The online E-verify system allows companies to determine the eligibility of potential employees. Register your company with E-Verify.
Consumer Protection Law
As a business owner, it’s important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to protecting your customers. Get tips and advice on complying with consumer protection laws. These laws cover many business-related topics, including advertising, marketing, privacy, security, and more.
You are self-employed if you operate a trade, business, or profession either by yourself or with a partner.
Find out the basics of self-employment to help you succeed in the small business world:
Work from Home
Are you thinking about basing your business out of your home? The Small Business Administration’s 10 Steps to Start Your Business includes the licenses and permits you need to run a home-based business.
Home Office Deduction
If you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office tax deduction.
Learn what to watch out for to avoid work-at-home scams. In one common scam, you may be tricked into paying to start your own internet business. These scammers will keep asking you to send money for more services related to this fake business opportunity. To file a complaint about a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Federal Government Telework Guidelines
If you’re a federal employee looking for information on teleworking, visit www.telework.gov.
Note: The federal government never charges a fee for information about, or applications for, government jobs. You can search and apply for federal government jobs for free at USAJOBS.
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) allows someone to drive vehicles used for business, like tractor trailers and buses. State motor vehicle agencies issue CDLs to drivers, if they pass state tests. Apply for a CDL with your state motor vehicle agency. States determine the:
- Application process
- License fee
- License renewal cycle
- Renewal procedures
- Reinstatement requirements after a disqualification
States issue classes of CDLs. The classes determine the types of vehicles that a CDL holder can drive. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets requirements for motor carrier companies and the state motor vehicle agencies.
Do you have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They’ll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.
March 18, 2021