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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Establishing, Legalizing Your Business and Getting Known

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Before you can fully establish your business there are some legal steps you must take to secure yourself in your position in the market place. You have a legal obligation and responsibility to ensure that you have taken the necessary steps to do what is required for your business by law. Once you’ve completed all the legal stuff, then you want to get the word out about your business so the people who need or desire your service or products are aware of the solution you have to offer them.

Researching and Choosing a Business Name

A business name should reflect what you do for your clients. It should be catchy and easy to remember as well as in alignment with what you’re doing. For example, if you are a starting a craft business, naming your business John Smith and Associates may not be such a good name as it gives a different impression about your business. Someone may think it’s more to do with something legal, like if you’re a law firm or so. Do some research in your industry, look at what names are on the market and use that to come up with something that expresses to your potential customers what you’re about.

Registering your business name

Once you decided on a business name it’s time to get it registered. It’s a good idea to come up with a few variations just in case the one you decided is already registered by someone else. However, before you register your name you need to decide your business structure – if you are in business alone you’d register as a sole proprietor.

If you’re in business with someone else, you’d want to register your business as a partnership. If you want to separate yourself from your business, you may want to consider registering as a corporation. Planning on setting up a non-for-profit organization? Then register as a society. Consider registering as a co-operative if your business is owned and controlled by your customers. Keep in mind that if you are using your own name as your business name, like Jane Smith Knitting Company, you may not need to register your business name.

Business licence

You’re required to place your business licence in a prominent area of your place of business whether you work from home or own a physical store. However, some areas do not require that you have a business licence. It all depends on where you live. So you need to check your local business licence office or City Hall to see if you require one.

Zoning laws

Zoning laws allow and/or forbid a business owner from operating their business in certain areas. Depending on the type of business you’re setting up, zoning laws may prevent you from operating around a residential area if your products require the use of noisy or potentially hazardous equipment or material. It’s important that you check your local business office to verify if you can operate the type of business you’re starting in the area of choice.

Having an online presence

Once you’ve taken care of the legal stuff and laid the foundation it’s time to get known, not only locally but having an online presence may benefit your business in a lot of ways. Having an online presence helps you stay in contact with your customers and help potential customers find your products and services.

Having an online presence also opens the door for networking possibilities and alliances in other parts of your country or globally that you’d not reach otherwise. Even though you make have a physical local building, being established online in today’s market sets you apart from other businesses and positions you as a forward thinking leader in your industry. Social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, is a great way to begin and extend your online reach.

You also want to purchase a domain name and set up a website where your customers can view your product and services as well as offer the opportunity for your potential customers to make that connection with your business as well.

Want help developing and testing your business idea, deciding if starting a business is right for you or need help choosing a business or career? Why not schedule a Free 30-Minute No Obligation Self-Empowerment Session with me. You’ll gain clarity and have a better perspective on things.

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