Thinking of Starting a Business in Lake of the Woods?

START A BUSINESS C H E C K L I S T :

Are You Ready for Takeoff?

Is your startup ready for launch? Give your new business the best chance of success by making sure you have all of these elements in place before you open for business.

( ) SUPPORT SYSTEM: Every small business owner needs a good attorney and accountant on their team. You will also benefit from advisors such as the mentors at SCORE.

( ) BUSINESS PLAN: This should include a description of your business model, a competitive analysis and market strategy, how you will operate and financial projections.

( ) BUSINESS NAME: Select your business name; make sure it’s legally available and trademark it. If you will be using a DBA (doing business under another name than your own), file a DBA with your city.

( ) LEGAL FORM OF BUSINESS: Decide if you will operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, C corporation or Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) and register your business entity with your state.

( ) REQUIRED BUSINESS LICENSES AND PERMITS: In addition to a general business license for your city, you may need specialized documents such as a reseller’s license or a health department permit.

( ) TAX ID NUMBER AND/OR EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN): Obtain these from the IRS.

( ) BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT: Keep your business and personal accounts separate. You’ll need a business bank account to receive and make payments, pay taxes and pay employees.

( ) STARTUP FINANCING: Most startup entrepreneurs finance their businesses using their own personal savings or money from family and friends.

( ) BUSINESS LOCATION: Depending on your industry, you may choose to run your business from home (check with the city to make sure it’s legal) or to rent a commercial office, retail or restaurant location.

( ) BUSINESS PHONE: Customers and prospective customers need a way to contact you. Depending on your business, you may get by with a smartphone or you may need a full landline phone system.

( ) BUSINESS EMAIL: Purchase a domain (URL) for your business and get business email under that domain so your business looks professional.

( ) MARKETING MATERIALS: Basics include a business website and business cards. You may also want to develop brochures, fliers, price sheets or other print materials.

( ) BUSINESS INSURANCE: It’s a good idea to get insurance for your equipment, your location and your business vehicles. If you have employees, most states require you to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

( ) EQUIPMENT: Business equipment generally includes computers, printers, furniture, phones, mobile devices and software, as well as any specialized equipment for your industry.

( ) EMPLOYEES: If you need employees to get your business off the ground, make time to hire and train them before you open. If you can’t afford full-time employees, consider hiring part-time workers or independent contractors.

    • If your starting a business that sells things without a building in Baudette you will have to contact the City of Baudette to obtain a peddler’s license.
    • If you are looking at constructing a building in Lake of the Woods for your business you will have to contact the Lake of the Woods Land and Water Planning Department at the County Courthouse to obtain a Building Permit. When you go for your permit you will have to explain your project to them with the details of the project. If you are building in the City of Baudette you will go to the Lake of the Woods Land and Water Planning Department at the County Courthouse to obtain your Building Permit as well.
    • For more information on starting a business in Lake of the Woods Contact:

Ryan Zemek, EDA Director at (218) 333-6541 or rzemek@hrdc.org for more information

Other Resources:

http://www.co.lake-of-the-woods.mn.us/

http://offuttschoolofbusiness.org/sbdc/about-sbdc/

http://mn.gov/deed/business/starting-business/

http://mn.gov/deed/business/financing-business/mjsp/training-grants/

http://offuttschoolofbusiness.org/sbdc/about-sbdc/faqs/

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