Business Startup Checklist: What Every New Business Needs

Do you want to start your own business? That’s great! While it is a big step forward, you’ll also need to put in a lot of hard work and effort. Before you start closing deals, there is a lot of groundwork that you need to do.

From taking care of the legal requirements to working on an effective marketing plan, you need to take care of a lot of different things. To make sure that you don’t miss out, it’s a good idea to make a business startup checklist.

It can help make the whole planning process more organized. You can break down all the big tasks into smaller, more manageable categories.

Business Startup Checklist: What All Entrepreneurs Need to Know

To help you save on time and effort, we’ve created a comprehensive business startup checklist for you. Check it out so you know exactly what you need to do to establish your business and launch it effectively.

1. Refine Your Business Idea

Once you have a business idea, it is time to sit down and do some market research. Try to get a sense of what your competitors are doing and what is working for them.

You also need to figure out what sets you apart from the other competitors in your niche. This exercise is really important to help you figure out what your competitive advantage really is.

In addition to this, you need to understand why you are starting a business. It could be to fulfill a personal need or a market gap. Whatever it is, it is important to be clear about your purpose.

Based on your idea, give your target market some thought. Who are they? Write down as many details about them as you can, including age, gender, and location.

After defining your USP and conducting a thorough market analysis, you’ll get a better idea of whether your business idea seems worth executing. At this stage, if you think your idea might not be effective, it’s okay to pivot or refine your idea.

Once you have a clear idea of your idea, USP, and target audience, it’s time to come up with a business name that is relevant for your brand.

While choosing a name, keep in mind that it needs to be unique and brandable. It’s the first step in defining your brand personality and communicating what your brand stands for.

The next thing on your business startup checklist is to decide on the right legal entity type for your business. This is an important decision to make as it can affect your personal liability, taxation arrangements, and more.

Some of the business structures that you can choose from include:


In this type of arrangement, two or more people can be held personally liable as owners of the business. Within this structure, there are two variations: Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) and Limited Partnerships (LP).

The major difference between the two arrangements is that the former gives limited liability to all the owners. In Limited Partnerships, only one partner gets unlimited liability while the others get limited liability.


This type of business structure is suitable for those who want to keep their liabilities separate from the liabilities of the company. It also offers different arrangements, each of which has different guidelines for the separation of liabilities.

Sole Proprietorship

This business structure is for those who want to own their business completely on their own. Only one person is responsible for obligations as well as debts, and their personal credit history can be directly affected, yet there is unlimited liability on your personal assets.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a hybrid business structure that is a mix of Partnership and Corporation. In this arrangement, you get to reap the benefits of a Partnership while getting the protection mechanism of a Corporation. Need help setting your entity up? Check out us at ZenBusiness, the #1 alternative to Inc Authority.

Nonprofit Corporation

This structure is designed for any type of education, literary, charity, scientific, and religious work. These organizations are exempt from paying federal and state taxes.

Depending on your requirements and future goals, determine the best entity type for your business.

To ensure that you get all the documentation submitted properly, you can use a platform like GovDocFiling. They make the entire process easy and can help you finish all the formalities at an affordable cost.

3. Assess Your Financial Situation

Regardless of the type of business you want to start, you will need solid business financing to get it up and running. Do a quick assessment of the total amount of money you already have and the amount that you need. Based on this calculation, determine your options.

Where will you get all the required funds? Will you borrow money or pay for all the expenses yourself? It’s also worth considering whether or not you will need to leave your job to focus on your business.

If so, do you have money to support yourself till you start making profits? You have to keep in mind that it can take a couple of years for a startup to actually start making profits. To get a better idea of how to go about financial planning, you should perform a breakeven analysis.

Financial decisions related to your business can directly make or break your business. That’s why it is important for you to come up with a more sustainable business model.

4. Create a Formal Business Plan

This step in the business startup checklist is especially relevant for those entrepreneurs who are seeking funding from investors.

Before you pitch your business idea, you should have a formal business plan ready. It should also contain a detailed section on finances as this is the most important part for investors.

In addition to this, your plan should also include details about your target market, products, services, company overview, and key milestones.

5. Buy Business Insurance

Purchasing an insurance policy for your business is something that should ideally be done before you launch.

Even if you may not require it immediately, it’s a good idea to buy it right away. In case of theft, fire accidents, or even lawsuits, an insurance policy can help you stay financially protected.

To maximize your risk protection, there are different types of insurance that you can buy.

These include:

  • General liability insurance: This policy is important to protect your business from any third-party claims related to property damage or bodily injury. For instance, if a customer falls while shopping at your store, this insurance can cover their medical expenses.
  • Worker’s compensation coverage: This policy covers medical benefits, disability benefits, wage replacement, and funeral expenses for any worker who gets injured while they are doing their job.
  • Commercial property insurance: In case of theft, smoke damage, fire, or other such circumstances, this policy can help you cover the costs of tools, inventory, furniture, office equipment, and more.
  • Business income insurance: This policy can help you replace your lost income in case of fire, theft, or such circumstances.

These are the most common types of business insurance, but there are many other types as well. Since all businesses are susceptible to risk, make sure you invest some time in understanding the types of insurance that you need for your business.


Now that you have a quick business startup checklist at your disposal, you can focus on getting all the work done. Are you ready to check off all the options from the list one-by-one? Remember that starting a business requires grit, dedication, patience, and a lot of hard work.

Author: Brett Shapiro –

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