10 Simple Steps
Whether you intend to be a completely online operation or open a brick and mortar shop Colorado-style, without a professional business plan you’re just another fly-by-night. And forget about funding. Would you hike deep in the Rockies depending on a guide who claimed they could navigate without map or compass?
Take Action: Seize upon our 100% free email-based Business Planning Course designed to get you from A-to-Z as pleasantly as possible. Plus, we provide access to tons of other great tools along the way.
Now it’s time to get your head out of the mystifying Colorado scenery and get down to brass tacks. It’s red tape time and your journey begins with choosing a legal structure/entity, incorporating and in the process registering with the state of Colorado (super-cheap and a mere $10 annual compliance fee as of late 2016).
Take Action: As this part of starting a business in Colorado can be rather sensitive, we’ve developed quick and easy incorporation guides for the most popular entities if you want to skip over to those.
Listen, Buffalo Bill’s buried in Colorado so that tells you a little something about the business tax culture. Don’t sweat it. Just dig in and before you know it this layer of the red tape animal will be completely off your plate and your brand will be ready for those juicy tax incentives, kick-backs, credits, etc. I mean come on, heard of the Rocky Mountain High? It’s a progressive state! One of the horses of the Apocalypse is hanging out by the Denver airport…
Take Action: Hop on over and then bookmark the Colorado Dept. of Revenue’s Taxation Division page which should get you started if you don’t have a tax attorney or legal help.
The regulatory environment in Colorado is very entrepreneur-friendly, but strict. Consider city/county licenses, possible zoning requirements, public accommodations, digital issues and federal accommodations. Good news is once handled it’s just light annual maintenance in most cases.
To say your business banking options and benefits are robust in Colorado would be an understatement considering the state managed to forge a friendly banking system for the now over $1 billion dollar legal Marijuana industry… despite federal regulations. Fully leverage the versatile benefits by giving your brand its own centralized/dedicated business accounts.
Wow, where to begin. If you’re going to be fully online that’s one thing, but if you intend on having a presence in Colorado then you’re one lucky hound dog! The landscape is majestic literally everywhere and there’s massive amounts of culture oozing from every nook and cranny. Such an amazing state to conduct business, from the hot spots of Pueblo and Colorado Springs, to Loveland in the north or small outdoorsy gems like Hartsel.
Take Action: We know picking a spot can be tough if it doesn’t somehow happen naturally through your personal/professional networks. If you’d like to brush up on everything that goes into making this decision, refer to our friendly guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.
With the fourth-strongest economy in the US (2015) Colorado is experiencing a boom period in many respects that doesn’t show signs of waning despite the overall national scene (on the federal level). Funding is there, credit is available, CrowdFunding and Social Lending are hardcore-serious options, don’t be intimidated.
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like traditional suntan lines and snow. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Colorado is one of the epicenters of hippie-chic and making the more relaxed or professional-informal look a smashing success (like Smashburger!). But, as with the rest of the modern world your brand needs a website to be taken seriously. Whether it’s a complex ecommerce platform with all the bells and whistles, or a simple responsive one-pager that’s basically nothing more than a digital business card.
Take Action: The first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there aren’t too many yet. Head on over to this easy Business Website Builder Guide to get a head start.
This topic is awesome, as riveting and complex as Colorado’s network of over 230 craft breweries. Imagine opening up a new one and weighing into that marketplace, whoa doggy! In fact, if you want some interesting insight into effective local/online marketing look at a few of the leaders like Ten Fidy, Uncle Jacob’s Stout or Tweak.
Take Action: The Colorado people have so much to offer no matter what kind of business platform you intend to build. Honestly. You can feel it in the air, regardless of your altitude. People are excited, love to get moving and exercise, and really get behind brands that fit their niches.
After steps 1 through 9, consider Startup Savant as a fabulous resource to keep you in the loop and motivated. We focus tons on tools and giving change makers a podium to positively impact others with.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from ambitious professionals like you.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Colorado, here are the two we believe in most. With IncFile and LivePlan, you'll take the first steps toward bringing your idea to life and having a solid plan behind it.
IncFile is the most affordable online incorporation available. Since 2004, IncFile has helped over 75,000 entrepreneurs incorporate their business on a budget. For $49 + State Fee, they'll bring your business to life by registering whichever business structure you choose.Visit IncFile.com
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