10 Simple Steps
No one’s asking you for a collegiate-level business plan right out the gate, although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking that route. It’s really about structuring your approach, objectives, cash flow, and setting yourself up for a prosperous future. It’s about getting to solid management practices, especially for those without prior business experience.
Take Action: Seize upon our free and easy email-based Business Planning Course designed to get you from A-to-Z as pleasantly as possible. Plus, we provide tons of other great tools along the way.
The next step is huge and as you’ll see, certain parts of steps 3 and 4 blend in. First, you must choose the legal business entity you’re creating based on which suits your ambitions and provides the best features/protections. Then you incorporate it and in the process secure your brand name and file most necessary paperwork with state/federal agencies.
Take Action: As this part of starting a business can be rather sensitive, we’ve developed quick-guides for the most popular entities if you want to skip over to those.
We’re talking about one of thee most iconic American states in The Union here folks (jousting is actually the state sport…no joke). Washington D.C. is literally surrounded by its colonial landscapes. If you jump over to the Maryland Department of Commerce you can feast your eyes on all the Programs and Tax Credits for Businesses.
Take Action: The Comptroller of Maryland website has pretty much everything you’ll need, or at least more than enough to get you started. Start with their Information for Business Taxpayers page.
Here’s the gist in Maryland’s own words for DIY’ers, “State business licenses can be obtained from the Clerks of the Circuit Court in the county where the business is located. First-time license applicants must register with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation before contacting the local Clerk of the Court. The State License Bureau is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the use of business licenses in Maryland.”
Another option to consider is for $99 you could get IncFile’s Business License Package which is amazing! They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels for you, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.
Okay, quick recap: you’ve built a solid initial game plan, incorporated, secured your brand name and filed with the state along with establishing your company tax identity. Wow! You should try out for the Naval Academy (started in Annapolis, 1845). The next step is setting up your financial persona through a good institution that provides the best business account benefits for your needs.
Along with all four seasons in great pronouncement and ambience, you’ve got the entire gambit of geography as well – mountains, picturesque farmland, bustling/quaint cities and secluded/tourist beaches. Delaware to the east, West Virginia and Ohio to the west. What a great state! You’re going to love it, and the people there.
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.
It’s hard to get across in this tiny paragraph just how much access to funding and financing you have as a member of the Maryland business community, not to mention an entrepreneur in general thanks to the internet and new options like Social Lending and CrowdFunding. Don’t be shy, Marylanders are a proud bold people.
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like Camden Yards and Natty Boh’s. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Flat out – no one’s going to take your brand seriously without a website. Who can argue with that? You might be able to come up with one or two decent reasons to put a professional site off for a little while, but we could bombard you with as many reasons to have one from the beginning as there are blue crabs along the Maryland coast.
Take Action: If you could use some help in this department 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.
As one of the hubs of the American northeast, wow, you’ve got a million ways to reach just about any niche you could think of. The key’s to pick your battles wisely and not stretch your forces (resources) too thin. Leverage both the local communities around your base of operations as well as effective digital marketing methods.
Take Action: Don’t underestimate the power of localized internet searches. Is it competitive in Maryland online? Yes, just as much as offline, but that’s not a bad thing. Well, unless you intend on trying to weigh into the scene with a new lacrosse team or something.
Right, with all that said, please keep Startup Savant in mind as one of your reliable resources for tools and motivating info from fellow change-makers. That’s what we’re about because we really do understand the value of in-the-trenches insight when it comes to grinding out success.
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 Maryland, 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.
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