10 Simple Steps
Here’s the deal – you may be able to wing it a bit in the startup-phase in other states, but not New York City. Folks, it has an economy bigger than many countries around the world, like Switzerland for example. Don’t even think about it until you’ve ironed out an initial business plan. If you need help, there’s some amazing software options out there these days that really come in handy.
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.
Your next step is choosing what kind of legal structure/entity you want your brand to be recognized as under the law. Are you going to file as a sole proprietor, or an LLC? Incorporation providers can help you understand how the state treats each type, and what the upsides and downsides are, otherwise you’ll need to do some homework here to pick the right fit. In the process, you’ll file your brand name with the state and touch on parts of steps 3 and 4 and well.
Take Action: As this aspect 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.
Honestly, the tax scene isn’t considered one of the best in the nation by a long shot. It’s complex. It’s New York! So listen if you don’t have a tax attorney, can’t afford a law firm, and don’t have a degree in something relevant…work with an incorporation provider. Once hooked in though it gets much easier.
Take Action: If you’re going to try and Lone Ranger this, begin by bookmarking the New York Dept. of Taxation and Finance. It has links to just about everything you’ll need to get started.
Depending on your legal structure, the nature of your business and where you open your doors there are going to be forms to fill out and file with the appropriate agencies. Don’t worry, the city never sleeps so you can go out and celebrate regardless of how late it is.
In almost every other state guide we’ve made this part is always the easiest, but here again we’re talking about New York. Picking a bank to set up business accounts might not be as easy because there’s just so many options. One place to start would be asking yourself where your primary competitors bank and why.
Oh boy. To be frank, we feel for you because this can’t be an easy decision if you don’t already know where you’re headed. It’s really going to come down to the cost of living. On the high-end you’ve got Manhattan, then of course other gems like Woodstock, Rochester, or the Hudson Valley which will have less expensive options. Keep in mind, aside from the commute, NY’s centrally located to the entire northeast as well.
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.
First of all, once you’re done gawking at the afternoon skyline from Wall Street, realize New York’s VC and CrowdFunding scenes are catching up to New England and Silicon Valley with a swiftness. If you’re going into the tech sector, you’re really in luck. There are practically endless ways to raise capital for your startup in NYC, it’s just a matter of how hungry and resourceful you are. Right?
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like cabs and whistling. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
The last step to setting up shop has everything to do with your brand’s digital presence. Unless you can afford a big banner or screen-space in Times Square…you gotta have one. Even then! No one, and we mean no one is going to take your brand seriously in the Big Apple if they can’t investigate you using their smartphone and see what you’re about.
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.
The marketing environment is as complex and exciting as the city line is from the tippy-top of the Empire State Building. That’s why it’s critical to find your niche(s) and focus. Spreading yourself way too thin is unbelievably easy in New York so you’ve got to stick to your plan and stay on your toes.
Take Action: One of the hardest parts is being heard amidst the insanely loud marketplace. The bustle just never ends. There’s no break and it doesn’t get more competitive than New York. Seek out as much help as you can manage! Networking is EVERYTHING.
Speaking of networking, toss Startup Savant into your goodie bag because we know where you’re coming from. Around here we emphasize savvy learning, staying motivated and gaining as much insight from fellow change-makers as possible. We’re here for ya.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories/interviews directly from ambitious professionals like you.
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