10 Simple Steps
But wait, aren’t business plans dead? No…not… at all, it’s just that the internet opened the flood gates to armies of people with near zero entrepreneurial experience so the number of savvy companies is spread VERY thin. Every single one of them have legit business plans because without one, for starters, acquiring funding is all but impossible and no one in the professional world would take them seriously. Get on it.
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.
Sweet, with your initial plan in the bag you can move on to choosing your business structure, or legal identity, and then go through the incorporation process which will a) secure your brand name, b) register it with the state, and b) integrate parts of steps 3 (taxes) and 4 (licensing). Good news is Vermont recognizes just about every business structure there is so you’ve got a wide berth.
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.
So after becoming a legal entity incorporated/registered to do business in Vermont, your next step is setting up a tax account through the state relevant to your type of biz-structure. Don’t worry, getting your tax ID number is easy and there are tons of resources to help you leverage their incentive programs (if applicable) and credits.
Take Action: A great place to start is the Taxes and Your Business section of Vermont’s official state website. They’ve got a nice little checklist for ya.
Nice, now the last chunk of official red tape has to do with acquiring proper licensing/permits which will go down as smoothly as a pint of B & J’s since you’re incorporated/registered and have your legal ducks in a row.
Because Vermont consistently ranks as one of the top states in terms of intelligence (and low-temp weather), don’t be a dunce who tries to use their personal accounts as a business account. It makes absolutely no sense. Find a great banking institution, leverage their benefits for business accounts, and centralize your financials separate from everything else so your brand’s financial persona is clean and tidy.
Unless you were born in Vermont and have lived there a while, at first you’re going to be a flatlander (non-native) but that’s okay. And, you should also know that while Vermont is predominantly white, the people are a conglomeration of over 13 different European ethnicities. Point is, whether you locate to the Vermont-style bustle of Burlington or the relaxing scenery of Colchester or Rutland, there’s a very unique culture there you should familiarize yourself with.
Take Action: Listen, 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.
To get an idea for how healthy and business-friendly Vermont is, check out their annual 100+ List of Businesses. There is no shortage of local and state-level programs, groups, networks, CrowdFunders, and social lenders to help you keep the resources flowing into your brand so it can continue growing into the future. Maybe you’ll make the list sooner than you think!
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like farmer’s markets and maple syrup. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Listen, no one’s saying you have to do your website like Vermont does Autumn, it just needs to be user/brand-friendly. By that we mean easy for people to use/navigate and investigate your brand story, products, services and initiatives.
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.
You’ll notice quickly, depending on how distracted by the scenery, that there are no roadside ads in Vermont. Hell, there wasn’t a Walmart until the late 90s and you still can’t find a McDonalds near the capital, but why? Because no one in the state (and most of modern consumerism in general) wants to be pestered with conventional, mindless, mainstream corporate advertising.
Take Action: What people really respond to is a mixture of well-timed functionality, meaning getting the right product at the right time when it’s needed, and humanity! Make your marketing personal and leave the sales-speak out!
For everything else along the entrepreneurial journey please consider Startup Savant as one of your reliable and ultra-savvy sources of useful-motivational info. We focus on fellow change-makers and give them the proverbial microphone to share their stories, their trials, and their successes.
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 Vermont, 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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