How to start a business in Connecticut

10 Simple Steps

STEP 1: TRULY PLAN YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

Write a Business PlanA business plan helps you approach your business idea objectively and systematically question all common assumptions. To refine your pitch and communicate your value propositions from the get-go with more clarity. To help you keep those glistening and brilliant eyes of yours on the ball throughout each trying period. In this step we’ll help you create that plan.

Take Action: Check out our 100% free Business Planning Guide 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.

STEP 2: CHOOSE A BUSINESS STRUCTURE & INCORPORATE

How to Choose a Business StructureYour next move is to choose the business entity you’d like to form. After that you should register it with state to secure your brand name and protect your personal assets (house, car, etc) at the same time.

Most entrepreneurs form an LLC because it has all the benefits of a Corporation without the disadvantages like double taxation, board of directors or corporate officers. However if you’re trying to take your company public or raise substantial outside capital, you should probably form a Corporation.

Take Action: Since this step is so important and expensive if it’s not done correctly, we highly recommend investing 10 minutes to go over your options through our business structure comparison guide. You’ll get a better idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each while building a solid legal foundation for your business.

STEP 3: SYNC WITH THE CONNECTICUT TAX CODE

Small Business TaxesOnce you have registered your business, it’s far easier to sync with the tax code and get up to speed relative to the entity you’ve chosen, where you’re located, etc. Just be sure to do your research and know what the state expects. Below are two solid resources for you to get started with.

Take Action: Bookmark the Connecticut Dept. of Revenue Services Information for Businesses page which has links to pertinent data. Then, check out all the Connecticut Business Tax Credits!

STEP 4: OBTAIN PROPER LICENSING/PERMITS

Business LicensesAlong with your brand’s legal name and structure this step will either go down as smoothly as a pint from Half Full Brewery or take some time. The business licenses you’ll require depend mostly on the industry you’re in and where your business will be located.

  1. For DIY’ers this can be a bit challenging, we’re not going to lie. On CT.gov they advise you use their Business Response Center. Be sure to do your research and ask questions if they come up.
  2. If you need help with this step, here’s a list of services that handle a business license research we recommend. They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.

STEP 5: CREATE A DEDICATED BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountYou’re so close. You’ve got the name, structure, tax identity, and licensing situated. Now let’s get to the good stuff – your business finances. (The numbers baby!) By creating a centralized and branded business account your accounting stays secure, clean and simple.

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STEP 6: PICK A STELLAR CONNECTICUT LOCATION

How to Choose a Business LocationAs an entrepreneur, around at least 60% of success is determined by your ability to juggle time and resources. Therefore, use the location of your business in as many ways as possible to make your life EASIER to manage: local tax structures, a great bank, a strategic location perhaps close to home for smaller commute, closer to target market, product resources, access to trained local employees, etc.

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.

STEP 7: BOOTSTRAP YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

How to Finance a BusinessThis is Connecticut we’re talking about so there’s absolutely no shortage of funding/financing in any way, shape, or form once you get out of the bootstrapping phase. From small armies of VC’s and investment funds of all flavors, to startup organizations, incubators, and small business networks galore, dig in. Besides, New York’s just next door, so keep that in mind.

Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like Gampel Arena and face paint. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.

STEP 8: DESIGN & PUBLISH A BUSINESS WEBSITE

Build a Business WebsiteGot a website already that sings like Connecticut scenery? What it really comes down to, aside from ecommerce platforms which have an extra layer of complexity, is giving people a place to investigate and digitally interface with your brand. If your startup’s been around for a year or two, Google your brand name and see what people see. By default, we’re trained to either go to social proofing sites with reviews/testimonials or straight to your core domain.

Take Action: If you could use some help in this department, we highly recommend looking into a business website builder like Wix or Weebly. They’re both very easy to use and will give you a professional website in less than a few hours.

STEP 9: MARKET YOUR BUSINESS

Social Media ChannelThese days 80% of fabulous marketing is composed of savvy software automation, smart outsourcing/team building, and capital management. With so many ways to connect to your ideal customers, once you have those parts nailed it’s a matter of genuinely getting in touch.

Take Action: Consider the impact your product or service has on people’s lives and act upon what you uncover. Understand the way people use it, in reality, not based on assumptions because 9 times out of 10 people use things in different ways for different reasons than you’d think, right? This is a doorway to speaking their language rather than sales-speak.

STEP 10: CONTINUE LEARNING & STAY INSPIRED

Sign Up For Entrepreneur InterviewsStartup Savant is here for you regardless of what step you’re currently on. Consider us a handy stream of valuable info and insight from fellow change-makers as well as a place to turn to for the best entrepreneurial tools of today.

Take Action: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to tap into our daily feed filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from entrepreneurs like you.

Connecticut Startup Toolkit

Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Connecticut, here are the two we believe in most. With an incorporation service and business plan software, you'll take the first steps toward bringing your idea to life and having a solid plan behind it.

Incorporation services register your business with the state and handle all paperwork. For as low as $49, they'll bring your business to life by registering your LLC or Corporation in record time.

See The Top 7 Options
And

One of the most important aspects of starting a business can also be the most tedious: the business plan. A business plan software will walk you through the entire process in half the time.

See The Top 7 Options