10 Simple Steps
This is your business’ blueprint. It’s your game plan. Not in a cliché sense, but a very real and very effective sense – financials, budgeting, forecasts, management, marketing approach, pitch, and maybe even funding. Once you’ve named and designed your product/service, before anything else when starting a business in Kentucky, carefully lay your foundational strategy.
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.
Before you can officially register a business in Kentucky (and protect your personal assets in the process), you’ll need to choose a business structure.
Most entrepreneurs form an LLC because it has all the benefits of a Corporation without taking on any of its disadvantages like double taxation or board of directors requirements. However if you’re trying to take your company public via an IPO or raise substantial outside capital, consider forming 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.
Once registered it’s much easier to handle your tax obligations, whether you’re a brick and mortar business or strictly online. Don’t hesitate. Don’t put this off and procrastinate. The sooner the better, and the sooner your financials will begin writing your brand’s story under the law.
Take Action: Be sure to cover relevant state tax registration requirements listed on the Kentucky One Stop business portal page. In fact, you should probably bookmark that site.
After tackling tax requirements, it’s time to fill out and file all appropriate Kentucky business licenses. These business licenses are essential to operate legally within the state. You’ve got two options here:
Don’t make the common mistake of mixing personal and business accounts! The best way to keep your finances in order and make tax time easier is to completely separate them.
What’s it going to be, Lexington? Louisville? There are 3 solid things to keep in mind when you’re starting a business: location, location and location! But there’s a fair amount that goes into picking a spot from scratch when it doesn’t happen organically.
Take Action: If you’d like to brush up on everything that goes into making this decision, refer to our guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.
Businesses typically take a fair amount of resources to initially build, grow and maintain. Thanks to the internet you have more access to funding than at any other time in human history. From CrowdSourcing and Social Lending, to angel investors, grants, small-biz loans and VCs…
Take Action: You’ll learn about how business planning helps a ton throughout our email course, especially when it comes to crafting your pitch/executive summary. Browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
In order to be taken seriously, you need to have a professional website representing your business. It can be as simple (an easy and responsive one-page) or as complex as you want (an extensive ecommerce store), but we believe they’re no longer optional.
Take Action: The first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there are plenty of solid options for you to choose from. We highly recommend looking into Wix or Weebly (which both offer free trials and are very easy to use), but you can see all the best business website builders on our buyers guide.
Marketing and getting your first customer is one of the most difficult parts of being in business in Kentucky and just about anywhere else. No matter who you are, since you’re reading this you likely could use a little help.
Take Action: Before you dive right in and spend a thousand dollars on a marketing ad, try some quick Google searches about the type of marketing that fits your industry. It’s a great place to start.
Starting a business in Kentucky isn’t easy. It’ll take time, patience, and persistence on your part so that you’re able to whether storms and keep moving forward. As a final step to bringing your idea to life and moving forward, we highly recommend checking out the steady stream entrepreneur interviews we publish on Startup Savant.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Kentucky, 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
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