How to start a business in New Mexico (10 Simple Steps)

Step 1: Truly Plan Your Business Idea

Write a Business PlanProfessional business planning has a ton of perks, you know, like helping you get what you want from your business! Better cash flow, clearer objectives, and improved management aren’t too shabby either. For these reasons, among others, this is your first logical step to building a successful business in New Mexico.

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.

Business Ideas: Find the Idea That Fits You Image

Don’t know what kind of business to start?

Our friends over at howtostartanllc.com have compiled a massive list of business ideas, ranging from personal styling to axe-throwing businesses.

If you’re having trouble finding the perfect business idea for you, we encourage you to check them out!

Step 2: Choose A Structure And Register Your Business

How to Choose a Business StructureOnce your foundational plan is built and ready to evolve, it’s time to choose a business structure so you can register it and in the process secure your brand name. Most importantly though, you'll be protecting your personal assets like house and car.

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, 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.

Step 3: Sync With New Mexico Tax Code

Small Business TaxesNow it’s time to tackle the ways in which your company will interact and be treated by local, state, and federal tax systems. New Mexico has its incentives and credits but through this process you’ll get specific to industry and location, be it physical or exclusively online.

Take Action: The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department has all the information you'll need on their Business Taxpayer’s pages. Be sure to do your homework on this step!

Step 4: Obtain Proper Licensing/Permits

Business LicensesUnlike Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico’s regulatory landscape isn’t hard to navigate, especially if you have expert help in your corner. One of the primary reasons why is because there’s heavy presence of government and private research facilities in the state. For your new small business, you’ve got two options:

  1. DIY’ers head on over to the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Dept. The “How Do I” section is pretty useful but you may need to contact them depending on your situation.
  2. For help finding the licenses you’ll need, a Business License Research Service is what we highly recommend looking into. They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.

Step 5: Separate Your Personal and Business Assets

Best Business Bank Account

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

Now that you’ve made it through registering and setting up taxes and licensing for your business, you’ll need to take steps to protect your personal assets and establish your business as an independent entity.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

You can go a long way in protecting your assets with these three steps:

  1. Open a business bank account.

A business bank account separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection. A designated business bank account also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

To open up a bank account for your business, you’ll need to obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number). You’ll use your EIN in place of your social security number so that this account is completely separate from your personal finances. After this, start doing your research on various business bank accounts. Local options and national banks, like Chase, both have their perks.

Get $200 when you open a business checking account with Chase. Learn more

  1. Get a business credit card.

A business credit card helps you separate personal and business expenses. A business credit card will also build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Learn about the best small business credit cards here.

  1. Designate an authorized representative.

Make sure all documents are signed by a representative of your LLC and not by you (or other LLC members) directly. This will help separate you from liability incurred by the LLC.

  1. Keep your accounting and bookkeeping up to date

Make sure to sync up your banking and credit card accounts with an accounting software like QuickBooks as soon as you get the chance. It’s never too soon to start organizing your business’ finances!

Step 6: Pick A Stellar New Mexico Location

How to Choose a Business LocationSo what’s it going to be? The mystical mesas of Los Alamos or the bustle of Farmington? Or maybe you’re headed straight for Rio Rancho, New Mexico’s economic hub of Sandoval County. That said, the two big things to focus on here are, 1) how many assets are within 1-5 miles of the location and 2) does the location make your business harder or easier to manage?

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: Finance Your Business

How to Finance a BusinessFrom where we’re sitting after working with countless entrepreneurs, the hardest part about securing funds seems to be generating the nerve to go for it! Most often folks just aren’t sure where or how to look. Thing is, New Mexico is overflowing with funding and financing and that doesn’t include digital options like Social Lending or CrowdFunding.

Listen, if you've got a presentation-ready business plan (step 1) and a great product/service then don't be shy. Figure out what it's going to take to get to your goals and then go for it. Startup culture is thriving in New Mexico, but it's competitive.

Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like hot air and balloons. 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 WebsiteIf you already have this in the bag, then our hat’s off! For most though it’s a challenging part of modern business. Just simplify and optimize. At the end of the day all business websites are for, aside from ecommerce, is to give people a place to investigate your brand.

Take Action: The first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there are some very good options. If you’d like our recommendation, grab a free trial to Wix or Weebly. They’re the easiest to use and have the best prices. No previous tech-skills required.

Step 9: Market Your Business

Social Media ChannelThere's no right or wrong way to market, as long as you track what you do, then keep learning and adjusting. There are only 'methods' that either increase your cost-per-acquisition (of clients/customers/users) or decrease them. In the beginning, start small, simple, and close to home. Start with your own personal/professional networks and those of your close family and friends.

Take Action: Before investing in anything involved with marketing, take your business owner hat off! Completely off! Instead, look at the business through your ideal client or customer’s eyes. Look at it from the perspective of someone who HATES conventional/mainstream advertising (aka most modern consumers and professionals).

Step 10: Continue Learning & Stay Inspired

Sign Up For Entrepreneur InterviewsAs you continue forth on your noble journey as an ambitious creative, keep Startup Savant in your toolkit because if anyone knows where you’re coming from and what you’re facing…it’s our community. We focus our content on helping you stay motivated and continue your education, updated on the savviest tools for modern business.

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

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