Steps To Starting A Business In Alabama – The Birmingham Public Library, in partnership with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and the City of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, will host the monthly seminar Steps to Starting Your Business from January to June 2019. Seminars are scheduled to take place on the following Tuesdays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in Arrington Auditorium, located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library: April 16, May 21, June 18.
Each seminar will cover the same topics, but those interested are welcome to attend more than one day. Topics covered will include creating a vision statement, identifying sources of financing, determining the legal structure of your business, creating a business plan, and searching for sources of business and economic information. Please register for the seminars by contacting Valencia Fisher in the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity at Valencia.Fisher@birminghamal.gov or 205-254-2799.
Steps To Starting A Business In Alabama
Seminar presenters will be experienced mentors from local chapters of SCORE. SCORE is a national nonprofit organization comprised of volunteers with business skills and experience who want to share their knowledge with potential entrepreneurs and small business owners. For more than 50 years, SCORE consultants have helped millions of Americans start and grow their own businesses.
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For more information about the seminar or more information about small business development resources at the Birmingham Public Library, please contact Jim Murray in the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 205 Contact by 226-3691. Starting a small business in Alabama and growing it into something big can be daunting There are many things you need to do, such as creating a business plan, deciding on a business structure (limited liability company (LLC), corporation, etc.) and choosing a business name.
All of this is a lot to consider, and if you’re not sure where to start or what to do, our six-step guide can help. If you want to make your business idea a success, follow our steps below.
This is where it all begins. Before choosing a business structure, choosing a business name and everything else, you need to create a business plan. If you’ve never assembled before and have no idea where to start or what to add, read on.
Your business plan will outline what you need to do to launch the business. Any lender or investor considering putting money into your business will want to see it. Your business plan will set you up for the best chance of success. Business plans are great because they show that you are serious about running your company.
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Alabama business owners are not required to draft a business plan, but doing so anyway can really give you an edge in how you run your company. You may have some questions about doing this, though. Let’s go over what to include in your business plan.
If you’ve never owned an Alabama business before and want to know what to include in your business plan, consider the following:
Need help creating a business plan for your Alabama business? We put together an extensive library of articles and guides on business planning.
You can choose from different business entities to form your business. Depending on your situation and what kind of benefits you want to enjoy, consider the following carefully.
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Sole proprietorships offer the simplest business entity, but they come with the most personal liability. With this set up, there is no legal separation between the business and the owner. As the owner, you are personally liable for business losses. Your personal assets are not as protected as other business structures.
Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) help separate your business finances from your personal assets. LLCs are easy to form and maintain and provide personal asset protection without double taxation. But they’re more difficult to transfer and don’t offer the same level of liability protection corporations do. Choose a business entity that best fits your needs.
Regardless of the business structure you choose, you must register your business with the Alabama Secretary of State. But we can help! Use our formation services and start your company in minutes. We can form an Alabama Corporation or Alabama LLC for you!
Still not sure which business structure to choose for your business in Alabama? Be 100% sure by reading this guide.
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Before you start your business, you need to know how much money you need. Footing start-up costs is often the hardest part of running a company. You need to know both one-time and recurring expenses. This is the only way to know how much money you need to bring in to make a profit.
Breaking down your expenses into their respective categories can make this task easier. Estimate the following expenses to map your cash flow:
Choosing a business name is one of the most fun parts of starting a business. You may want to work your first or last name into the company name, or you may already have another name chosen. If you can’t decide on a business name at first, ask friends, family or a business mentor. A catchy business name is easier for people to remember than a generic one. Just make sure it’s easy to remember and not already taken.
You can consult your local business registration service to find out if the name you have chosen has been taken. The Alabama Secretary of State can tell you if your business name is being used. Once you find a name you like, you need to claim it. You can do this for $25 on the Alabama name reservation page.
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You may want to use a “Business Edge” (DBA) name for your business. DBAs are common if you are a sole proprietorship or general partnership because these types of businesses must legally operate in the owner’s name (Bob Gilbert, for example) unless they use a DBA.
DBAs can also be useful for LLCs and corporations that want to operate under a different name than the actual legal name of the business. For example, you could run a fishing guide company that rents hunting cabins under a different name.
Once you’ve settled on a name, claim it online for website and email purposes. Here’s how to register your domain name. You’ll want to claim social media handles on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Registering your business with the state of Alabama is a cut and dry task that you can do online. If you don’t form a sole proprietorship, you’ll likely need a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). In most states, EINs are required if you want to open a business bank account or hire employees. You can visit the EIN application page on the IRS website or use our EIN service if you created your business with us.
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You’ll use your EIN as your tax ID to file your business tax returns and open your financial accounts. Consider opening a business bank account as it helps you separate your personal and business finances, making it easier to deal with your taxes. You can better track your personal and business expenses this way because you will have separate accounts. And when it comes to banking services, we can help you with our services. And consider a business credit card for small purchases and building credit. You can make securing a small business loan easier with an EIN.
You can visit Atlas Alabama to learn about the business licenses or permits your company needs to legally operate in Alabama. You can also consult with an Alabama business insurance agent about what type of insurance you need. The Alabama Chamber of Commerce website also has many business resources that can help you get your firm up and running.
In today’s marketplace, an online presence is just as important as advertising in more traditional ways. Optimizing your website for search engines will make your company more visible to customers in Internet searches.
Develop a social media strategy to expand your online presence, or hire a professional to do it for you. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are excellent places to build a strong online presence.
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For more help with marketing your business in Alabama, you can visit the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network site. SBDC can help you identify new markets or develop an e-marketing strategy if you need one. This website also identifies funding opportunities for startup companies and provides various other services required by startup ventures.
Marketing a new business takes time and planning. Here are some great actionable ideas for marketing your business.
Alabama has many industries to consider. Tourism, banking, animal husbandry, electronics and construction are the healthy sectors of the state. But candy making, catering and cleaning are also low cost businesses that you can start from home.
One way to decide to open an Alabama business is to review your skills. Can they translate into a viable business model? If you love to cook, a catering business can be a good bet for your skills.
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Most Alabama small companies (239, 614) are sole proprietorships. But organizations with 20 to 99