This checklist is a good starting point for you as you begin your business. It is in no way meant to be a substitute for professional advice or counsel.
For more information about starting a business, contact your local SBDC. Our local SBDC is located at Wilkes University, at 85 South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pa 18701. Please call (570) 408-4340 or visit their website by clicking here.
Also contact The Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce for more specific information by clicking here.
Research the business industry.
Write a business plan. Make sure it includes your management, marketing, production, and financial strategies. If you are going to have a website, be sure to register the domain name.
If you are going to have a brick-and-mortar presence, research possible locations for your business. Where appropriate, analyze that location for traffic, parking, customer, and delivery access.
Learn more about the differences in business structure and determine the best one for your venture. The most common choices are sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
For registration help, visit the Pennsylvania Department of State, Corporation Bureau, or the Online Business Registration Interview (OBRI), a step-by-step wizard that guides users through the process of registering an enterprise with the Departments of Labor & Industry, Revenue, and State. It is designed for users who are unfamiliar with Pennsylvania taxes, services, and business registration requirements. Also, Enterprises that have not registered their Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, or Fictitious Name with the Department of State.
Register for state taxes with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
Complete the PA 100, an online fill-in form that allows users to register an enterprise with the Departments of Labor & Industry and Revenue, but does not register the enterprise with the Department of State. It is designed for users who are familiar with the PA-100 process and know the taxes and services for which they need to register.
Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS.
Can apply by calling Toll-Free Telephone Service (800) 829-4933.
Can apply by mail - Complete SS-4 form.
Can apply online.
Contact the Internal Revenue Service for information on filing your federal tax schedules.
Apply for contractors registration through Attorney General.
Apply for Sales Tax ID through the Department of Revenue.
If you will have employees:
Register with the PA Department of Labor and Industry at Online Business Registration.
Find out about worker's compensation.
Get tax information on withholding taxes.
Get information on hiring independent contractors.
Install a business phone or extra residential phone lines, if necessary.
Get adequate business insurance or a business rider to a homeowner's policy.
Square away financial and tax issues.
Get tax information such as recordkeeping requirements, facts about estimating taxes, forms of organizations, etc.
Open a bank account for the business.
Purchase equipment and/or supplies.
Order inventory, signage, and fixtures.
Establish a marketing presence and visual identity
Have business cards and stationery printed.
Get an e-mail address.
Find a Web hosting company and have your Web site designed and set up. If you want people to take you seriously, you need a professional web presence. Unless you’re a designer, don’t design your own site. Hire someone or use a service.
Determine whether you need sales literature (brochures, flyers, etc) created and printed.
Research how to advertise your business for free online with services such as Google Places, Bing Business, Yahoo! Local, or the Yellow Pages. Also if appropriate, consider establishing a presence on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.