Thursday, September 06, 2007

Starting Your Own Business

Before quitting the full time job and hanging a shingle outside your door, you need to make sure you know all about running the business and not just how to perform the function of the business that you plan to open. There is more to owning a carpet cleaning business than being the best carpet cleaner in the county. It is called a business because there are functions that need to be done beyond cleaning carpets.

Depending on the type of business you plan to get into there may be specific laws governing its operation and in some cases a state or county license may be needed to operate the business. Zoning laws may also be in place to prevent the operation of some business out of the home and planning to run the business from a stand alone building you should also check to make sure the business can operate there as well. There are times that one type of business, an office building for example, may allow a bookkeeping service in the area but zoning rules may consider your business not appropriate for the location.

Checking with local and county offices can help insure you have all the licenses and permits needed to operate the business before you get it started and find out it does not meet acceptable use clauses. Regardless of the business, you will need a license from the state to collect sales tax, sometimes referred to as a vendors license. Whether your business will be selling taxable products or services, the license is still necessary and you will need to file returns to show if and how much sales tax you collected and make the payments.

Contacting your local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent source for information about starting your own business and their advice can keep you out of trouble with authorities that regulate business operations in your area. They may also advise you if different nearby communities have differing rules covering your type of business. Even non members can take advantage of the information available through most Chambers of Commerce and they are always willing to help potential new members get their feet on the business ground.

For those planning to start a franchised business, there are many resources available to help you pick the right one for you as well as for the community in which you live. Most people who buy a franchise do so based on the name recognition of the company and the information made available to them. While your interest level may be high, check with other franchisees of the same business for their opinions and get the real story about the pros and cons of running that business before making the investment.

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Anonymous said...

Interesting article. I want to run my own business, so this information is very helpful. I've been looking for a business to buy (since I don't want to start one from scratch), but I haven't been able to find one that I really like. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks

Anita Zimmern said...

Susan, I recommend looking into your local Chamber of Commerce. They should be able to help you.

I also highly recommend checking out, which is an online global marketplace where you can buy, sell and invest in small business. There's a vast selection of businesses, so I'm sure you'll find something you like. Check it out and good luck!