How to Start a Small Business Indiana

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Starting your own business in Indiana can be a great way to make more money than you would by working for a company. While there is potential for success and prosperity, starting a small business can be hard. Here's what you need to know about how to start a small business in Indiana.

  • Create a business plan. To make your business idea profitable, you should create a business plan. This should include your goals for your business, expected expenses and revenue, and whether there is a need or want in your region of Indiana for the service or product your business will provide.

  • Choose a name for your business. You have probably already given some thought to what the name of your business should be. However, you will want to check the the Indiana Secretary of State website to ensure that your name is not in use by another business or individual.

  • Register your business with the Indiana Secretary of State. If your business name is available, you can register with the state of Indiana. This can be done at your local Secretary of State's office, or with downloadable forms on their website.

  • Get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. You will also need to register your business at the federal level as well. This can be done by requesting an EIN from the IRS website.

  • Find funding to start your small business. The costs to start your business are generally much more than it is to maintain it and keep it open. This is why many individuals turn to loans from lenders or the government to get started. The Small Business Administration is a great resource for different types of funding available from the federal government. They also provide advice on obtaining business loans from banks and private lenders.

  • Secure a location for your small business. Focus on commercial locations. Contact commercial realtors to find available properties in your area or visit with the local Chamber of Commerce for a list of commercial landlords. When selecting the location, make sure it has everything you need or want to effectively manage and run your business.

  • Check to see if a local business license is needed for your location. Depending on where in Indiana your business is located, you may need to register with the local city or county. Contact your local government offices to determine whether a local permit is needed.

  • File for state taxes. Before you can officially open for business, you need to have submitted forms and information to the Indiana Department of Revenue to submit state taxes such as income and withholding as well as collect sales tax on your services or products. If you are selling products in your business, you should obtain a retail merchant certificate as well.

  • Hire staff and open your business. Many small businesses choose not to have staff in the beginning as a way to reduce costs, but you should decide whether this is best for your business.

Tips & Warnings

  • The small business administration has a local office in Indianapolis for individuals needing assistance in starting their own small business. The retail merchant certificate costs $25 and is available from the Indiana Department of Revenue.
  • Many banks and lending institutions review business plans as part of their decision-making process to determine how successful your business will be and whether it will create enough of a profit to allow you to repay the loan according to the terms set forth in your agreement.
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