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Starting a Business Checklist

Starting a business is risky, but understanding the risks and reducing them through careful planning can improve the chances for success. It’s wise to be fully aware of the implications of owning your own business, including the affect it will have on you and your family. We recommend that you carefully analyze your reasons for starting a business, and ask yourself how it will fit with your family and your lifestyle.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I a self-starter?
  • Do I have the discipline to maintain a schedule?
  • Do I want to earn more money?
  • Will this business earn more money from the beginning or do I need to be prepared to initially work for less?
  • Do I want to be more creative?
  • Do I have the necessary skills to be successful in this business?
  • Am I looking for more flexibility in my work and family schedule?
  • Will this business allow me to work the schedule I desire?
  • Am I ready for different challenges and adventures?
  • Am I prepared to respond quickly to the needs of my business?
  • Have I discussed this proposed business with my family?
  • Do I have the money needed for business start-up and initial operating expenses until I start earning a profit?

Decide upon the legal structure of your business, choose a business name and register your business with the appropriate city, state and/or federal agencies. Sole proprietors, general partnerships and unincorporated nonprofit associations are registered with the Colorado Secretary of State online. Refer to the Legal Structure and Registration section of this book.

If your business will be selling, renting or leasing tangible personal property, you must obtain the proper state sales tax license from the Department of Revenue and determine if a separate local sales tax license is also required. Sales tax licenses are also required if you rent accommodations for less than 30 days. For more information, refer to the Colorado Sales Tax section of this book.

The best advice for anyone starting or operating a business is to educate yourself.

This guide is only the first step. It outlines the basic information you need to start your business. This checklist can be used as a guide as you start your business.