For anyone interested in starting their own business, the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce has 10 steps to get them started in beginning a small business in Mississippi.

The graduates of the Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Leadership Program completed a project that created a simple guide for future entrepreneurs to help them start their business venture. Participants in the program gathered the information, which includes tips on acquiring permits from a city’s code enforcement and provided tips on securing a loan.

When starting a business, it’s a good idea to conduct market research to gather information about whether their business will succeed in a specific market. The aim is to ensure that business will get enough customers to keep the business afloat and if the service of products are needed and desired in that market.

The potential entrepreneur will also need to write a business plan to create a roadmap for structuring, running, and growing a new business. That plan can also be used to bring in potential employees, or attract investors.

A business plan can also identify potential financial hurdles. If the funds aren’t available, raising or borrowing the capital is required. Fortunately, there are ways to raise the capital, such as a loan. Picayune’s Regions Branch Manager Shane Fitzgerald suggests having a down payment of the total needed when asking for a loan.

“If you’re requesting $200,000 for a business loan, you’d be required to come up with at least 20 percent of that,” said Fitzgerald.

It’s enough to work with yet not too much it can’t be paid off.

Most banks require a small business to be operational for at least two years before providing a loan. To bypass that requirement, Fitzgerald suggests checking with the Small Business Administration (SBA). Other forms of capital can include credit cards, personal savings or for larger amounts a home’s equity can also be utilized.

The next step will involve picking a location. A location is the most important decision to make since it will affect the taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. If the business owner is planning to use an existing location, Picayune Building Code Enforcement Ted Barzé said the electricity and power is required to be in the owner’s name. Barzé said there are also regulations concerning signage which are outlined in the city’s ordinances.

Potential business owners will also be required to choose a business structure, which is a legal structure that will impact registration requirements, taxes, and personal liability. There are several business structures, including sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership (LP), limited liability company (LLC), corporation and non-profit corporation. Most small business are set up as an LLC.

Another important aspect of starting a business involves picking the name. It’s bets to pick a name that reflects the brand and embodies the brand’s culture. But first, make sure the business name isn’t already in use.

Now it’s time to register the business. Visit the Secretary of State’s website to register a business if incorporated as an LLC. If the sole proprietorship structure is chosen, all that’s needed is a business license.

Then, it’s time to get the federal and state tax identification. This will require the use of employer identification number (EIN) for opening a bank account and paying taxes. Apply for a federal tax ID by visiting the IRS website.

Don’t forget to apply for licenses and permits, which are important to keep the business running smoothly by staying legally compliant. Licenses and permits vary by industry, state, location, and other factors.

Lastly, the new owner will then open a business account for handling legal, tax, and day-to-day issues.

By AKDSEO