After reading over the steps in the link that I found in starting your business, I was still unsure and uncomfortable that I was going to do things incorrectly and frankly I didn’t know anything about most of steps. I read over it several times and decided to take it as it was listed one step at a time.
Step One: Write business plan (wasn’t my first step and frankly still haven’t written a formal one).
I was excited and I wanted to make things happen fast. I thought to myself I’ll write the business plan later.
As ‘Shark Tanks’ Barbara Corcoran said in the ‘FoxBusiness’ interview, “a business plan is nonsense. It’s Harvard Business School way of thinking, and it doesn’t even work. You get out there, and life happens.” (Rogers).
Step Two: What is your business entity?
What, what does that mean? I mean I kind of knew what it meant but I didn’t fully so Yes, I Googled it. There were so many to choose from. After talking with my hubby, we both decided that starting a Sole Proprietorship for “now” and when the funds were more available (business cash flow available) I could switch to an LLC. Which didn’t take me long to change my mind. The thought of only one crazy person coming in and taking all, we have worked for. So, I switched to LLC shortly after already paying the fees to set up the sole proprietorship.
Step Three: What is your business name?
This was easy. As I had mentioned before I had a name picked out several years ago before I even got started. However, I will say that originally I want the business name to just be Praising Paws but someone already had that name taken when I tried to register it on GoDaddy. I was not willing to let that name go so I compromised and went with ‘Our Praising Paws’. Hopefully one day I will be in the position to be able to buy that name from the current owner.
Step Four: Register Your business with the IRS (still don’t know if I did this right).
They are wanting you to file for what they call a EIN number. You can do this by going to https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp . Be ready to give your personal social security number when filling for your EIN. You must have this before your register with the state.
Get Your state Tax Registration and License and permits.
Holy Jesus take the wheel. This by far was the worst part. This is where things got ruff “see what I did there”.
I touched base with a friend of mine who already owns a business and asked her what or how I go about doing this. Again, I had no idea what I was doing. Even after reading everything online I was still nervous that I wasn’t doing the right thing.
I started out with calling the Arkansas Secretary of State to figure out what steps to take. Which referred me to the Secretary of State for my area. They proceeded to tell me that I needed to contact my County. I contacted the county clerk, the assessor’s office, even the county circuit office. No one in my county knew anything about filling for a state business license. Mind you all these calls did not happen within a day or in a timely manner. It was weeks… Every time I called there was the waiting on the phone for “the next available representative” thing and then them trying to figure out what I was asking for then you got the run around or them referring you to someone else.
I was so frustrated and wanted to pull my hair out, but I wasn’t going to give up. I ended up calling my boarder state Secretary of State office and it was all made clear. They stated that some small towns don’t require certain licensing, or they do not have enough demand to make it worth their while. ‘Light bulb’ that makes since. With the town I live in only have a population around three hundred something and the closest larger town not knowing where to send me. However, I still needed a ligament way to make sure I was doing it right. Then the heavens opened, and the paws started praising. The gentlemen on the phone who was by far the most helpful and acted like he had time for me, told me about the site. SBA U.S. Small Business Administration https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/10-steps-start-your-business/ where they give you step by step instructions. I am sure that many would say, how could you have not known about this… its not that hard. Well all I can say is that everyone has their own wheel house and all the ends and outs of starting a business was not in mine. All dogs can learn new tricks though and just because I want to have my own business does not mean that I must be an expert and every single part of the business.
After getting myself legally set up I am still figuring things out daily and I will continue to do so. It is all a big learning process and I am happy to be doing it. I am so grateful for the ability to purse my passion. I am grateful for all my supporters who have been with me since the beginning and I am grateful for my husband who is continuously my sounding board and reminding me daily that I can do this and that he is proud of me.
Thank you and keep your eyes peeled for Our Praising Paws!
Rogers, Kate. Barbara Corcoran: Business Plan Not Built to Last. Fox Business, 20 May 2013. Web.
IRS, ed. EIN Assistant. IRS.gov, n.d., Web. 23 May. 2019.
U.S. Small Business Administration. 10 steps to start your business. SBA. n.d., Web.. 23 May. 2019.