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Business Loans, Business Checking, Business Savings, SBA Loans Article

Essential Small Business Start-Up Guide

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Starting and growing a small business can be challenging under the best of circumstances. If you are considering launching your own company, you will face all the usual requirements - conducting market research, securing funding, registering the business with the government, creating your brand, and more. But today, you will also have to deal with some unique obstacles brought on by the pandemic, like labor shortages, mask requirements, social distancing, stringent sanitation practices and other state-by-state restrictions. This makes choosing the right business plan and model even more critical if you want your business to fare well in today’s business climate.

Despite the additional challenges presented by the pandemic, small business applications in the U.S. have surged in the past year. This is striking when considering that new business applications had been in a slump for decades. If the rebound continues, it could mean a more resilient economy for all.

If you are ready to take the leap and start a new business, Stellar Bank wants to help. Read on to learn the essential steps to get your business off the ground.

1. Conduct market research

Before you start your business, identify your target customers and gain an understanding of their typical purchasing behavior, as well as your future competitors and market trends. This is always the first place to start, but is particularly important today, given the way consumer activities and lifestyles have changed during the pandemic.

Ask yourself these questions:

2. Write a business plan

3. Choose, register, and protect your business name

Conduct a trademark search prior to settling on your business name to ensure the name isn’t already registered as intellectual property. After deciding on your business name, take steps to protect it:

4. Determine your legal business structure

There are several types of legal structures to consider:

5. Register your business with the government and IRS

After deciding on your legal structure and location, you can register your company with the proper authorities. There are several documents you’ll need prior to registration:

6. Determine how you will fund your business

Most business owners will need additional funding to launch and grow their startup. Do your research and learn which types of loans or credit are right for your business. Stellar Bank offers a full suite of small business loan options, all designed to fit your business goals, including:

7. Open a bank account for your business

In order to protect your personal credit and assets, you should open a separate business checking account. Things to look for are low fees, good benefits, incentives like introductory offers, and competitive interest rates for checking, savings and lines of credit. You'll also want to look at transaction, early termination, and minimum account balance fees.

Stellar Bank understands that every business is unique. That’s why we offer a variety of checking solutions that can grow with your business, in addition to these small business banking services:

Starting a business is a long, challenging journey; but it’s also incredibly rewarding. If you’re ready to become a small business owner, Stellar Bank wants to help you succeed. Our small business banking solutions will streamline your financial needs, so you can focus on what matters most. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule a visit with one of our small business banking experts.

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