Home (Online) Business Startup Checklist

Now that you have decided that you want to start your own business, the next batch of questions that you will have to think about are what do I have to do to start my business? The information that follows is designed to address these questions and help you get started on the right foot.

The following is a list of Business Start Up Needs and issues facing the new business owner and Flashecom's recommendations. Take some time to go through the entire list, and if there is something that we have not addressed, let us know and we can add it to the list for future business owners. Contents

What Kind of a Computer do I Need?

Other than the operating system and the included browser (MS Internet Explorer) there is absolutely no special software required to manage your Flashecom website.

How do I find an Internet Provider?

There are a number of different ways to get high-speed internet to your home. The biggest factor in what you can choose from is geography. Someone in a highly populated urban environment will have significantly more options that someone in a predominantly rural area. However this is a list of what is out there. You will have to decide what is best for you based upon your location and budget,

  • DSL
  • Cable
  • Wireless
  • Satellite
What Licenses to I need to Start My Business?

Generally speaking you will need a few different licenses to conduct business legally, and those are generally a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN), a State Business Permit, and a local/city business license. Some of these are free of cost (Federal Tax ID) while others require paying a fee (local business license). Before you start your business make sure you do your homework and make sure you are in compliance with all Federal, State, County, and local regulations to avoid any problem down the road.

How to get a Federal Tax ID/EIN Number

This is called different things in different states in the US, but the reason you need it is simple. REAL Wholesaler Suppliers are not going to charge you any tax on the products they ship to your customer. At the end of the year, they have to show the IRS why they did NOT charge you that tax. Your "Sales Tax ID number" proves that YOU are collecting sales tax on your customers' purchases. The general rule is that you only collect sales tax on the products shipped to addresses in the state where your business resides, but you should check to be sure how this is done in your own state. The Wholesale Supplier keeps a copy of your "Sales Tax ID number" on file, so that they are not liable for the tax on the products shipped to your customers. Every state has a web site listing information about the tax rules in that state, and where you can obtain your "Sales Tax ID number". You can click on your home state below to go to that site, and get the information you need.

State Business Permit

In addition to the Federal Tad ID Number you are also to have a State Business License:

Local Business License

First have your business paperwork together and organized. The next step is to contact your local city hall and/or county government offices to determine the kind of license to obtain along with the proper paperwork. Complete the paperwork; file it with the proper application fee with the appropriate government. Most likely this process will have to be done in person. Annually you will need to file a renewal of your business license.

What kind of Business Bank Account do I need?

Any business checking account will be fine initially. If you already have a bank account or checking account then start with the institution that you already have a relationship with. Beyond that look for the fewest fees and features like Online Banking services, overdraft services, etc.

How do I Accept Credit Cards through My Website?

In order to accept credit card payments you will need to find a company to provide Merchant Services. The Merchant company will process your credit card payments, and charge you a percentage of the sale as well as a per transaction fee. Obviously, the goal is to find the company that provides the lowest fees as well as secure transactions.

Can I use PayPal on My Website?

People who shop online recognize PayPal right off the bat. It is the best way for potential customers, who may be hesitant to give out their credit card information online. PayPal provides a secure server (SSL) that keeps transactions safe. Moreover one’s credit card information is only revealed to PayPal and not the merchant.

Can I also use Google Checkout?

In the world of ecommerce Google is a trusted name. Google Checkout is a fast, convenient checkout option that harmonizes the existing checkout process and facilitates customers to buy from you quickly and securely, using a single username and password. For every $1 you spend on AdWords, you can process $10 in sales for free. If you do not use Google search advertising or you go beyond your free transaction processing, you can process additional sales at a low 2% and $0.20 per transaction.

How to get a Federal Tax ID/EIN Number

This is called different things in different states in the US, but the reason you need it is simple. REAL Wholesaler Suppliers are not going to charge you any tax on the products they ship to your customer. At the end of the year, they have to show the IRS why they did NOT charge you that tax. Your "Sales Tax ID number" proves that YOU are collecting sales tax on your customers' purchases. The general rule is that you only collect sales tax on the products shipped to addresses in the state where your business resides, but you should check to be sure how this is done in your own state. The Wholesale Supplier keeps a copy of your "Sales Tax ID number" on file, so that they are not liable for the tax on the products shipped to your customers. Every state has a web site listing information about the tax rules in that state, and where you can obtain your "Sales Tax ID number". You can click on your home state below to go to that site, and get the information you need.