First Steps Spelled Out
As we move forward with some specific steps to take, I want to say that you may be surprised with how much people are willing to help you! Do not be afraid to share your idea and vocalize what your needs are. I am not good at asking for money, and funding was not what I needed initially anyway. But I had friends who helped with the logo and the website and giving advice I didn’t know I needed. This would not have gotten off the ground without each and every person I interacted with along the way.
If you are starting this alone, get a fictitious name. This is known as a DBA (“doing business as”) and you will be a Sole Proprietor. This involves registering at the county court house – you will need to find out which city this is in for you. Your DBA announcement needs to be printed in the local newspaper weekly for a month before it is official. Outside the courthouse, there are people looking to help you with this process. I recommend taking one up on the offer, it’s a reasonable cost for the headache it saves. They will mail you the newspaper copies for proof.
After you are officially a DBA, get a business license. Go to your local city hall where your business is located and apply.
If you plan on having a website, I would register the site sooner than later so the URL is yours. You can buy it for an affordable annual price at GoDaddy. If you choose to have a different host later, it is fine. You just want the address to be yours for whenever you decide to launch.