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You’ve made the huge decision to start a business. As you probably know, most efforts to start a business end in failure. Fortunately, there are things you can do to guard against wasting time and money and improve your odds. Here are a few things to consider while starting your business.

Starting your business

You’re thinking about starting a new business. Are you a self motivator? Are you a good decision maker? Do you have the drive to operate a business? Are you willing to put forth the effort to get your new business running? These are just a few of the questions you will need to consider before starting a new venture. Here are helpful links to get you started:

Alabama Small Businesses & Self-Employed Guide

10 Steps to Starting Your Business

Developing your business plan

Developing a business plan doesn’t have to be hard. In its simplest form, a business plan is a guide for your business that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. We have provided steps to writing a business plan and a detailed business plan outline. For more information visit our business plan info page.

Choosing your business structure

Need help choosing your business structure? See the Business Entity Types page.

Choosing and registering a business name

Choosing a name for your business is an important step in the business planning process. Not only should you pick a name that reflects your brand personality, but you also need to make sure it will be a name that lasts for the long term. You should also give a thought to whether it is ready for the web and if the domain name is even available. If you would like to see if your business name is available, check the Secretary of State’s online database. If you would like to register a new business name you can go to the Alabama Secretary of State’s website or download the Name Reservation Form.

Startup costs

Startup expenses are the expenses experienced before your business is up and running. Many people miscalculate startup costs, and start their business in a disorganized, unplanned way. Even though this can work, it is usually much harder. To get started in the right direction use the startup costs calculator to estimate startup expenses for your business.