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FAQs

STARTING YOUR BUSINESS

Questions?

1. What basic skills do I need to run a business?

2. What business should I choose?

3. What do I need to start my business?

4. How long will it take to start a small business?

5. How can I get my business certified as minority or women owned?

6. What insurance should I have?

7. Do I need to obtain a Federal Identification Number?

What basic skills do I need to run a business?

Starting a business can be challenging and previous business experience can be an important success factor. First hand knowledge of business and its four functional areas – management, operations, marketing, finance – and an understanding of the role of technology, contribute to a solid foundation and provide a basis for making informed business decisions.

What business should I choose?

Business experience is a plus, and the right kind of experience gives you an edge. Having worked in the industry you choose for your new business gives you insight and know-how that can be invaluable. Combine your background in the industry with strong management skills and you are on your way to success.

What do I need to start my business?

Starting your business requires many decisions to be made that could ultimately impact future success.  You’ll need to conduct research and seek assistance to help you determine:  a good location, the appropriate business structure, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, and whether financing is needed to meet goals.  Visit the SBA Small Business Planner for starting your business to find topics that will assist you in many of these areas.

Visiting with a SHSU SBDC consultant will provide valuable information through a step-by-step process that covers eight essential steps to starting your business.  We can also provide information in many other areas affecting business ownership such as buying or selling an existing business, and  copyright and trademark issues.

How can I get my business certified as minority or women owned?

Federal, state and local government agencies as well as large private sector corporations have different eligibility requirements and application processes for certifying your business. The common denominator is that the business MUST be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are eligible for certification. Consult your target customer to determine which certification(s) they accept. Then, learn the requirements and rules to determine if you are eligible to apply.

What insurance should I have?

An important aspect of your business is a well-planned insurance program. Types of insurance you should consider are:

•  Property Insurance
•  Liability Insurance
•  Product Liability Insurance
•  Automobile Insurance
•  Workers' Compensation
•  Disability Insurance
•  Business Interruption Insurance
•  Health Insurance
•  Life Insurance

Do I need to obtain a Federal Identification Number?

Sole proprietorships without employees can use the proprietor's social security number as a business identification number, providing the proprietor uses his or her own name for the business. Using a different name and/or hiring employees requires obtaining a federal identification number from the Internal Revenue Service (Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number).