So, you’re looking to start a business in Arizona. You’ve got an idea and you’re excited to make it happen—but do you have everything you need for a startup? We’ve created a checklist for anyone in Arizona looking to start a business, so you can ensure you’re fully prepared and ready for any potential hurdles that might be in your way.

Step 1: Create A Plan

Even if all you have right now is an idea for what you want your business to look like, that’s fine! We’ll help you out. First, you’ll need to come up with a business plan. Here are some questions you’ll need to answer before you do anything else:

  • What will I name my business? (Check out this handy guide, because naming your business is actually a lot more complicated than you might think.)
  • What will set my business apart from my competitors?
  • Who are my target customers? How will I market to them?
  • Where will I get funding? (Here’s a great article listing several resources if you’re not sure where to start.)
  • How many employees will I need in the beginning stages, and how will I pay them?
  • What will my prices for my product or service be?
  • What equipment will I need?

If you’re offering a product, you’ll need to ask yourself some additional questions:

  • Who will my manufacturer be?
  • What platform will I use to sell my product?
  • Will I need a space to create my product or prepare it for final sale? How big will this space need to be?

When answering all these questions, it’s extremely important to keep in mind the cost of everything. You don’t want to pour your money into figuring out the first half of these questions and then discover that you’re out of funding or your products or services are wrongly priced. As anxious as you might be to get things up and running, remember that doing more than enough research will leave you in a much better position than if you hadn’t done enough research.

Step 2: Form Your Business

There are lots of different processes involved in this step, and they can get boring. But on the bright side, this is where your business becomes a legit operation!

First, you’ll want to register your business’s name and domain. Make sure that you’ve followed the steps in the article above for naming your business, or you could run into some legal issues.

This is also the step where you’ll need to pick a business entity—that could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or an LLC. The type you choose is dependent on several different factors, so you’ll want to research each entity to decide which is best for your business. Depending on the type of business you register, you may need to get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to move on to the next step.

Next, you’ll need to find out if your city requires a business license in order to operate. Luckily, the state of Arizona doesn’t require a business license, so if your city doesn’t either, you can skip that part. You’ll also need to find out if your business needs a Transaction Privilege Tax License (see more on that here). If you don’t already have a professional license and your business needs one (some examples are pest control, daycare centers, or cosmetology salons), you’ll need to get one.

Step 3: Set Up Finances

More of the boring stuff, but unfortunately, it’s essential. Once you’ve formed your business, it’s time to register for taxes, open a bank account for your business, set up accounting, and get insured. This will all take a decent amount of time and money, but it’s necessary if you want your business to grow. You’ll be thankful down the road that you took the right steps to organize the financial side of things.

Step 4: Establish Your Brand

This is where things get fun, but complicated. This last step is where your marketing and online presence come in. You’ll need to design your website in a way that would appeal to your audience and set up your social media in the same way. Make sure you’re posting relevant and engaging content, and if you’re selling products, you’ll need to get professional pictures of them to post on your social media and on your website.

You’ll also need to invest in marketing, and that’s going to look different for every business. Building a blog is a great way to get content out there. Advertising on social media and trying affiliate marketing can also be lucrative. If you’re a service-based business, a lead generation service can be the perfect way to build clientele and start word-of-mouth referrals. Be sure to take a look at our post on marketing your startup for a complete guide.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You’ll want to do what works best for you, and that’s going to evolve as your business grows. Just try not to spread yourself too thin across several different projects at once. Instead, throw your energy fully into one or two different tactics to see what works best.

Starting Your Business The Right Way

Starting a business is hard enough without the worry of any legal issues that might come your way. That’s why it’s so important to take all the necessary steps to make sure your business is legitimate and recognized by the state, and that everyone involved has the proper licensing and tax arrangements. If you ensure you start your business the right way, your only worry will be the marketing side of things—and with a lead generation service like Pro In Your Pocket, you won’t need to worry about that, either.