The following are the essential first steps to establishing an internet business for long-term success.
Putting your internet company concept into action involves 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, much like many other things in life. It's time to go to work now that you've nailed down the ten percent (the concept) and done your due research on viability
Make a Business Plan
If you want to seek money from outside investors or a lender, you'll need a business plan. You should have a business plan even if you're planning to bootstrap your internet business with your own money. It will assist you in ironing out the intricacies of your business, estimating when it will become profitable, and establishing milestones and targets to measure your progress. Your business plan should include, at a minimum, what items or services you'll offer, your target market, expenditure and income estimates, and deadlines for achieving your objectives.
Decide on a Business Structure
How you form your company will be determined by how much personal liability protection you want, the tax advantages you seek, and the kind of investment prospects you seek. A single proprietorship, partnership, limited liability corporation (LLC), and corporation are the most popular company formations.
A sole proprietorship is the simplest option if you are the only owner, but it does not give personal liability protection from your business's debts and responsibilities. As a result, many business owners prefer to create a limited liability company or corporation.
Choose a Business Name
When it comes to picking a business name, the best advice is to keep it short and simple, and make sure it accurately represents your company or product. If you're selling shoes, for example, a name like "Walking on Clouds" isn't a good idea, no matter how comfy your shoes are. People looking for your goods online will use the product name as a keyword, so be sure to include it in your company name. Companies like Nike and Red Bull can afford to spend millions of dollars branding their products; you can use your name to do the same.
Register a Domain Name
Your website is your store as an online business, and it, like a physical store, need a name so that consumers can discover it. A domain name is the name you give to your website. Your company name and domain name should, ideally, be the same. If the name you choose isn't already used, you may register it using a domain registrar like GoDaddy. If the business name you wish to use is already used, try adding the state or city where you are located or adding your name to make it distinctive.
If you're a school or organization, your domain name will end in ".com," ".biz," or ".org." Because it is the most familiar, it is recommended to remain with ".com" for an internet business.
Obtain an EIN
The IRS website may help you get a federal tax identification number, often known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), for your firm. While sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs aren't needed to have an EIN (as long as they don't have workers), it's generally a good idea for all firms to obtain one. You won't have to use your Social Security number this way, and most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account.
Check for Permits and Licenses
Different sorts of companies require different permits and licenses in different states, counties, and localities. To find out what is necessary, contact the relevant agencies for your company location. See How to Get a Business License for information on business licensing requirements in all 50 states.
You should also check to determine whether a fake business name is necessary for your company. You may want to consider purchasing business insurance depending on the nature of your internet business and the sort of business organization you pick.
Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights
If you wish to protect a product, logo, creative creation, or other intellectual property, you should apply for a trademark, patent, or copyright. These safeguards provide you with legal protection in the event that you require it. You can file a trademark or patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or a copyright license with the United States Copyright Office.
You may also use these offices to double-check that your logo, written work, invention, or other intellectual property isn't already held by someone else. You might be held accountable for damages if you infringe on an existing copyright or trademark, so it's a good idea to check before you start selling online. Conducting a search will assist you in avoiding potential legal problems such as selling t-shirts or other goods containing trademarked or copyrighted logos or photos without the owner's consent.
Select a Platform for Your Online Business
Choosing to build your own website gives you complete control over your company. However, development and maintenance expenses are considerable, and you'll almost certainly need to engage a team of specialists to set up and manage all of the necessary features.
Shopify or BigCommerce, for example, are third-party platforms or marketplaces that perform a lot of the work for you. Most platforms enable you to establish a website on their platform or utilize their website to sell your products. Many provide templates for building a website as well as expert designers for a charge.
The platform you select will be determined by your company's needs and budget. Compare the customer service supplied, security methods used, payment choices offered, and general services provided while determining what is ideal for you. Check out what platforms your rivals are using to ensure that the platform you pick meets the demands of your sector. The design of your website will be crucial to your success.
The credit card business requires Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. Not only must online companies provide safe payment alternatives, but they must also protect the client data they gather and retain. The PCI Standards Council establishes the standards and criteria that must be followed by your online business in order to be compliant.
If you sell your items through a third party, these safeguards are almost certainly integrated into their platform. Third-party platforms, often known as SaaS-based ecommerce businesses, generally save all credit card data, reducing your responsibilities as a business owner. PCI compliance must be included into your system if you create your own website.
Collecting Sales Tax
Customers in the state where the firm is situated are no longer solely responsible for paying sales tax to online enterprises. Many states require internet companies selling to residents of their state to register with the state and collect sales taxes from their consumers. If you utilize a third-party platform, it is probable that the platform has sales tax obligations built into it.
Yoel Molina, Esq. (AKA “Mo”)
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Yoel “Mo” Molina, I am a lifelong resident of Miami, Fl. I am a graduate of Miami Senior High, Class of 1992, Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S. 1997 and University of Maine School of Law, J.D. 2001. I have been practicing law in Miami Since 2001. I am a former training prosecutor in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. I have experience in jury trials, appeals, and administrative hearings. I have appeared before judges across the State. My experience ranges from civil litigation matters, collection matters, foreclosure, business and corporate, contracts, real estate, leases and employment matters..
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"My name is Anastasia Yecke Gude and I am the owner of Healing Hands Therapeutic Massage LLC. In the process of my company’s growth and expansion, I suddenly found myself a few weeks ago in need of a 1099 contractor agreement, and I needed it ASAP. As in, the very next day! I contacted the Law Office of Yoel Molina and his assistant put me in touch with Mo. I sent him what I had drafted up and he replied within a few hours with suggested revisions and clarifications, as well as a few insights I had not even considered. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of work he provided, especially considering the time crunch I put him in (sorry, Mo!). I definitely recommend his services to anyone in need of a good contract attorney, and I will be calling him again for future work…hopefully in less of a rush next time!"