What Do I Need to Start a Business?

If you are thinking about starting a business, you already have the first thing you need – an idea. Before committing to the idea, however, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends conducting market research to tell you if there’s an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. Market research can also help you find a competitive advantage for your business.

A Business Plan

Once you have your idea and you have done some research to make sure it’s viable, you will need to write a business plan. This plan will be the foundation of your business and outline how you want to structure, run, and grow your new business.

According to Forbes, a well-rounded business plan contains the following sections:

  • An executive summary
  • A company description
  • Market analysis (the results of your market research)
  • A background summary about your industry
  • Notes about organization and structure
  • Your mission and goals
  • The products or services you offer
  • A marketing plan
  • A financial plan

To write a good business plan, you will need information about your funding and business structure, as well.


You may need to raise money or take out a loan to start your business. Even for small businesses with few startup costs, you will need to have some funding to meet your basic needs while you work.

Funding looks different for everyone and can include everything from personal savings to money from investors.

A Business Structure

If you want to start a business, you will need to choose a business structure. The legal structure you choose will impact your taxes and liability – and how you hire employees and pay yourself out of your business accounts.

You can choose to form your business as a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (LLC), a limited liability partnership (LLP), an S corporation, or a C corporation depending on the details of your situation and your unique priorities.

Federal and State Tax IDs

Before you can open a business bank account, get a business credit card, and take other important steps, you will need to register your business and get an employer identification number (EIN) from the federal government and a tax ID from the state you pay taxes in.

Business owners have special tax responsibilities, but they also get special tax breaks. For example, business owners who work from home get more money on their tax returns.

A Business Bank Account

You can use your federal and state tax IDs to open a business bank account and get a business credit card. This can help you keep your personal and professional finances separate, which is especially important outside of sole proprietorships.

Business Insurance

Business insurance is important to protect your assets and limit your liability if something goes wrong. Some policies can help protect you from lawsuits and others can help you account for business interruptions and other losses.

Professional Help

Do not start a business without speaking to professionals, like accountants and attorneys. Lawyers and accountants cannot only help you draft your business plan and choose the best business structure, but they can also guide you through the legal and financial landmines that can come with starting a business.

At Letterio & Haug, LLP, we know what it takes to create and operate a successful business, and we can help you meet all the requirements under New York state law. From naming your business to getting the permits you need to staying compliant with state and federal tax laws to navigating disputes, we take an aggressive and strategic approach to getting you what you need.

Our attorneys have 2 decades of combined experience and offer every client the personalized attention they deserve. You will always have direct access to your managing attorney, and we will be by your side every step of the way.

Starting a new business? Let us handle the legal side of things. Call us at (845) 203-0997 or contact us online to get started today.