Nearly 97 percent of businesses in Tennessee are small businesses. Entrepreneurs often find success in the Volunteer State because of its strategic location, which puts it in direct proximity to major shipping and distribution routes. The state also boasts low regulatory burdens and no personal income tax.

One of the best cities in Tennessee to start a business is Memphis. Here’s a helpful go-to guide outlining the steps you need to take to start a business in our city.

Step 1

Wondering how to start a business in Memphis? Begin by coming up with business ideas that you’re passionate about. Do research to see if there is a demand for the type of company you want to start and to determine whether there are enough potential clients out there to make your business a success. Once you pinpoint which idea has the most potential, move forward to Step 2.

Step 2

A smart business plan is what a successful company is built upon. You should ask yourself what will make your product unique and how you will attract customers. Consider people you may need to hire and professionals you should connect with, then calculate the profits you need to make to break even and identify where you will get your funding.

Step 3

You will increase your credibility and be protected from personal liability by registering your business as a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs are easy to set up and manage, and they provide superior tax breaks compared to other business entities—especially in Memphis.

Step 4

If you plan to hire employees or open a business bank account, you will need to obtain a Tax ID number. Be aware of important tax laws, such as those pertaining to registering for sales tax and providing unemployment insurance on behalf of any employees you hire.

Step 5

To build your credibility and simplify accounting, it is a good idea to use a dedicated business bank account and credit card for any and all business transactions. Now that you’ve obtained a Tax ID number as detailed in Step 4, it’s time to set up your company’s accounts.

Step 6

Invest in quality accounting software to make accounting fast and easy. Downloading your bank and credit card transactions will help you track your performance and make things easier when filing annual taxes.

Step 7

You will need to obtain the required business permits and/or licenses to operate your new business. Be sure you are complying with federal, state and local government regulations.

Step 8

Purchasing business insurance is necessary to manage your risk and focus on developing your business. Consider general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. In Memphis, if you have five or more employees, you are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Step 9

To ensure your company is a success, you’ll want to build a convincing brand experience that will drive customer devotion. Truly think about the core values that drive your business and what your enterprise stands for, then incorporate these aspects into your marketing and day-to-day operations.

Step 10

Being active online allows you the opportunity to introduce yourself to customers and build credibility. With a web presence, you are not restricted to a customer base within the physical proximity of your shop’s location. When approached strategically, internet content marketing can be the doorway to success.

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