McNamee Hosea News & Press


Steps for Opening a New Business on the East Coast in 2014

If you haven't already, now is the time to establish your New Year's resolutions. Do you want to get more exercise or travel to a new place? How about that business idea you have had mulling around in your brain for the past few years? Maybe this year is the time to start a new business venture.

The economy is picking up and the Baltimore Business Journal reports an uptick in certain types of industries - including manufacturing and technology. In addition, Maryland lawmakers are looking to boost the cyber and film industries with new tax incentives. The year 2014 may be your year; the year you take the plunge and start a company you have always dreamed of.

Steps for starting a new business

Starting a new business is much more complicated than renting a storefront and opening the doors to lines of waiting customers. It takes detailed analysis and lots of careful planning. Following are a number of important steps you should take if you intend to start a business in Maryland.

  • Draft a business plan: First, carefully research the need and opportunities available for the type of business you are considering, and commit the details of your plan to writing. Issues of financing, employment, health care and taxation must be analyzed and decided. While there are advantages to purchasing an existing business or franchise, there is no guarantee of success. 
  • Choose a legal structure: Selecting the best legal entity for you and your business is vitally important. Do you intend to form a partnership, Limited Liability Company or operate as a sole proprietorship? There are various tax and liability implications to each type business form.
  • Secure a location: Whether you chose to buy or lease a commercial property, it is important to make sure zoning and ordinance regulations allow your type of business in that location. Examine and understand the fine print in your purchase contract or lease before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Register licenses and permits: Depending on the type of business, you may need to obtain licenses and permits. Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. have different registration requirements and you will need to register your business name and comply with federal, state and local business and tax requirements.
  • Business succession planning: From the beginning, it is important to establish a business succession plan. Your exit strategy will often determine the direction you take from the start of your business.

Consult a lawyer

Perhaps the most important step you can take when starting a new business venture is to consult an experienced business lawyer. The steps above are only a few of the important issues you will need to attend to before taking the plunge. From business entity formation to succession on to the next owner, an attorney knowledgeable about all aspects of business law can help.