Back to school season is in full swing for kids everywhere, which may leave some stay-at-home parents feeling empty nest vibes. Why not become a parentpreneur (parent and entrepreneur) and start a small business from the comfort of your own home? Sure, it can be a little stressful in the beginning to grow the business while helping your children learn and grow as students, but it’s a great way to pursue your passion on a flexible schedule and become the master of your destiny.
The best part? Once you know what kinds of services or products you want to offer, have drafted a business plan, and incorporated the entity, starting a business isn’t as intimidating as you might think.
Here are 5 steps to get your company off the ground and operating:
1. Organize yourself at the outset.
You’ve already incorporated the business and created a business plan to ensure all goes smoothly. What else needs to be squared away once these aspects have been taken care of?
- Register your trademark. If your business has a unique name, logo, or design, protect it by filing for a trademark. Once your mark has been registered, you’ll be able to protect its identity and keep other businesses from plagiarizing your unique content.
- Apply for any necessary business licenses and permits. This will depend on the type of business you’re running, so you may want to check with your local city hall or Secretary of State to ensure you’re applying for the proper licenses or permits.
- Stay on top of your annual maintenance, such as filing annual reports that document any changes made to your LLC or corporation and allow you to stay in compliance.
2. File for a Doing Business As (DBA) name and Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Want to open up a business bank account? You’ll need to file for a DBA, EIN, or potentially both, depending on your circumstances. A DBA allows you to accept and receive payments under an alternate business name that isn’t your own. Most banks generally require a certified copy of your DBA when you decide to open a business bank account too. EINs provide you with the ability to open a business bank account and may also be used on important documents to safeguard against identity theft, instead of your social security number.
3. Consult a legal professional for help.
I cannot offer you legal advice or tell any parentpreneur what is best for their business. Ultimately, the best thing to do if you have any questions about the process is to meet with a legal or tax professional for guidance. They can answer your questions and provide expert advice tailored specifically to your situation.
4. Put aside some of your earnings for tax purposes.
Much as you might be tempted to spend most of what you make (and it’s very easy to do), it’s important that you set aside some of your earnings for taxes. This will provide a nice cushion of support when it comes time to file your taxes. Remember to hang on to your receipts too so that you can write off certain expenses for your business! Using an online accounting software can help keep you organized and on top of your monthly finances.
5. Stay focused.
This is easier said than done, especially once the kids get home from school and working from home turns chaotic. Track your hours and time spent working on your business. Set an agenda for yourself each day and stick to it. You might even find yourself getting up a little earlier than usual to squeeze in a little more time to work on the business before it’s time to wake the kids up. It’s definitely a challenging juggling act, but a rewarding one if you stay positive, work hard, and remain focused on your goals.
Starting a small business from home while taking care of the kids may seem like a huge undertaking, but with a concrete plan, broken down into smaller actionable steps, you'll be up and running in no time. Plus you'll reap the benefits of greater flexibility and more control over your financial future.
Do you want to start a small business from home? What's keeping you from being a parentpreneur? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you!
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Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation and Deborah on Twitter.