Steps for Starting a Business in Colorado

1. Research the structure, location, and potential for the business
3. Write a Business Plan
4. Obtain EIN from the IRS and research employer responsibilities, if the business is to have employees
5. Determine a business name and register trade name/business with the Colorado Secretary of State
6. Choose a site for business and research zoning with the city
7. Determine permit and license requirements: Colorado Dept of Regulatory Agencies, City, HOA
8. Obtain tax accounts and evaluate insurance needs: Colorado Dept of Revenue, Professional Services
9. Obtain financing

 

Writing a Business Plan

 

A business plan (BP) is required for any business seeking financing. However, it is recommended for all businesses. The BP for a start-up requiring financing should have detailed support for any assumptions. The BP for an acquisition of an existing business that is seeking financing does not need as much detail but should include the prior 3 years' actual financials and projections for the next 2 years.

The BP for a start-up should include:

1. Executive summary with a description of the business, goals, timeline, target markets, differentiation, strategy for success, management team skills and experience, 2-3 year key financial projections, a summary of the total project cost, and sources for any funding requirements. Take one point from each section of the business plan. This should be no longer than 2 pages. Make sure the information in the summary matches throughout the business plan. Keep to the facts and stay away from too many unsupported adjectives.

2. Details of the business with a history of the business, legal structure, organization, ownership, location

3. A marketing plan including products and services offered, competitive advantages, method of distribution, analysis of competition, competitive strategy, pricing strategy, and marketing budget. Use of a library to access databases with market averages for comparison is recommended, e.g. RMA, IRS averages by SIC

4. A 3-5 year financial plan with income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements. The first year should be monthly with the remaining data stated annually. Start-up costs and fixed assets should be listed, along with a break-even analysis (Break-even = Fixed Costs/(Unit Price of product/service – Unit Variable Cost)). Include a summary with total project cost, how much will be input by the borrower, funds expected from other sources like a bank, owner carried, etc. - breakdown of the total costs by: capital requirements for the business, working capital, SBA guarantee fee (if applicable), closing costs, and processing fees.

5. Supporting documents such as resumes, legal documents, references, credit scores/reports of owners

 

OTHER BUSINESS START-UP LINKS

Sample business plan for an engineering consulting firm.  
 
How to write a business plan
 
Business Plan in 30 days! Source for checklists. Buy the book.
 
Online incorporation and LLC formation small lobbying organization
 
Resource center for owners of new businesses
 
One-stop incorporation service company – articles of incorporation, name registration, registered agent, and compliance tools
 
Good information on starting, running, or buying businesses.
 
Resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs to help owners manage their companies
 
Small business how-to information, monthly articles on specialized topics, and a long list of references to other sites of interest
 
The magazine for up-to-date business information
 
Links to various articles and websites on how to start and run a small business
 
CCH Business Owners Toolkit
Advice in many areas and business tools
 
Products, services, and information to help entrepreneurs
 
From the Kauffman Foundation, starting or growing a business, and articles on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur’s Search Engine offers more than 1,000 web resources for small businesses.
 

Growthink - Business Plan templates.

Information, products, services, and online tools for small businesses.
 
Source of exclusive business management information for experienced senior and middle management professionals.
 
Many links to government, business, and economic development resources.  Also hosts a module training program.
 
Small business advice and tools
 
Tannedfeet
Source of information and help
 
Business advise, entrepreneur, business resources
 
The official U.S. gateway to all government information.
 
Search site for countless government-sponsored research reports, articles, and publications
 
 
 

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