Do you have your financial steps for your LNC business in place? If not, you must get your finances set up correctly as soon as possible. Check out the steps below to make certain you have everything. Ideally, you set your finances on the right path before you start your business.
Many entrepreneurs don’t enjoy the financial side of their business. It can be confusing, boring, and something you dread. However, to be successful and sustainable, you must be aware of your finances. It takes time to set up your budget.
Create your plan and implement it to help you stay on top of your finances. Setting your system up correctly, in the beginning, will help you reduce mistakes and time down the road.
Financial Steps for Your Business
1. Business Plan
Regardless of the size of an LNC business, you must have a written business plan. First, identify the start-up expenses required and allocate the capital for the needs. Next, identify your financial goals, short-term and long-term, and create your plan to achieve those goals.
2. Determine How You Will Operate Your Business
Investigate your options for how your business will be classified and register your business with the proper government agencies. Understand the pros and cons of each type to pick the best structure for you. You may want to consult with a professional to make sure you understand the requirements for each. For example, will it be a corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or sole proprietorship?
3. Create Your Business Name
First, research the name you want for your business to make sure it is available for you to use. Even if you wish to have your name as the company name, it may already be taken. It’s a big world out there, and there may be hundreds of people with your name. Before you start getting your website and business cards ordered, secure your business name and claim it.
This is a critical step. There are many LNCs searching for names that will attract attorneys, and you want to be sure you are not claiming a name someone else uses, or something very similar. Early in my business, I registered Med League Support Services, A competitor in a nearby state claimed Medical Legal Support Services. Thankfully, she left the field before I had to get involved in a fight to get her to change her name.
Once you’ve claimed and protected your business name, file the correct documents. If you’ve decided to operate with a DBA (Doing Business As), you filed with the Secretary of State if you conduct business under a name other than the legal name.
4. Articles of Organization
To set up a business bank account, you will need your Articles of Organization. Every state and county have their requirements, so check with your secretary of state to help you know what you need.
5. Obtain Your Federal Identification Number
It’s imperative to get your Federal Identification Number, EIN, from the IRS. This number is typically required for opening your business account.
6. Open Your Business Bank Accounts
Along with a business checking account, you may consider opening a savings account and a tax savings account. Once you’ve opened your accounts, establish online banking.
7. Payment Processing System
Register a payment processing system, such as PayPal, Stripe, Zelle, or WePay. Link your selected payment processing system to your business accounts. Test them to make sure that they function correctly.
I recommend you apply to take credit cards after your business is established and you have some need for this service. Monthly and per transaction fees add up, and the credit card companies want you to predict how often you’ll use the service and for what size transactions.
8. Accounting System
Research and select a proper accounting system such as Quickbooks, Quicken, or Peachtree Accounting software. Once you’ve decided on the system, it’s essential to know how to use it to track your sales, expenses, and profits. Most people hire an accountant or bookkeeper.
9. Establish Business Credit
Consider applying for a small business loan if you need it.
Get a business credit card to keep your personal and business expenses separate. In addition, it can help protect your assets from business liabilities.
10. Business License and/or Permits
Research your county requirements for filing a business license and other necessary documentation, such as insurance permits, among others. Don’t skip this essential step!
If you are currently operating your business, use these steps to ensure you haven’t missed something important. These financial steps for your LNC business are worth looking over. Set yourself up for success and take the time to follow through in handling your finances.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs in obtaining more clients, making more money, and achieving their business goals and dreams.
Pat’s related websites include the continuing education provided on LNCEU.com, the podcasts broadcast at podcast.legalnursebusiness.com, and writing tips supplied at patiyer.com.
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