We first recommend that you download or bookmark the "Colorado Business Resource Guide", an excellent resource for all sorts of business questions in Colorado.
1. Have a vision, then define your mission
2. Develop a sound business plan with specific goals and objectives:
- Define the products and services you will be providing
- Define your customer and analyze your competition
- Decide what legal entity to use for your business
- Develop a marketing plan to meet your needs and budget
- Develop a financial plan, including break-even and financing requirements
3. Seek business management advice:
SCORE (719) 636-3074; and also Small Business Development Center
Plus business organizations; professionals; trade associations; etc.
4. Find the best location for your business. Gather information about traffic patterns
(vehicular and pedestrian) to assess potential:
- Traffic Engineering Division for information on vehicular movement
- Observe pedestrian movement during business hours to estimate pedestrian numbers
5. Check local zoning regulations:
- City Zoning Department,
- City Planning & Development. Get a permit for a home-based business if applicable.
- City Land Use Review
- Check neighborhood home-owner associations for any covenants which may apply.
6. Understand federal, state, and local tax laws:
7. Register your tradename (If a partnership or sole-proprietorship).
Or incorporate (If a Corporation of Limited Liability Company).
Use the on-line registration with the Colorado Secretary of State
8. Check whether a "Business License" is required for your type of business:
- State of Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies (303) 894-7800
- City of Colorado Springs City Clerk's Office (719) 385-5901.
- State of Colorado alphabetic Occupational/Industry License Data Base
9. Learn about management issues (seminars, local universities, continuing education, libraries).
10. Check on adequate insurance coverage. (Insurance brokers who specialize in business insurance).
11. Project your business activities far enough in advance to cover growth years and economic downturns.
12. Form an advisory team for your business. (Should consist of accountant, attorney, banker, and at least one other person in the same type of business). Consider also including a SCORE mentor or SBDC counselor.
13. If you will have employees, see the Business Resource guide (at top of this page). Learn and be aware of the Wage/Hour Laws and Workers' Compensation Laws:
- US Department of Labor
- Colorado Division of Labor, (Labor Standards)
- Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation
- Colorado Compensation Insurance Authority, Pinnacol Assurance