How to Open a Small Business in NYC

New York has the third-largest economy in the United States and has top access to funding, making it one of the best places in the country to open a business. Opening a small business is a marathon with many important steps along the way. Mapping out your business and preparing for every step will go a long way in determining how successful your business is going to be. 

Small Business in NYC

Choose the Right Small Business Idea in NYC

You don’t need an expert to tell you the first step to opening a small business is having a business idea. Your idea should have the perfect mixture of something that’s important to you and something people are asking for. Do some market research in the NYC area or choose a product or service you know people will be willing to spend money on. 

Finding an idea that suits your interests, personal goals and natural abilities will help keep you motivated when the going gets tough. Choosing something relevant to you will greatly increase your odds of success. Some trending business ideas in New York include bagel shops, wine shops, laundromats and parking lot business. 

Properly Plan Your Business 

Every successful business was built through careful and thorough planning. Before you pour thousands of dollars into your business, analyze your idea and form a longterm plan. You should at the very least have a basic understanding of several different key factors. 

What problems will your business solve and what sets it apart? What is your target market and how are you going to reach them? Who do you need to hire to fill the roles needed for success? How many clients or sales will you need to break even? Having an understanding of these questions will go a long way. 

Form Your Small Business in NYC

Registering your small business as an LLC or a corporation has several different advantages. Registering your business gives you increased credibility and protection from personal liability in case of an emergency. LLCs are easy to set up and only cost between $275-$1,325 in the NYC area.  

Not registering your business leaves you vulnerable to the debts and liabilities of your business. You will be responsible if your business is ever sued. Unregistered business owners may have to file a Trade Name. 

Create a Website

 In today’s day in age, an online presence is incredibly important for your small business. Most customers will discover you by using a search engine. You need to have a website so potential customers can find you when searching for the services or goods that you provide. 

Register for Taxes

Except on rare occasions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without this EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account. 

There are also several New York taxes that may apply to your business. If you sell a physical product, you will need to register for the New York Sales Tax. If you hire employees, you will have to register for unemployment insurance tax and employee withholding tax on behalf of your employees. 

Create Business Banking and Credit Accounts

It is incredibly important that you create dedicated business banking and credit accounts for personal asset protection. If these are not separated, your personal assets are at risk in the event that your business is sued. 

Set Up Accounting for Your Small Business in NYC

Small Business in NYC

Setting up an accounting system helps you track the performance of your business and makes filing taxes much easier. Accounting software allows you to download your bank and credit card transactions. Doing this can save you loads of time when tax season comes and can also greatly reduce the chances of a mistake. 

Get Your Permits and Licenses

In order for you to operate your business legally, you will have to comply with federal, state and local government regulations. You will more than likely need to obtain one or more business permits or licenses. For example, if you’re opening a restaurant, you will need health permits, building permits, and signage permits. 

Get Insured

Business insurance allows you to manage risks and focus on growing your business rather than risk management. Common types of business insurances include general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and professional liability insurance. At the bare minimum, small businesses should purchase a general liability policy. 

In New York City, businesses with one or more employees, including LLC members and corporate officers are required to have workers compensation insurance. Do your due diligence into business insurances to find out which policies best suit you. 

Define Your Brand

Your product or services aren’t the only things that matter. Building and defining your brand will go a long way in separating you from your competitors. The biggest, strongest and most memorable business are all built on a solid brand. 

Before developing your business, think about what your business should stand for. What core values are going to be the building blocks of your business. Potential customers and clients will be looking for businesses with a compelling brand just as much as they’re looking for goods and services. 

Protect Your Business

You should also take safety measures to protect your business from potential dangers. If you are running a store that sells goods, what steps are you going to take to prevent break-ins? During these uncertain economic times, security is one of the most essential investments your business can make. 

Products such as gates are a great way to protect your business from potential break-ins. If you’re looking to protect your New York City business from break-ins, our team at New York Gates is here to help you. We have helped businesses in the New York area protect their business for over a decade.