Checklist for Starting
a New Business

Get your business off the ground today with helpful
resources and our FREE new business checklist, which
includes many useful tips to consider when you’re just
starting out.

Ready to get service for your new business?


How to Start a Small Business

You’ve come to the right place. If you’re ready to begin,
learn all the basics with our Business Startup Checklist.
Get helpful tips around market research, writing a
business plan, understanding startup costs, identifying a
location, registering your business and much more.

Top Resources for Starting a Business

If you’re wondering how to open a small business but don’t know where to start, the insights, guides and articles below can help.


Best Businesses to Start Right Now

From food trucks and consulting to personal training and graphic design, small businesses are booming. Here are the most profitable ventures.


Tips for Starting an Online Business

When Marissa was furloughed in 2020, she decided to turn her side hustle into a thriving online business. Don’t miss out; learn how she did it.


Top Mistakes When Starting a Business

Most new business owners learn the hard way what not to do when building and growing a business. Get the inside scoop on mistakes to avoid.


Get the Right Services
From Spectrum Business

Helping your new business succeed is our top priority.
Talk to a U.S.-based specialist who can customize the
best Internet, Voice, TV and Mobile solutions for your

  • Business Internet with speeds from 300 Mbps to 1 Gig, including FREE features like a custom domain name, WiFi for your customers and more ($50/mo value=)

  • Business Voice including 35+ advanced features and unlimited local and long distance calling

  • Business TV with top channels for waiting rooms, lobbies, and bars or restaurants

  • Mobile plans with unlimited data, talk and text available 

Frequently Asked Questions
About Starting a Business

Before you start your business there are a few essential steps you want to take to ensure you are on a path for success. Start by conducting market research to make sure there’s a need for your business and get a sense of what you should charge. Then choose a business structure, write up a business plan, register your business and open a bank account. You’ll also need to determine the communication strategy for your business and how customers will reach you. Consider the visual identity and brand for your business and the best ways to market it to reach your customers. 

While there are many different tips for starting a new business, you can download a checklist that will give you a comprehensive overview of many fundamental essentials. From understanding the basics to learning how to connect with your community, our checklist will help you feel more confident marketing your business and much more.

Since every small business is different, it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, here are a few main requirements that you should be aware of.

  • Choosing a business structure: Your business structure will impact your day-to-day operations, taxes and level of risk. The two most common are sole proprietorships and limited liability companies (LLCs). Learn more from our partners at Score™ about which structure is right for your small business. 

  • Registering with your state or local government: In most cases your business will need to be registered. You’ll need to provide them with documentation (depending on your chosen business structure) as well as pay any registration fees. Click here to get started in your state.

  • Retaining a tax ID from the IRS: If your business is located in the U.S. or U.S. territories, you may apply for an Employer Identification Number. Follow the three simple steps here to apply online. 

  • Obtaining required permits and licenses: A business permit and license are required to operate your business and are issued by federal, state, county and municipal agencies. Click here to learn about how you can get a business license.  

  • Purchasing insurance and more: Start by evaluating your risk and choosing which types of insurance you may need. You can compare quotes, work with a broker and purchase the right policy for your business. 

Yes! Regardless of whether or not you need a loan, a business plan is your blueprint to success. You can use this document to formalize your vision and goals, as well as ensure that you are considering market conditions and financials. This process is also a critical time to confirm the viability of operating your business. It should include an executive summary that contains your mission statement, details about your company and service or product, details about the business leadership and location information. The two most common types of business plans are Traditional and Lean. Learn more below.

Traditional Business Plans

  • More common
  • Use a standard structure that allows you to go into detail within each section
  • Often require more work upfront; can be dozens of pages long

Lean Business Plans:

  • Less common
  • Still generally use a standard structure
  • Less detailed and quicker to make
  • Focus only on summarizing the most important parts of the key elements of your plan

If you are in the process of getting funding, you’ll want to explain the requirements and how investments will be used as well as provide short- and long-term earnings forecasts. If you’re unsure how to start writing your business plan you can leverage various free resources to help including your local Small Business Administration office or

Strong customer relationships can be the key to growing your business. Ensure that you’re exceeding expectations by asking current patrons to leave feedback through online reviews. This will help other prospective customers feel confident in the quality of your service. Encourage loyalty by offering rewards like discounts or promotions to customers who make regular purchases, share your business on social media or refer new customers. Make customers feel valued by delivering top-notch service.

Reliable Internet service and crystal-clear calling can be important factors in connecting with customers. Spectrum Business offers top-tier services at small business prices with customizable plans that grow with your business, including features such as:

  • Wireless Internet Backup, giving you constant connectivity even in the event of a power outage

  • Free features like desktop security and customer WiFi that can keep your business secure and your customers satisfied

  • Unlimited local and long long distance calling, enabling you to reach customers anywhere

Learn more about how fast, reliable Internet and Phone service can help you connect with customers and ultimately take your business to the next level.

While residential service may be fine before you start running your business, our experts strongly recommend switching to business-grade Internet service once your business gets up and running. There are a few reasons why you should go with Spectrum Business service over Residential for your small business.

  • Support. Business plans include 24/7/365 dedicated support and advanced access to our on-site technicians.

  • Features. Business Internet plans offer additional free features ($50/mo value=)  such as WiFi for your customers, the latest Internet modem, 25 email addresses with your custom domain name and award-winning Desktop Security.∆

  • Continuity. With a business plan, there are opportunities to bolster continuity planning by adding Wireless Internet Backup,◊◊ which will keep your network running during a power outage.

Read more about the differences between residential and business plans. Have more questions about the advantages of using dedicated business Internet? Speak with a specialist today

Business Startup Checklist


˭Value based on retail price for comparable services. ∆Based on the most annual ‘Best Protection’ AV-TEST awards, industry-leading advanced attacks detection capabilities confirmed by MITRE ATT&CK® evaluations, and 2020 Customers’ Choice for Vulnerability Assessment in Gartner Peer Insights. ◊◊Wireless Internet Backup offer is available for $20/month and requires a subscription to Spectrum Business Internet and Static IP or Business WiFi services. Supports up to 4 devices and includes download speed up to 10 Mbps, with 8 hour battery backup. LTE modem is required & included in price. Devices connected to the LTE modem cannot receive Gig speed. Static IP and Business WiFi not supported when Wireless Internet Backup service is engaged.

Marketing is an essential part of a new business venture, but it can often be difficult to know where to start. Luckily there is an incredibly rich variety of both free and paid tools and services available to help you get started. You can start with a free user-friendly website builder like Wix or Squarespace. Plus, when you sign up for Spectrum Business Internet you’ll get $50/mo= worth of free online business features—including a domain name that you can use to set up your website. If you want to send out promotional materials you can leverage easy-to-use programs that offer free templates for social media posts, newsletters and email campaigns like MailChimp and Canva.

Continue reading about local marketing opportunities for your business or read this list to find out if you have the right marketing mix in place.

When launching a new business, having the right technology in place can set you up for lasting success. Tech solutions from Spectrum Business like Wireless Internet Backup, Static IP and Business WiFi  offer unbeatable reliability and better security, helping you stay organized and connected from day one. Here are 5 additional technologies that can start your business on the right foot:

1.  A customer relationship management (CRM) system allows you to collect, organize and analyze client information.

2.  Project management software will make your workflow more organized and efficient.

3.  Online data storage programs like Dropbox and Google Drive improve access and provide an extra layer of protection in case your server is compromised.

4.  Financial management tools like Quickbooks or Wave let you continuously monitor cashflow, track expenses and manage employee payroll.

5.  Cybersecurity software is essential to keep your small business from falling victim to a cyber attack. Spectrum Business Internet service includes FREE award-winning Desktop Security,∆ including real-time protection against threats with automatic updates, 25 FREE licenses for your devices, Internet browsing protection and spyware detection and removal.

Want to keep reading? Spectrum Business offers key  insights to keep you up to date on top tech. Here are 5 small business technology trends to take advantage of this year.

Spectrum Business offers lightning-fast speeds that grow with your business. Boost productivity and count on unlimited bandwidth to support all your devices with 99.9% network reliability§ and FREE features. 

Choose from three levels of business Internet:

  • 300 Mbps Internet: The right speed for video conferencing, streaming and point-of-sale systems for fewer than 5 employees.

  • 600 Mbps Internet Ultra: Ideal for fewer than 20 employees to run e-commerce and cloud-based applications.

  • Gig Internet□: Get the fastest speeds available to support web hosting, data backups and large file transfers for 20+ employees.

Our small business specialists can walk you through the right options for your business. Contact us to get started today.

Business Startup Checklist


□Spectrum Business Internet Gig requires Spectrum Gig capable modem. Speed based on download speed on wired connection. Wireless speed may vary. Available speeds may vary by address. §99.9% Network Reliability based on average HFC Availability, Aug. 2020 - Mar. 2022. Visit for details.

Adding Mobile service for your small business can save you money and help you stay connected to your customers, employees and vendors anytime, anywhere. If you’re self-employed and you use your cellphone for business, you may be able to claim the business use of your phone as a tax deduction. You can use the camera on your smartphone to take pictures of your business services or products and download apps that allow you to quickly and easily edit and upload them to your business’ social media accounts. Learn more about the benefits of adding Mobile service to your business. 

Business Startup Checklist


Limited-time offer; subject to change. Qualified new business customers only. Must not have subscribed to applicable services w/ in the last 30 days & have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Services subject to all applicable service terms & conditions, which are subject to change. Services & promo. offers not avail. in all areas. Standard pricing applies after promo. period. Installation & other equipment, taxes & fees may apply. Restrictions apply. Call for details.