How Long Does It Take to Start a Business? A Helpful Guide
The U.S. saw 4.3 million business applications in 2020, almost a million more than the previous year.
The COVID-19 pandemic spurred many of the new applications. As startups have skyrocketed, it has inspired many more to follow this path.
But how long does it take to start a business? It may not take as long as you think.
Here is what to expect when you decide to step into the startup world.
How Long Does It Take to Start a Business?
There is not a definitive answer to this question, as different types of businesses will have a different startup timeline. Narrowing down the major steps based on your type of business will help answer the question.
If you will be creating a home-based business without employees, your business could potentially be created in a matter of weeks.
However, if you bring locations and employees into the mix, expect it to take longer. Purchasing an existing business may be faster, but you’ll have less of an opportunity to create your true vision from scratch.
If you’d like an office or retail location with employees, your business could be started in as little as six months. If the location needs some work, expect remodeling and city inspections to add some length to your timeline.
Once you’re ready to start, you’ll need to come up with your business name. Register a domain name for your website and also register the business. If you create an LLC, it may need to be registered with your state.
If you’ll have a home-based business, you can probably start your business right after you develop your website. Location-based businesses will need to find a location next. Leasing or purchasing a property may take months.
All businesses should check to see about licenses or permits from their local government. Red tape can sometimes hinder the process, so the sooner you start, the better.
If you will be hiring employees, obtain an Employer Identification Number from the federal government. You can then also start your hiring process. Obtaining a large applicant pool and vetting employees can take weeks or months.
Starting a business often requires outside funding as well. If you’ll be seeking funding, be sure your business plan is ready.
Many of these steps can be done concurrently throughout the business timeline. Working through all of the steps this way will help shorten the length of time it will take to start your business.
When Is a Business Ready?
This is somewhat of a trick question. Eventually, you will feel confident enough that you can launch your business. But you will never stop building and growing it.
There are many ways to make a startup more professional. This will result in a larger customer base upon launch. Customers are more likely to try a new business if it looks more professional.
Getting the word out about your business is crucial to its success. Gaining feedback from your employees and new customers will also help you make improvements.
Get Your Business Going
Many wonder how long does it take to start a business. But the longer you take to consider a business, the longer it will take for your startup to launch.
Looking for more advice on how to start a business? Check out our other articles to get your business running in no time!
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