Web Extra: Business Startup Checklist

Web Extra: Business Startup Checklist

Web Extra: Business Startup Checklist

As a new small-business owner, you may be wondering where to start. Here's a checklist of the major business startup tasks.


  • Conduct marketplace research
  • Evaluate your business potential (See the article in this issue.)
  • Scope out the competition
  • Identify three specific client target markets (For how-to, see "Target Market Analysis" in futureLMT.com Issue 4.)
  • Choose a business name (might simply be your name)
  • Join a networking group before graduation
  • Design and print marketing materials (For help with this, see "Compelling Collateral" in futureLMT.com Issue 4.)
  • Send press releases and announcements about your business opening to local newspapers and community publications
  • Send letters to your school clinic clients inviting them to continue working with you after graduation
  • Schedule an open house


  • Determine the city where you want to practice
  • Develop a business plan
  • Establish your support system of advisors and mentors
  • Reserve a business telephone number (To create a vanity phone number, visit www.phonespell.org.)
  • Find a location
  • Design or update the office layout
  • Obtain any required licenses and permits
  • Purchase appropriate insurance coverage
  • If you plan to have employees, apply for your Federal Employer Identification Number (Start here: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html.)
  • Purchase equipment, furniture, supplies and office sign

Finances and Legal

  • Project your startup costs (For how-to, see futureLMT.com Issue 2)
  • Create a budget
  • Finalize startup financing (For help, see futureLMT.com Issue 2)
  • Select a legal status (most massage therapists start out as sole proprietors)
  • Open a business checking account
  • Decide which products you want to carry and establish accounts with vendors
  • Determine your fee schedule
  • Set up a merchant account to take credit card payments
  • Set up your bookkeeping system
  • Review tax requirements with your accountant

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