Where to start when setting up a business?


I am a developer with some great ideas and hopefully will be able to execute on those ideas well. I admit though that i am totally lost when it comes to starting a business, papers to be filed, tax info, etc... Where should I start when creating the business side of my business are there any sites that offer guidance?


asked Feb 9 '11 at 12:21
Binary X
208 points
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4 Answers


I wouldn't advise you to have any kind of legal or tax work done till you have evaluated the opportunities you are looking at and have a strategic plan to take advantage of one (or more) of them. Otherwise you may find that you have wasted your time and money and may need to change structures and other things.

Best to make those decisions with a clearer idea of what you are going to do. Seriously, the tax and legal issue isn't that big of a deal. It just seems like it if you haven't done it before.

Focus your efforts at first on finding a viable business idea and planning how to take advantage of it.

answered Feb 9 '11 at 14:35
Susan Jones
4,128 points


If your idea or a subset of that idea is simple enough to start yourself, just start developing a piece of it! In most cases, you can put off the legal work until you start making money, are looking for investment or need to bring on a cofounder.

If its too complicated of an idea to start yourself, your first step should be to start 'validating the idea' by talking with the people who you think are going to be your customers. If you start getting real positive feedback, then is the time to do the following, roughly in this order

  • continue getting feedback and modifying your idea to fit the feedback
  • find a cofounder who buys into your idea and your knowledge of the market and ability to execute the business side of things
  • make a shareholders agreement
  • build out a minimum feature set that you can show to customers
  • incorporate

  • start trying to sell it to customers
answered Feb 9 '11 at 15:22
Derek Dahmer
306 points


  • a cheap but very useful guide: Nolo Press Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business
  • Note: above is only a general guide - state-by-state rules will require homework on your part.
  • Find a tax professional and have a conversation about tax needs, what you should record, etc.
  • Financing - how do you plan to fund your new business?
  • Customers - how are you going to get paid?

Just a starting point.

answered Feb 9 '11 at 12:27
Peter L
406 points


Track down this book by a UCLA professor:
The Strategic Path: Learn the Art of Developing a Successful Business
by Harry V. Redinger

He teaches the "Entrepreneur Series" at UCLA Extension, and that book walks one through everything necessary to figure out if you have a good business idea, and how to execute both from a life style and a business perspective.

I have two copies, one completely marked up with notes, and one all clean. It's great.

answered Feb 10 '11 at 05:43
Blake Senftner
151 points

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