How to Start a Business in 5 Steps

How to Start a Business in 5 Steps

When Will and I first created Yottled, we were told to set up several things for our business.  It was difficult to understand, took weeks to get done, and was a barrier to us doing anything for our customers.  We’ve put together a simple guide so you can hit the ground running and not wonder how to start a business.

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  1. You need a bank account
    1. If you have a bank account, you’re rocking and rolling.  You can even use a personal bank account for your business if you are operating as a “Sole Proprietorship” or “Doing Business As” or DBA (more on this later).
    2. If you don’t have a bank account, NerdWallet has a ton of great advice on opening a bank account online.  Check out their resources here.
  2. You may need to push some paper
    1. Tl;dr – You may need to do some paperwork to start a business.  The cheapest way is with a site called LegalZoom.
    2. Almost all of the businesses on Yottled fall into one of the following 3 business types.  This is not encompassing of business types, but it’s the main types that our customers have used:
      1. Sole proprietorship – tldr – You use your name and social security number as your business.  You mix your personal and business finances.  You will likely need to get a business license with the state and may need to get a permit depending on the business.
        1. It’s a great way to operate for most people.  According to the IRS, sole proprietors represent 73% of businesses that exist in the US.  It’s the most common type of business operating model by far.  You will need to keep track of what is taxable vs. not taxable from an income standpoint (more on this later).  Luckily, there are electronic tools to help!
        2. With sole proprietorship, you will need to get a business license and may need to file for a permit depending on the work you’re doing.  Be sure to check with your state to understand what permits are needed.
      2. Doing business as (DBA) – tldr – It’s basically the same thing as a sole proprietorship but you have decided a business name instead of your name (eg. Yottled instead of Trevor Hough).  Because of this, states require you to file some paperwork and charge you for it so they know Yottled is the same thing as Trevor Hough…and they can get their taxes.
      3. LLC – tldr – A complete and separate company is made.  There are owners and members of the company.  It costs money and you will need to file paperwork with the state.
        1. On average, it costs $1000 to create and found an LLC.  This is mainly due to attorney and state filings.  
        2. The largest advantage to an LLC is the separation of personal and business finances.
  3. Confused yet on how to start a business?  Let’s recap.  So far you need:
    1. A bank account.
    2. Rolling with a sole proprietorship?  Some states require permits and a license so check with the state.
    3. Keep track of your business spending and income for taxes.
    4. We’re almost done…
  4. Get paid electronically
    1. Let’s assume you’re going to set up a sole proprietorship.
    2. Getting paid electronically helps keep track of business expenses and individual items.  This helps when it comes to tax time.
    3. Yottled makes is super easy to get paid electronically for all of your services online.
  5. Done! – Let’s recap all of the quick steps so it doesn’t take you weeks to start a business!
    1. So far, you have used your existing bank account.
    2. You have used your name and social security number for a sole proprietorship.
    3. Get licensed and get permits.  Check with your local state to see what they are.
    4. Get customers.

We hope you love Yottled and we make a positive impact on your life.  If you have any questions, we got something wrong, or you just want to say hey, send us a note to

~Trevor and Will

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Trevor is the co-founder of Yottled. Trevor was the VP of Product at Crisp, ran a product team at Duo Security, and has built and contributed to many other successful and failed start ups. He focuses on enabling and delighting users.

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