5 Basics of Starting a Business in Virginia

There are many benefits to opening up a new business in Virginia. If you are a Virginia resident and are considering starting a new business, congratulations!

Do You Need an Attorney to Start a Virginia Business?

It’s a very exciting and critical time. After the initial trepidation, the rest of it is pretty simple. Finding a good lawyer is a key component of starting a new business. Although you don’t necessary need a lawyer, retaining one should make the startup steps easier. You can also ask your attorney to serve as your registered agent, since you may need one.

5 Basics of Starting a Business in Virginia

Here are the five basics of starting a business in Virginia:

1. Commitment, Desire and Mission: You need to be committed to starting a business. If you have that entrepreneurial spirit or desire, you usually possess the necessary commitment. How will you know if you possess these things? In my opinion, those with an entrepreneurial spirit are on a mission, and their desire to start a business is so strong, that they will not stop until they do. If they fail the first time, they will learn from their mistakes and continue until they succeed. Do you dream about owning your business on a regular basis?

2. A Basic Business Plan: You do not need a formal business plan unless you need to secure financing through venture capital opportunities or through business loans. You will need at least a basic business plan or road map. Your business plan should identify your goods and services, your potential market, geographical positioning and your ultimate goal. We’ll further delve into this in later posts.

3. Selecting Your Business Structure: This is very important, although you can change your business structure or entity later, in most cases. This is where hiring an attorney really makes sense. Your attorney can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each type of business entity. Will you incorporate as a single member LLC? Will you form a general partnership? Will you operate as a sole proprietorship? Will you become a SWAM or DBE certified business?

4. Understanding Your Tax Responsibilities: This is very closely tied with Number 3, above. You should discuss the tax implications with your attorney of forming a corporation versus a partnership or sole proprietorship. How you choose to conduct business makes all the difference in your federal and state tax responsibilities.

5. Understanding Your Insurance Responsibilities: You should understand your business insurance responsibilities. If you are offering professional services, you’ll most likely need errors and omissions or malpractice insurance.