The Hoosier State is big on small businesses. Over 534,600 small businesses are operating in Indiana as of 2022, and yours could be next!
Starting your own business in Indiana could be a great way to kickstart a new career or gain more independence in your work. You’ll be in charge of everything, from setting your schedule to filing taxes. But first, there are several steps you might need to complete to help set yourself up for success.
Let’s discuss how to start a business in Indiana, including business insurance options for protecting your livelihood.
1. Research and planning
A strong foundation helps set your small business up for future success. Doing your research and creating a strategy can start you out on the right foot.
- Research the market – How will your business fit into your local community? Are you offering products or services that are needed in your area? Find out who your competitors are and get information on them (what they’re selling, how much they charge, and how they advertise).
- Refine your idea – With research in hand, think about your original business idea. Can you make it even better? Is there something your competitors are missing? You might consider offering additional services, more products, or targeting a specific type of customer.
- Write a business plan – This document serves as a roadmap for your business. It helps you set achievable goals and track your success in areas like sales, budget, and marketing. A business plan may be required to get a business loan or other funding.
2. Register with the state
It’s time to start making your small business official. Doing business in Indiana means registering your business and following applicable state and local laws.
- Choose a business structure – Indiana business owners can choose from several business structures, including sole proprietorship, partnership, and LLC. There are pros and cons to each and different requirements that you’ll need to meet. An accountant may be able to help you choose the right structure for your business.
- Registering a business in Indiana – Depending on the business structure you choose, you may need to register with the Secretary of State and file a business entity report (BER). More information on both forms is available on the INBIZ website.
- Get necessary permits and licenses – You don’t need a general business license in Indiana. However, some business types and professions do need a license to work in the state. You may also need a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate to collect sales tax on certain goods, including food, beverage, and gasoline.
3. Banking and finance
Getting your accounts in order is an essential step for starting your own business in Indiana. You might need extra cash to get up and running or simply want to make tax time as stress-free as possible.
- Get an EIN – An Employer Identification Number (EIN) may be necessary to run your business. EINs are issued by the IRS, and more information on how to register can be found on their website.
- Open a business bank account – Depending on your business structure, you may need a separate bank account for your business. Even if this is not required, you might consider doing it anyway. Keeping your personal funds separate can make it easier to track your income and spending and file your business taxes.
- Register with the Department of Revenue (DOR) – Indiana businesses must register with the DOR to receive a state tax identification number. This number is required to pay state taxes.
- Secure funding – Need money to set up your business and keep it running until you turn a profit? Many small businesses apply for loans and grants to get the funding they need.
4. Protect your business
Starting a small business in Indiana takes time and effort. You may want to consider protecting it so your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
- Identify your business risks – Every business faces unique risks that could bring its operations to a standstill. Think about the risks to your business—from damaged property to workplace injuries—and jot them down.
- Write a risk management plan – With a list of potential risks, you can take steps to avoid them. For example, if errors in your work could lead to a costly lawsuit, you might create a checklist that is reviewed before work is finalized with your clients.
- Consider business insurance – Accidents happen, even with careful work and a comprehensive risk management plan. That’s why you might consider business insurance in Indiana to help create a safety net for your livelihood.
Grow a business in Indiana
Once you’ve completed the necessary admin, you can start to run and grow your business. With hard work, time, and a bit of luck, you may soon have a thriving enterprise in the Hoosier State!
Looking for business insurance for Indiana small businesses?
BizInsure is here to help. We have great coverage options, including General Liability and Professional Liability (E&O) insurance for Indiana businesses. Get covered in minutes and receive your policy documents right in your inbox.
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**This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Always check with your local licensing board when getting or renewing your electrician’s license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
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