The Top Ways To Legitimize Your Small Business
14 April, 2017
When you're at the head of a small business, particularly if you're just starting out, it's important to look legitimate.
Even if your small business just consists of you working alone in your home office, it's essential that you look like you're larger and more professional than you might even be.
First and foremost, you want your business to look capable and professional in the eyes of your clients, and potential clients. You want them to think you're as capable or perhaps even more capable thank your competition.
Also, if you're in a stage where you might be seeking investors or funding, it's similarly important to make sure you don't just appear legitimate, but that you are properly set up regarding legal and financial requirements.
The following are some tips to up the legitimacy of your small business.
Establish a Physical Address
You need a mailing address if you're running a business, and your home address isn't going to cut it, even if your office is at home. You should also try to avoid PO Boxes if you can. One good option is to get a business mailbox from a retailer like The UPS Store. You can get a real street address when you sign up for a small business mailbox, and shipments from carriers can even be accepted.
This is important to give you a sense of professionalism.
Get Your Own Domain
When you're running a business, you don't want to have a domain such as the business.blogspot.com, or anything else that isn't your own domain name. You need to register your domain, and if possible get a .com address. Choose a brief, professional and memorable domain name, and protect your registration from spammers.
Other areas you should focus on as you create a digital footprint for your business include a professionally designed website, as well as at least one primary social media profile. When people are considering hiring you or working with you, the first thing they're going to do is look you up online.
Consider Setting Up a Limited Liability Company
If you're self-employed, you don't necessarily have to set up an LLC, but it's recommended. You can choose a business name that's available and meets state guidelines, file your formal paperwork, and create an operating agreement.
There are a couple of reasons setting your business up as an LLC can be valuable in terms of legitimacy. The first is that it provides a way to separate your business and personal finances. Also, if you're planning on looking for investors, you're not likely to get funding unless you're at least set up as an LLC.
Create a Business Bank Account
As a final note, when you're launching your small business and want to appear polished and professional, make sure that one of your initial steps includes setting up a business bank account. Many banks offer free business account options, and you can have a way to keep your business and personal finances separate, and also write and accept checks more professionally.