District of Columbia Business Startup Guides
Open a Business in Washington, District of Columbia
Need help starting a business in Washington, District of Columbia? We've got the information you need to open a business in Washington.
Are You Sure You Want to Do This?
Before announcing to the world that you are going to start your own business, take inventory of your entrepreneurial instincts and capabilities.
While entrepreneurship has become a popular career choice, we recommend you do the following before you take the plunge:
- Talk to other entrepreneurs in Washington. Ask them candidly what it's like to run a business.
- We recommend reading Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
- Seek the advice of somebody who knows you well. The people who know you best are often in the best position to tell you bluntly whether you will be a good entrepreneur.
Washington, District of Columbia Demographic Information
Washington has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for Washington demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Washington.
As a new Washington entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Washington for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.
Should You Franchise?
Browse the Yellow Pages for Washington and you'll notice that many local entrepreneurs have gone the franchising route. But is franchising the right option for you?
We highly recommend you consider franchising as an option. We have many articles on franchises, such as Buying a Franchise. Gain a solid understanding of franchising by scanning all of our Articles on Franchising.
To learn about specific franchise opportunities, check out our Franchise Directory.
Note on Washington Franchise Opportunities: You will need to contact franchisors directly to see if their franchises are available in Washington.
Company Formation in Washington, District of Columbia
A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.
When forming a company, you will pick from many company types, such as a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.
Incorporating is a very popular way to form a business. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. Just because you are starting a business in District of Columbia, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in District of Columbia. In fact, you can incorporate wherever you want. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.
There's a lot to know about forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Pre-Incorporation Agreements. You may also want to seek the advice of an lawyer. On a final note, since you will be starting a business in Washington, District of Columbia, our web page covering Incorporating in District of Columbia may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in District of Columbia.
Don't Skip the Business Plan
Writing a business plan is essential in maximizing the prospects of your new company. Simply put, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Not having a business plan will greatly reduce your chances of business success.
Getting Money to Start a Business
Raising money to fund your new Washington business is a difficult chore. In fact, financing your new business may be the hardest challenge you ever face.
Take advantage of our many articles on raising capital, such as 504 Loans.
For Washington entrepreneurs who want to raise money for a new venture, check out our List of District of Columbia Angel Investors and our List of District of Columbia Venture Capital Firms.
Some Interesting Washington Entrepreneurs
Here, we'll keep a running list of interviews we've had with Washington entrepreneurs.
- Interview with DC Metro Food Tours Founder Jeff Swedarsky
- Interview with Jason Morrison, Founder of Capitol Media Solutions
- Interview with Monica Barnett, Founder of Blueprint for Style
- Interview with Tara Chantal Silver, Founder of SilverStrategy
- Interview with Founder Shaun Dakin
- Interview with Art By Chocolate Founder Lee Reizian Holmes
You have a dream -- starting a business in Washington. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.
From this point on, you control your own destiny.
Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Washington and throughout the United States . We have a wealth of experience in business start-ups, financing, marketing, sales and more...and we've made all of our knowledge available to you.
More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Washington, District of Columbia
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Washington.
- Resources for Washington, District of Columbia Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Washington entrepreneurs.
- District of Columbia Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in District of Columbia.
- District of Columbia Small Business Development Center - The District of Columbia Small Business Development Center Network is dedicated to promoting the growth, expansion, innovation and increased productivity of small business owners in Washington D.C.
More Business Startup Guides for District of Columbia
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