How to Start a Business in Massachusetts

Written by Austin Chegini

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Perhaps, you are planning to expand your business’ brand in Massachusetts. Or maybe you just moved to the Bay State, and starting a business now seems like a great idea. But how can you start a business in Massachusetts?

Well, you are right about one thing — launching a business in Massachusetts is a great idea. The Tax Foundation US New Reports that 1.5 million residents of the Bay State are employed by small businesses. Additionally, the 2020 data provided by Statista reveals that out of the 50 states in the US, Massachusetts ranks as the 12th state with the highest GDP.

So, if you want to start a business in one of the most booming economies in the US, you are on the right page. Here are some tips that will help you start a business in Massachusetts.

8 Simple and Practical tips to start a business in Massachusetts

1.    Choose the right business idea

Both income and personal interests are important factors when considering the right business idea. Your business should be what you love as well as what can bring profitable returns. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right business idea:

❖ The type of business

Running a business comes with a lot of risks and responsibilities. Massachusetts has a booming economy with millions of competitive ventures. For your business to run smoothly, the first thing to decide on the goods or services you want to provide.

❖ Your target market

Who are those who will consume your services? Are they men, women, children, the aged, mothers, single women, or teenagers? Knowing your target market will help you determine how to start your business or expand it.

❖ Examine the feasibility

Before you start a business in Massachusetts, you should examine how feasible your business idea is. You must have the time, resources, skills, and qualities needed to run the trade. If you are providing goods, you must get a reliable supply of the products needed to make your business run smoothly.

2.    Conduct your research

The best way to get all the information you need before entering into any venture is through research. Thankfully, a lot of information is available online. But apart from online research, you can read books on launching businesses

Likewise, ask neighbors, friends, or family in the same trade questions on how they started their own businesses in Massachusetts.   

Here are some factors you should research:

❖ Availability of the target market

Is your target market available in Massachusetts? The US Census Bureau estimates the population in the state as approximately 6.9 million people. That makes it a perfect place to find the demand for your products or services. However, what is essential is not the general population but the availability of those who would consume the goods or services you intend to provide.

❖ The legality of the business

Maybe you are a new resident of the state, and you are unaware of the laws. You must be sure that whatever goods or services you will be providing is indeed legal. For instance, all flavored tobacco products are outrightly banned in the Bay State. By all appearances, you can't start the sale of flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts.

❖ The paperwork

Before you can start a limited liability company or a corporation, you must complete some administrative procedures. This process is not too complicated, but you need to have funds available to make your business official.

For instance, you must file an Article of Organization with the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to form a corporation. Then, you will pay a fee of $275 per 250,000 shares bought. 

Likewise, Limited liability companies are formed after filing the Certificate of Organization and paying a $500 fee.

3.    Write a detailed business plan

After you have done your research, the next step is to put your business plan into writing.

    Choose a name

Here, you decide the name of your Limited liability company or corporation. It's essential to research the availability of the name and register it. So check for the availability of the name of your enterprise on the Massachusetts SOS Business Entity Database.

❖ The structure of the business

At this juncture, you must decide the structure of your venture. Your business could take the form of a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability, or corporation.

Sole proprietorship and partnership

Small businesses usually take the form of sole proprietorship or partnership. As an aspiring small business owner, you can either run their business yourself or hire a few employees. At the inception of your venture, you may not be able to afford to hire workers. Yet must still make plans to expand your business. Hence, have a target in terms of income and profit to provide capital for expansion.

Limited liability and corporations

Large businesses are mostly in the form of limited liability ventures and corporations, and they definitely have to hire employees. So, make plans on finding the means to employ a skilled workforce for the smooth running of your business.

❖ Secure the capital

Without money, you can’t start a business in Massachusetts or anywhere for that matter. Firstly, you need to estimate how much money you need to hire your employees, make upgrades and repairs, pay rent, manufacture goods or buy retail products, and purchase human-made resources. You can either raise capital, secure a loan, or get people to invest in your business.

❖ Set a start date for your business

As part of your business plan, declare an official opening date for your business. That will help you work towards making your plans a reality and not just a fantasy. However, ensure to set realistic dates.

❖ Location

While some businesses can operate virtually, others need permanent locations to operate. For instance, a food business may need a restaurant to accommodate people who want to eat in. Similarly, a hairstylist might need a salon for clients to style their hair. Hence, you have to look for a favorable location for your customers to consume your goods or services.

4.    Register your business

Remember to register your LLC and corporation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You don’t need to register your name if you operate a sole proprietorship unless you are operating under a name different from your own name. 

Nevertheless, you will need to register your business in some form with the government. After all, you will likely need a business license, food safety certificate, and other documents to serve customers. 

5.    Apply for an EIN

Your company needs a Federal Employer Identification Number to operate as an entity. Although sole proprietors may not need an EIN, LLCs and Corporations do. For LLCs and Corporations, the EIN confers on them the ability to open bank accounts or file taxes. Application for EIN can be done online on the IRS website or mailed after filing the Application for EIN form.

6.    Open a bank account for your company

Whether you are operating as a sole proprietor or LLC, it’s crucial to open a separate bank account from your personal account. That will make accounting for the proceeds from your venture and the filing of taxes more organized and easier. Also, ensure to integrate your POS with your account to save you the cost and time spent on accounting.

7.    Purchase an Insurance Policy

As a business owner, you should expect foreseeable and unforeseeable risks. Unfortunately, you may not be able to cover liability for these risks. So, you need to purchase an insurance policy for your business. That will help cover some substantial costs in the case of a lawsuit or a loss incurred in the operation of the business.

8.    Establish an online presence

As much as any business needs to have a physical location, it is essential to grow an online presence too. In recent times where the world has become a digital society, most consumers find more comfort and ease with online shopping. The Insider reports that the total global eCommerce sale of 2020 amounted to $3.914 trillion — that's a lot of money! Some of the demand for your goods may exist online. So, create a website and have social media accounts to expand your market. 

Improve Your Business Transactions With Epos Now

Now that you know how to start your business in Massachusetts, it’s time to think about how you’ll manage the daily affairs. With so many tasks on your plate, you will need a fleet of tools to keep things organized. Luckily, a point of sale can simplify this process and make doing business easier.

With Epos Now, you can get the right POS system for your business and make selling even easier. Our systems run on computers, tablets, and we even have handheld options.

Contact our team today to learn more.

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