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Taking a Bite of the Big Apple: The Top Tips for Starting a Business in New York

What if you tried to take a bite out of the Big Apple and it ended up biting you?

New York is one of the most attractive places in the world to start a new business. However, it’s easy to go out of business in no time flat if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you’re interested in doing business in New York, we’ve prepared our top tips to help your business thrive. Keep reading to discover the secrets to New York success!

Know Your Demographic

The first step to making a new business in New York is understanding your demographic. Who are you making this product for, and why should they care?

And this can be trickier than you think. For example, Millennials are an increasingly hot New York demographic. But so many products and companies cater to them that you will need to do something truly special to stand out.

This is why some businesses find it a better idea to market to an overlooked niche demographic instead of an over saturated one, especially in the Big Apple.

Rock a Clever Name

Shakespeare famously asked, “what’s in a name?” We hate to break it to the Bard, but the answer to that is “everything.”

You want a name that is short and also unique. This is why many popular startups and apps use playfully misspelled versions of words (like “Qopywriter” instead of “Copywriter”).

You also want a name that is evocative of your business. The word “Tinder” makes us think about fires that we start with matches, which is perfect for a matchmaking service.

Altogether, this is why naming a business is one of the hardest parts. The name should be simple, engaging, and evocative, all at the same time.

Going Solo

Have you seriously considered if you will go into business with anyone? If not, then we recommend doing a sole proprietorship business.

This form of business is popular because it is the quickest to set up. It can also be a time-saver in the long run because you are the only one making decisions.

One of the biggest advantages is that a sole proprietorship is not very expensive to set up. Keep in mind, though, that you will be personally on the line for losses if the business ends up going under!

Play Well With the Locals

Doing business in New York means understanding what makes this area unique. Sadly, that means you’re going to have to become intimate with New York tax codes and laws.

This can be time-consuming and difficult to learn. Even if your actual business is a solo venture, you may want to consult with a professional about the taxes.

You’ll also need to get all of the licensing and permits that relate to your business. Fortunately, New York has made this easy by providing an online Business Wizard that will provide the info you need.

Let this be a reminder: the blood of a successful business is paperwork. You’ll need to master filling everything out to be successful in this town!

Making a Plan

Chances are that your business idea started with product concepts and maybe demographic research. As things get serious, though, you are going to need a very thorough business plan.

The plan is primarily for your own purposes. However, a well-written plan can be a good way to bring various investors and partners onboard with your new business.

You need to articulate what problems your product solves in a unique way and how you distinguish yourself from the competition. You must also detail your customer segments and your various marketing plans to reach them.

The plan should also include what your team would look like. What roles will you need to hire to cover every responsibility?

Finally, you need a financial plan. This includes how much money it will take to get your business started and how much you will need to make each month to break even.

Get Registered

Registering your business may be more complex than you think. This is because there are so many potential options!

For example, you might form an LLC. To do so, you must register with the New York Division of Corporations and then publish the LLC in two newspapers within 20 days.

You can incorporate your business by filing with the same Division. And you may wish to consult with a tax professional about the benefits of electing an S-Corporation status.

Finally, understand that NY requires your business to use its actual name. You can file for a DBA to use a different name, but such status makes it clear to customers who the actual company is.

Obtaining Insurance

Murphy’s Law is alive and well for new businesses. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong!

Therefore, your business is going to need insurance. And what kind of insurance you need depends on what new business you have started.

Even small companies, for example, will need insurance for disability and workers’ compensation. And anything involving vehicles is going to need automobile insurance.

There are many optional insurances that add extra protection but come at extra cost. By knowing your bottom line, you can determine if extra insurance is actually worth it!

Location, Location, Location

Getting a good location is arguably the most important part of starting a new business. And that’s truer in New York than it is anywhere else!

Places like the Westgate Resorts are successful because they have an awesome location. And that location is tied to who their demographic is, making business very convenient for everyone.

The location also ties to business costs. It will be very expensive to open a business in Manhattan, but the rewards may be worth it. However, if more of your target demographic is in Woodstock or the Hudson Valley, then you should put up a shingle out there.

New Business In New York: The Bottom Line

Now you know how to start a business in New York. But do you know who makes doing business easier every day?

At Your Business specializes in helping you take your business to the next level. To see what we can do for you, come check out our easy business forms and templates today!