START A BUSINESS

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STEPS TO GET STARTED

THERE ARE 4 STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS:

Do you want to open a Bakery? Do you have a great invention that could be manufactured in Wood County? Before our initial meeting, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is there a demand for any of the businesses that you are considering?
2. Get an understanding of how said business will work. What supplies do you have to purchase and how much capital you will need to move forward?
3. What is your target audience?
4. Do you want to operate a home-based business? An online store? Bricks and mortar?

IS THERE A MARKET FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN WOOD COUNTY?

At our initial meeting, we can discuss your business idea(s) to gather as much information as possible to see if there is a market for it in Wood County. Our office is happy to put you in contact with one of our many partners to conduct a market study to ensure that Wood County is a place where your business can be a success!

Before you seek out investors or funding for your upcoming business, be sure to create a business plan. Business plans are required by lenders and allow you to showcase your credentials and generally projects 3-5 years ahead while outlining the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. Need help getting started with your business plan? SCORE.org offers business plan templates for a variety of industries. Visit the site, complete a questionnaire and it builds a plan for you.

Prefer more hands-on assistance? West Virginia University at Parkersburg has a fantastic Small Business Development Center that can assist you with the following:

– Business Consultation
– Pre-Venture Counseling
– Capital Formation
– Business Plans
– Training Programs
– SmallBizU

The West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WV SBDC), located at the Workforce/Education building at WVU-P, offers many services, including one-on-one coaching and resources to assist you in starting and developing your business. Please contact Marsa Myers at 304-424-8213, or email her at Marsa.C.Myers@wv.gov.

ALREADY HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN?

Great! Now is a great time to decide on the legal format of your business. Many businesses choose the Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) format due to the legal protections it provides. Consult with a legal professional for advice on which legal format is best for your business.

Once you have chosen a format and incorporated, you will need to filed for an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) and file your business with the West Virginia Secretary of State.

Now that you’ve completed your business plan and have filed for a business license, it’s time to start thinking about how you will fund your new business! Capital access can be one of the more challenging processes when an entrepreneur starts a new business or is even in the process of growing one.

We are here to help you discuss your options which include:

TRADITIONAL LOCAL AND REGIONAL BANKS

Wood County has a number of small and large banks that all have a different approach to lending. Often, we encourage entrepreneurs to start with traditional banks to see what can be done before seeking out other sources of funding. We are happy to assist you in scheduling appointments and making contacts with your local bank.

CREDIT UNIONS

Some Credit Unions have started small business lending programs. Unlike a traditional bank, credit unions are member-owned and have different approaches to lending.

ANGEL FUNDS AND VENTURE CAPITAL

Angel funds are groups of investors who will combine financial resources to either invest in a business individually or individually. Venture Capital is a type of equity financing where the investors provide money in exchange for equity in the company and manage that equity through active participation in the company. These can be longer term investments than angel funds or even traditional banks and are not considered debt because they are equity capital.

MID-OHIO VALLEY REGIONAL COUNCIL REVOLVING LOAN FUND

The RLF program is loan used for any business need including:

– Business Expansion
– Working Capital
– New Construction
– New EquipmentThese loans range from $2,000-$250,000 and can fund up to 75% of projects; however, RLF money cannot be used to refinance existing debt. To apply for the MOVRC Revolving Loan Fund, click here.

Business plan? Check! Funding? Check! Now it’s time to begin property shopping. Let us help! Click here to visit our commercial and industrial database of properties that are for sale or for lease in Wood County!

We are here as a resource to YOU. Need help contacting a landlord? Need assistance finding out who owns a vacant building? Email us.

STEPS TO GET A WV BUSINESS LICENSE

THERE ARE 4 STEPS TO GETTING A WV BUSINESS LICENSE:

Click here to make sure the business name you want to use is not already licensed.

For information on registering for your state account visit the WV Secretary of State website or click here to check out a helpful pdf guide.

In order to get a business license, you will need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS. FEIN’s are free and can be obtained online. Visit: www.irs.gov, and type in FEIN in the search box.

You’ll need the FEIN in order to finish the registration for the business license, so be sure to write it down when it comes up on the IRS screen. A hard copy will be sent to you via mail as well.

QUESTIONS? For any other questions, contact us or check out our business checklist!