Business 101

Looking to start a small business? We’ve got you covered with this go-to guide and helpful resources!

Question? We’re here to help!

Starting a Business in CT

Starting a new business in Connecticut can seem like a daunting task. HEDCO is here to help walk you through it with our step-by-step guide. We go into even more detail for each step with tutorials and examples of all the forms and documents you may need to supply. Overwhelmed? Give us a call. We’re here for you!

HEDCO also offers an ecosystem of providers which consists of industry professionals and software subscriptions which can assist you with your small business needs.

Step 1 - Create a Business Plan

  • The Small Business Development Center (locations across the state) is a great resource which can help you create a business plan, cash flow projections, and other necessary documents. Their toll-free number is 855-4CT-SBDC.
  • Visit for a step-by-step guide on how to create a business plan.
  • Utilize HEDCO + LivePlan to craft your business plan and launch your business.

Step 2 - Choose a Business Structure and Get Registered

  • Decide whether your business is a sole proprietorship (just yourself) or an LLC ( limited liability corporation – the most common small business type). 
  • Get federal and state tax ID numbers. An EIN serves as your business’s social security number and is necessary for opening a business bank account, filing taxes, and helps build credit.
  • Acquire a business license.
    *Learn more about Connecticut’s guidelines here and by watching our video on Business Legal Structures.

Step 3 - Secure Financing and Capitalization

  • HEDCO offers various financial assistance for small business owners – even those in the beginning stages!
  • Research business grant opportunities through resources like Hello Alice.
  • Crowdfunding and personal investors – create a Kickstarter or ask friends and family to support your dreams!

Step 4 - Open a business bank account

Securing a business bank account is an important step in keeping your personal and professional finances separate.

Step 5 - Get Business Insurance

  • Business insurance helps protect your small business and personal assets if anything goes wrong.
  • Insurance you may need varies depending on your businesses. The most common types include liability, commercial property, commercial auto, workers compensation, malpractice, cyber, etc.
  • Is your business properly insured? Learn more here

Step 6 - Software to Help you Manage

Depending on your small business, you will need various tools and software to help you get started! These include:

  • Marketing and Advertising: Mailchimp, Welcome Wagon, Local Newspapers, Social Media, Etc.
  • Accounting and Human Resources: Utilizing software like QuickBooks can help make business easier.
  • Website and Social Media: Wix offers a free website builder or you can hire a social media and website manager or outsource to a larger company.

Step 7 - Gather your team

  • Hire the employees you need to succeed! Whether you need front of house staff, bookkeeper, marketer, social media manager, customer support, and so much more. When you’re ready, you can post your job descriptions on:

Step 8 - Marketing

  • Building a brand is an important step in being a recognizable business. Choose your logo, color scheme, messaging, and how you want your business to be perceived.
  • Create a website and social media channels for your business.
  • Learn more about branding by watching this video here. 

Step 9 - Financial Planning

  • Make sure your business is secure incase of an emergency or when you’re ready to retire!

Step 10 - Launch Your Business

  • Hire the employees you need to succeed! Whether you need front of house staff, bookkeeper, marketer, social media manager, customer support, and so much more.

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