Thirty Steps to Setting up your Green Business, part 3

Today's post is on the nuts and bolts of your business infrastructure. Like it or not, someone does have to cover these steps, and they can be a big deterrent to the average person, so take it one step at a time or delegate!

Read the full series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Step 10) Commit.
Now is the time to take a stand for your business. It's impossible to worry and to have faith at the same time. It's impossible to be solving a solution at the same time you're fretting about a potential outcome. It's impossible to be focused on success at the same time you're imagining all the terrors of failure. Now is the time to commit to the health and strength of your business. Put worry aside, even for a half-hour block each week, so you can focus on your biggest and best dreams for your business.

In your biggest and best dreams for your business, you have a fantastic idea, a solid plan, a steady and talented team, customers who show you their love, and an ability to use your company to bring about a better, greener world. In your best dream for your business success, your company is profitable, the business is a leader in being environmentally responsible, and you are able to grow, expand, and be a part of making the world a better, healthier place.

I prefer to stick to the high dream. I encourage you to commit to that for your own company, too.

Step 11) Choose your adventure – how will you incorporate?
Find out if you'll be using a sole proprietorship, S or C corp, LLC, or partnership for your company – some great free resources are available at Starting a Business or at LegalZoom: Compare Business Structures

Step 12) Get licensed
You must get licensed to do business in your community. Search your local government website for "
Doing business in ____ County". Take care of this step at the very beginning and you'll be in good shape moving forward.

Step 13) Fill out the Checklist:
a) File your business name with your county and state
b) Apply for any relevant city/county license to do business
c) Fulfill any licensing requirement for your industry
d) Advertise in newspaper to demonstrate ownership of your business
e) Prepare bylaws, articles of incorporation, if needed
f) Apply for a FEIN federal employee identification number for tax purposes, if needed
g) Prepare planning document for your first 12 months – identify bechmarks you intend to reach
h) Open a bank account for your business

Step 14) Accounting software setup
We recommend Quickbooks or Account Edge (Acclivity). This will help you set up a basic accounting system for you to track time and deliverables or product sales. You will use this on your own internally or in tandem with your accountant or bookkeeper.

Step 15) Understand your Profit and Loss Statement
A profit and loss statement gives you a sense of the cash flow of the company: how is money moving throughout the company. For example, a business typically receives money (accounts receivable) from customers, projects, and product sales. The business also pays money out (accounts payable) to staff, contractors, outside services, and vendors. In any given time period, you will want to understand how much money you have on hand (cash, liquid assets), how much money you have coming in (accounts receivable) and how much money is going out (accounts payable). The P&L statement gives you this information.

Step 16) Understand your Balance Sheet
The typical business will have assets, liabilities, and owner's equity. The statement that shows the relationships between these three is the "balance sheet" and this is a statement that shows the "net worth" of a business at any given time (assets – liabilities). Learn how to read your balance sheet and compare it from quarter to quarter, or year to year, to get a sense of your company's position over time.

Step 17) Understand Tax-related information
Tax time will go smoother if you set up your accounting software using generally accepted accounting "categories". I highly recommend you find a tax preparer (an "enrolled agent" or a certified public accountant) to give you a checklist on how to set up your accounting system so that everything is categorized in a way that makes it easy to track the business income and expenses. Having these categories properly set up also helps your tax preparer when it's tax time.

List your green business for free in the national directory at Follow me on Twitter at @monicadear and let me know about your green business!

Monica S. Flores  of 10kWebdesign is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business — she believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She is available for consulting on web development, green business practices, and women in business.


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