Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the title links to learn more.

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

A business plan is an essential road-map for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines how a company intends to grow and sustain revenues.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business. Local workshops are also available in Arlington.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws. Click here for local zoning information.

Step 4: Finance Your Business

Learn how to obtain financing and find government backed loans, venture capital and non-traditional financial vehicles to help you get started or expand your business.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation, S-Corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")

Register your business name with the local county or state government. You can visit the Tarrant County Clerk's Office for more information.

Step 7: Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 8: Obtain Appropriate Business Insurance

Learn the different types of insurance needed to sell products or services to meet both local and state requirements. In some cases, businesses are required to have bond or liability insurance.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.