With the digital age, everything from daily shopping to cash payments has gone online, and clients can still get products and services just as traditional retail stores did. People are starting to look at ways in which they can start an e-commerce business. On the other hand, to keep with the trend, most retail stores are looking forward to ensuring their business move online. However, to be successful, there are certain essentials that one needs to know before starting an e-commerce business. One needs to be privy to issues such as where to register your company domain. This article covers some of these essentials.
By definition, E-commerce businesses are businesses that transmit services and goods through the internet and vary in scope and size. Statistics indicate that online shopping has grown in the past five years. Thus, it makes sense for one to start their own e-commerce business at this time; after all, there are many advantages associated with e-commerce businesses, which include affordability, opportunity, greater flexibility, among others. Below are the important steps that need to be followed before starting an e-commerce business.
1. Find your niche by researching the e-commerce space
While planning to start an e-commerce business, one should ensure they do thorough research. Take your time, visit review sites such as ReviewsBird US, and go through the reviews carefully. Just as it would be when starting any other business such as a restaurant, where you would look at the different food options, locations, and themes. E-commerce businesses are no different; always investigate the areas you are interested in and decide on the particular areas you find promising.
2. Select the legal structure and name for your business
Once you’ve got a solid plan on the space that your e-commerce business will take, you should then go ahead to choose a name. Try going for business names that are unique and which will indicate clearly what your business does. Always consult relevant government offices to ensure that any other company hasn’t taken the name you choose. Having gotten up-to to this point, you will not want to invest much time on a website yet. It is worth first to check the availability of your potential domain name. You can consider a variety of different business structures and names. Once you’ve gotten the right name, you’ll then be needed to choose the appropriate legal structure. This is a crucial step, as your choice will have significant financial and legal implications for your e-commerce operations. There are three major business types, a corporation, LLC, and a partnership. You can consult an attorney who will guide you on the best choice to go for.
3. Apply for an employer identification number (EIN)
Though not all business entity types are required to have an employer identification number (EIN), this nine-digit number proves to be very useful for helping one separate their finance from that of the business. In-addition it is offered for free, an application can be made by mail, phone, fax, and online. Once you apply this business tax ID online, you will receive it instantly.
Obtain business licenses and permits.
After receiving the EIN, it is now time to ensure that your business operates legally both in the state and city. In particular, in the US, a business registered as a general partnership or proprietorship doesn’t actually require to register within the state. Depending on the location of your e-commerce business, you may also require a local operating license. Generally, most e-commerce businesses are home-based and thus doesn’t need permission and licenses as brick and mortar stores do. Some other business permits and licenses that one may need depending on the location and nature of their e-commerce business include; sales tax permit, environmental, health and safety permits, trade and professional licenses for certain industries, construction and building permits, and signage permits.
4. Choose your e-commerce platform and create your website.
At this point, you have completed the needed paperwork needed to start and register an e-commerce business legally. This step is where you will find much difference, as opposed to a brick-and-mortar business. Instead of searching for a location and preparing the setting up of a physical store, in an e-commerce business, you’ll start creating your online store and website. Be very keen when making the website as it will be what clients see first and what they’ll use to browse and purchase your services or products. Put designs that potential clients will relate to the product or service you are offering. You can have a look at platforms such as, Giztop that will guide you in the process.
In conclusion, while it may seem a great task to start an e-commerce business, it isn’t, you need to follow this simple process, and you’ll have your e-commerce business going.