Officially Launching and Documenting Your Business

So long as they’re taking on small jobs from friends, family, and personal networking, many people keep their furniture making off the books. Once you get serious about launching your business, you shouldn’t wait to register your business and start documenting your operations. Too many people start out thinking they should keep their early furniture sales off the books. While there may be little risk of getting caught, this is still illegal. What’s more, you may be hurting yourself financially by not taking advantage of available tax breaks. Be sure you’ve registered your business before buying any equipment and other expenses—pretty much everything—that can be written off small business expenses.

We also can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard over the years people who have taken on these types of odd jobs and who perpetually talk about starting their own business. All they need to do is “cross their T’s and dot their I’s.” And then, for one reason or another, they never do. You’ll be surprised by how officially launching and documenting your business can change your perception of it. We sometimes think about this like getting married to a long-time cohabitating partner. Not a lot may change, and yet things are qualitatively different.


Registration, License, and Permits

Every state requires some type of business license to legally operate in that state. Furniture manufacturing companies frequently have compliance requirements that extend beyond filing the basic paperwork. That’s because furniture companies deal with hazardous materials and industrial equipment, while producing items people sit, lay, stand, store, and move—often for hours at a time and years on end. The liability insurance coverage needs are often greater for furniture manufacturers. Plus, there’s the surcharge for new businesses. Then, when you hire employees, there’s worker’s compensation to worry about. Here’s a quick resource you can use to create a checklist of things to do.


Business Accounting

Nobody wants to talk about business accounting and taxes until they’re in over their head. In this workshop, we detail the accounting, payroll, and financial resources needed to start your small business in the green, and avoid going backwards by making bookkeeping errors that end up cost your business in the long run. Additionally, we discuss the importance of investing in accounting and payroll software (if you plan on hiring employees. This is an invaluable aid for bookkeeping, paycheck printing, and wage reporting. Here’s the good news: With even a modest investment each year, your business will have a software system that it can use even as it grows. For just a couple hundred dollars, this accounting and payroll software platform offers everything furniture manufacturing companies need—even as it grows into dozens or even hundreds of employees and several million in furniture sales each year.