10 Step Guide to Starting a Business

#1 Gather Information

There is a wealth of resources available to assist entrepreneurs in the City of Springfield. Contact any of the following local, state, and federal agencies to receive important information that will assist you in developing your business venture:

City of Springfield Office of Planning and Economic Development
70 Tapley Street, Springfield, MA 01104 (413) 787-6020 http://www3.springfield-ma.gov/planning/

Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Western Regional Office
Scibelli Enterprise Center, One Federal Street, Building 101R, Springfield, MA 01105-1160 (413) 737-6712 http://www.msbdc.org/wmass/

Small Business Association
1441 Main Street #450, Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 785-0268 http://www.sba.gov

#2 Create a Business Plan

A formal business plan is an invaluable tool to help your business succeed. A requirement to obtain certain loans, a business plan addresses the critical goals and challenges of a new business venture and enables entrepreneurs to set benchmarks, evaluate progress, and demonstrate to potential investors that the company has longer term profit-making potential with positive cash flows. The following are a number of local resources that you should investigate as you develop your business plan:

Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Square Springfield, MA 01105 (413)785-0314 http://westernmassachusetts.score.org/

Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Western Regional Office
Scibelli Enterprise Center, One Federal Street, Building 101R,   Springfield, MA 01105-1160

Small Business Association
1441 Main Street #450, Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 785-0268  http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business


#3 Register your Business Name and Legal Structure

There are important legal issues to consider before naming and incorporating a business. Depending on the type of ownership, different requirements will need to be addressed. Also, before choosing your business name, you must ensure that no other company in the Commonwealth is already operating under that name. Below are a number of resources available that can help you in this critical step:

City of Springfield-Office of the City Clerk
City Hall, Room 123, 36 Court Street, Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 736-3111 http://www3.springfield-ma.gov/cos/clerk0.html

Secretary of the Commonwealth - Corporations Division
One Ashburton Place, 17th Floor, Boston, MA 02108 (617) 727-9640 www.sec.state.ma.us/cor/

#4 Explore Incentives

The City of Springfield offers several business assistance programs that maybe applicable to your business as you select a site or work to improve your existing location. Programs include:

Links to each program is found under the Small Business Assistance link located on the right.

#5 Assemble Financing

When developing a new business it is essential to assemble financing that meets the short and long-term needs of your business. Please contact your local bank or lending institution to explore financing opportunities. Also, below is a list of financial institutions known for providing financial assistance to small businesses.

Common Capital
4 Open Square Way,
Suite 407, Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 420-0183 common-capital.org

Accion USA New England
(508) 363-2300- www.accion.org

(800) 445-8030-www.massdevelopment.com

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation
(617) 523-6262- www.mcdfc.com

#6 Select a Business Site

As they say in real estate, location, location, location. Location is a key factor in the success of your enterprise. However, you must consider your needs, budget, and target clientele when choosing a site for your new business. The City of Springfield offers a variety of resources to find the perfect location for your business.

#7 Complete Zoning and Permitting Requirements

Before buying, leasing, or developing any new space, it is important to ensure that you have addressed relevant zoning and permitting issues. The City of Springfield has developed a Business Guide to help direct new business owners to the appropriate City office for zoning, permitting, and licensing issues. This guide is available here

Contact the following City departments for information on permitting and licensing requirements to operate a business in the City of Springfield:

City of Springfield-Department of Inspectional Services
70 Tapley Street, Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 787-7807 http://www3.springfield-ma.gov/code/inspectional-services.0.html

City of Springfield-Department of Health and Human Services
95 State Street, 2nd floor, Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 787-6740 http://www3.springfield-ma.gov/hhs/health-permits.0.html


#8 Arrange to Pay your Taxes

Several types of taxes may be levied on business by the local, state, and federal government. As you start your business, it is important to be aware of your tax obligations at each stage of your development process.
When starting a business, you must register with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a taxpayer. For more information about registering for and paying state taxes, contact the Department of Revenue at:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
200 Arlington Street, Chelsea, MA 02150 (617) 887-6367 www.mass.gov/dor/business

All businesses, with the exception of sole proprietors who do not file employment, excise, alcohol, tobacco, or fire arm tax returns, must apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For more information contact:

Internal Revenue Service
1550 State Street, Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 788-0284 www.irs.gov

You may also be responsible for paying local taxes. For more information on tax assessments for personal property and real estate contact:

Treasurer & Collector of Taxes
(413) 736-3111.

#9 Address Employer Responsibilities

A new set of responsibilities arises when a business hires employees. Below are some necessary steps that you may have to take when you begin to hire employees. However, there may be additional responsibilities
that we have not included. As an employer, you must submit your state income tax withholdings to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. You must also report the hiring of new employees or independent contractors
within 14 days of their hiring. For more information contact:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
(617) 887-6367 www.mass.gov/dor/business

Your business is responsible for contributing unemployment insurance to the Commonwealth's Division of Unemployment Assistance. For more information contact:

Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development-Division of Unemployment Assistance
(617) 626-5050 www.mass.gov/eolwd

All employers in Massachusetts are required by state law to carry workers compensation insurance.

Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents
(413) 784-1133 www.mass.gov/eolwd

#10 Learn about Ongoing Services

This guide has highlighted numerous resources, agencies, and organizations that will continue to be valuable to you as you grow and build your business. The Springfield Business Resource Alliance (WBRA) works to coordinate many of these organizations and the services they offer. Additionally, there are many other organizations that you may find helpful throughout the life of your business. These include:

Affiliated Chamber of Commerce
(413) 787-1555 http://www.myonlinechamber.com/

Latino Chamber of Commerce
(413) 746-1989 http://www.masslatinochamber.com/

New England Business Associates (NEBA) Business Consulting Center, Springfield
(413) 821-9200 www.nebaworks.com

Page last updated:  Wednesday, April 02, 2014 09:39 am