This is a pretty broad question and in fact, they have written books on trying to answer this question but for a couple of simple steps consider the following. First, determine if the business is going to require significant capital or labor. If you want to manufacture widgets, then capital will be required. If on the other hand you are going to be a consultant, then capital may not be quite as important and then determine to what extent you may need employees to assist at the start. Once this is been determined, make a decision as to whether you'll use an LLC, an S corporation or a C Corporation. Check with the Secretary of State website in the state in which you live to see if the name you want to use is available and if it is, reserve it as quickly as possible and then file the necessary papers to lock in the name. If you just getting started, consider an LLC at least for the first few years and until you have what hopefully will be substantial earnings. There is a point in which you might want to switch to an S corporation for tax purposes but that decision should be a long way off. Don't hesitate to talk to a competent fee-only financial advisor who specializes in small business owners and/or a qualified CPA who works with small businesses. From this point on it becomes a marketing issue and attempts to develop a client base. I hope this helps and good luck.
Your question is incredibly broad and could be taken in a number of directions. However, I do think the best place to start is to put together a business plan that you can then share with friends or associates who can critique it for you with hopefully objective advice. It will matter a great deal as to whether you are going to create a business that is capital-intensive or labor-intensive. As an example, I'm a financial advisor and I don't need a lot of capital to run my business. In the alternative, capital-intensive business might be one that has significant levels of inventory with the need for manufacturing capabilities and I'm sure you can see the difference. In many areas the country there is an organizations called "SCORE" (this is a group of senior retired executives ) and the advice they provide is very often free.. Check this out both on the Internet and in your local community to see if they have the retired executives that you might approach for some free advice. I hope this helps and good luck.
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