Starting a business can feel daunting, especially if you’re an independent professional or solopreneur who’s tackling each challenge on your own. Where do you begin? What essential tasks do you need to check off your list to ensure that your first year in business is a success?

I’ve found that many clients have similar questions when it comes to the logistics of launching their small business. I created this checklist to guide you through many of the administrative, legal, marketing, and personal tasks that will be key to your business running smoothly. It includes questions like:

  • What is your plan for securing your first clients?

  • Are you an S-Corp, LLC or Sole Proprietor?

  • Do you have mentors or advisors who will be supporting and advising you?

  • Do you have an elevator pitch?

  • And many more!

After going through this list, you’ll  feel more organized, confident, and ready to take on everything that comes your small business owner. Establish what you’ll set out to accomplish first and refer back to this checklist often to mark your progress.

Some will be easy to cross off your list, while others may feel more challenging. If you’re feeling unsure about questions within a certain category, stay tuned for follow-up guides with even more tips and advice for tackling each item on this checklist.


Get ready to take on your business and life, step by step by step.


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I started to feel overwhelmed about all of the steps I needed to formalize my business. Thanks to Harper’s Entrepreneur Toolkit, I have all the steps in one place. Next step? Checking them off!
— Zena Hanna, Digital Strategist