How do I start a small business in Virginia?

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Starting a business can be a confusing process when you’re told what to do, but not showed how to do. It is my intention that at the end of this article, you’ll be confident and able to create an action plan to start your business.

Step One: Identify a problem or gap in the market and create the solution.


Step Two: Map out your business and create a business plan.

What is the purpose of your business?

How will you fill the gap/solve the problem?

Why is your business needed?


Who is the target audience?

Age?

Gender?

Where do they live?

What are they asking for?

How do they shop most? Online? In-Store?

Who is the competition?

Are customers engaging with them?

Are their prices fair, high, low?

How’s their packaging?


Any one who says the competition doesn’t matter, lied. Knowing your competition is crucial to surviving in the market. This does not mean copy their pricing, products etc. If you enter the same market, offering the same products/services/pricing and/or experience, then why did the market need you? Your market research should be used to determine how you can enter the market with a BANG.


Step Three: Pick a Name

Use the SCC website to check if the name you’d like, is distinguishable.


If you are not ready to start your business, you can still file a SCC631 Form to reserve the name for 120 days.

Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Names/D.B.A- Required if you are doing business under any name other than the owner’s legal name. If a partnership, surnames of partners.

https://cis.scc.virginia.gov


Step Four: RESEARCH and decide on a Legal Structure