Get insurance and a lawyer

At some point, you should get insurance to protect your company from the unexpected. You might forgo insurance at first, since with a new business there isn't much to lose (and you're personally protected from losses by your company's limitations on personal liability). However, you'll likely be required to get insurance if you get investors or lease an office, and you may want to consider getting insurance sooner depending on your business risks. We recommend AP Intego, which makes getting business insurance simple. (If you're using Gusto for payroll, you aleady have an account with AP Intego, as they provide Gusto's workers' compensation coverage.) At the very least, you'll want to get general liability insurance; you may want other types of insurance as well, depending on your business.

Finally, you should get a lawyer. While lawyers are very expensive per hour, they will save you money in the long run. Before you propose a contract or agreement with anybody, and before you sign anything somebody else proposes, you should have a lawyer review it. Without a lawyer's help, you will at some point sign a contract that has unintended consequences that cost you far more than you would have paid the lawyer. And a lawyer can also help you identify parts of your business that might expose you to risk, such as having the proper personnel policies in place for your employees.

One other tip for contracts, agreements, and leases: Make a folder in the same place you made your Business Documents folder, and any time you sign a document, keep a copy of it in that folder. While you'll rarely need to go back to those documents, it's really important that you are able to find them in case a dispute arises or in case you decide to sell your business and the buyer requests a copy of all of your contracts.

That's it for starting your business! It's a lot to take in, but we hope we've made it as simple as possible. Small businesses account for 44% of America's economy and 48% of its private employment, and are the engines of change and innovation in our economy. Thanks for being an entrepreneur!