Utah State

Business Startup

Just the thought of a startup is exciting and exhilarating!

There are a few things you need to know, right up front.  The number one thing is, this is not going to be easy.  If it were easy, everyone would own their own business and why not?  If you work for someone else, you make money for someone else.  If you don’t, you get fired.  If you work for yourself, you make money for…you guessed it, YOU.

If you are wondering about Grants to Start Your Business, you should read our comments in the FAQ section by clicking here.

Where do I start?

Free Counseling

Talking to one of our certified counselors is always a good place to start. You can do that online by clicking here. Online Counseling Or you can make an appointment to speak to a counselor face to face by clicking here. Face to Face Counseling. All counseling is free of charge due to the support of our partners.

Credit Worthiness

Well, in Utah, you simply wave your hand in the air 3 times and say "I'm in business ". Well, that and you should have a business license and be registered with the state. However, the first big hurdle is always financing. Take a look at The 5 C's of Credit found at the link to the right. It will tell you the basics about how loan officers analyze loans. If there's anything there that you need to correct or improve upon, do so before proceeding with your startup plans.



The next thing to look at is whether or not your business idea is even feasible. The first step is to look at how much business you need to do to break-even. The Break-Even Analysis to the right will show you the calculation.

Loan & Loan Payments

The second item in feasibility assessment (that goes hand-in-hand with the last two items) is the loan and loan payment. The first thing to know is that a bank will not loan 100% of the money for anything. Well, I guess if you have devised a way to turn water into a fuel whose only emission is water, they would probably help you out because there would be zero risk for them. However, if there is any risk of any kind in your project, they will want you to have some skin in the game. That means money or assets of your own and of course, they prefer your cash. The bank may want as high as 25% of the total project costs to come from your pocket. To calculate your loan payment, use the loan calculator to the right or any number of payment calculators that can be found online with a web search.

The Next Phase

If you have what it takes to pass the 5 C's of Credit barrier, some money or assets to put at risk and you can say within reason that you can sell enough of your product or service to at least break-even (preferably make a profit) then you are in a position to put together a plan and financial projections.

Business Plan

This is the point where you should really seek counseling from The Utah Small Business Development Center Network. Go to the counseling pull-down at the top of the page and become a client -- Now. Contrary to what you may see on other websites, it's nearly impossible to give you a boiler plate format to follow and write a business plan. Every business is different. If I were to teach a business plan class to a room full of food service companies, when we finished we would have dozens of plans that would be so different you wouldn't believe they all came from the same class. It's not just that some would have burgers and some would have lobster. I can say the same thing about carpet cleaning businesses. Well they clean offices, homes, vehicles? What process will they use? What hours will they work? Will they do drapes or HVAC vents? Uniforms? Move furniture? Everyone would be different. You need a plan customized to you.

General Outline

There are a few components that should be in every business plan. They include but are not limited to...


Following the narrative you need to have projected financial statements. They include...


One last word on financing. There is another type of financing other that debt financing, which is borrowing money. It is called equity financing. With equity financing you are taking in investors. This is extremely difficult for a startup venture. Few people want to risk their savings in someone else's startup venture. If they do, they will own part of your company which means, they will take a portion of your profits for the rest of your life or until you buy them out. If the business is profitable, they will want much more for their ownership than they paid for it. Since this is America they can sell it for whatever amount they want. If you pursue this type of financing arrangement, work with an attorney from day one to avoid major problems down the road.

The SBDC can help you with putting this information together and remember, all of our counseling if FREE! Become a client via the counseling pull down menu above.