Evaluate A Business Opportunity

When evaluating a business opportunity, successful entrepreneurs and business purchasers have an array of options. The internet, a local library, government publications, white papers, and the like hold a wealth of information. Interviews with industry professionals can also add insight. There is no substitute for careful research and planning when considering a business opportunity. The Small Business Association provides the following resources and advice to help you evaluate potential business ventures:

Find a Mentor

Finance a Start-Up

Buy a Business

Buy a Franchise

Name Your Business

Protect Your Ideas

Get Licenses and Permits

Pick a Location

Lease Equipment

Business Organization

Before starting your business you will need to decide what type of business organization is best for you. Tax and non-tax factors may influence your organizational choice along with the importance of protecting your personal assets. Business organizations include: sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations, professional organizations, cooperative associations, and business trusts. Legal, tax and accounting professionals are all good resources to consult when determining what business organization best fits your needs. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development publication “A Guide to Starting a Business” is an excellent resource and available for download free of charge. The SBA also has valuable information and resources about choosing a business structure.

Your Business Plan

A business plan is your roadmap to a successful business venture. Many times perspective business owners skip this all important step. However, most often lenders and creditors will require a business plan prior to issuing loans or lines of credit to your business. Time spent developing a realistic and thorough business plan will reap dividends in future years. The establishment of a business plan will help you clarify and scrutinize plans for operational and financial management and marketing of your business. While creating a business plan may seem intimidating at first, please know that there are abundant templates available for download free of charge. Plan background and templates available from the SBA are especially useful.

Business Licenses & Permits – International, Federal, and State

Oftentimes businesses are required to secure licenses and/or permits prior to becoming operational. Depending on the scope of your business and the location in which it operates international, federal, state, or local rules can apply. The SBA again provides an excellent resource for review of potentially applicable international and federal regulations. In addition, you can check DEED’s website for a listing of applicable state regulations by business type or product offered.

Business Licenses & Permits – City of Arlington

As a general rule, the City of Arlington does not require business licenses or permits. However, a few businesses are required to obtain a permit.  For example, on and off-sale liquor establishments must obtain a liquor license. The sale of tobacco products and charitable gambling operations require permits from the City of Arlington. Sale of merchandise or other items door to door or is prohibited in Arlington, however, goods, services, wares, produce, or other merchandise may be possible in public areas provided a permit is obtained from the City prior to initiation of sales.

Zoning and Building Permits

Brick and mortar businesses, including home occupations, may require zoning approval and/or building approval. Additional information is available here.