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Starting a Business in Connecticut

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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Doing Business In Connecticut

Connecticut Business Facts

One of the brightest spots for Connecticut‘s small business owners is the incredibly high per capita personal income (PCPI) of the Nutmeg State’s denizens. In fact, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that Connecticut’s PCPI for 2015 was 140 percent of the national average, at nearly $67,000. This is a boon to small business owners in areas where wealth is highly concentrated, as there is more disposable income to go around despite the state’s elevated cost of living.

Economy:

Connecticut’s manufacturing industry continues to be highly diversified. Jet aircraft engines, helicopters, and nuclear submarines have given the state pre-eminence in the production of transportation equipment. Connecticut also is a leader in such highly skilled and technical fields as metalworking, electronics, and plastics.

Small business

Connecticut has 322,805 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. Of those 322,805 small businesses in Connecticut, 94,723 have employees. The remaining 228,082 are Connecticut small businesses that have no employees.

Major companies

Connecticut is now the home of such worldwide organizations as Xerox, G.E., Uniroyal, G.T.E., Olin, Champion International, and Union Carbide.

Though companies are springing up throughout the state, the startup core of the Connecticut is located on the southern coast. New Haven is the heart of Connecticut’s startup scene. For several years, the city has been cultivating a reputation as boasting a tech scene in a league of its own. The greater New Haven area is home to global giants like pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb and medical technology manufacturer Medtronic. More recently, it has been the birthplace of the coworking space The GroveTangoe, a global provider of IT Expense Management (ITEM), as well as software companies Continuity and Square 9 Softworks.  

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STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN CONNECTICUT

Business Structure

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Business Name

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Business Registration

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EIN Tax Number

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Bank Account

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Licenses & Permits

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Branding & Marketing

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Resources

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Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

The most common business structures are:

Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

  1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
  2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
  3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
  4. Search and purchase a domain name.
  5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
  6. Conduct a trademark search.

Step 3: Register Your Business

Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

For Connecticut DBA (Doing Business As) go to:

https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/Businesses/New-Business-Portal/Managing-Registration

For Corporations go to:

https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/DRS-Forms/Registration/Register-Your-Business

For LLC’s go to:

https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/Businesses/Business-Tax-Page/Starting-a–New-Business

Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

Step 5: Open A Bank Account

– Open a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

– Get a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Step 6: Licenses & Permits

Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

Here are some links for Connecticut Businesses:

Selling products? Check Connecticut Resale Permit

Business Licensing for the State of Connecticut

Step 7: Branding & Marketing

Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

Join Local Networks

Connecticut Business Incubator Network

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