Entrepreneur, gig economy, side hustle, hobby to a business. Whatever you call it, people have started businesses to make money either part-time or full-time. It is called small business, but that is only a classification. There is nothing small about it. They contribute to much of our economy, and it takes a big thinker to be successful.
Are you thinking about starting a business? Do you have a skill, knowledge or talent that you think can fill a need? There is help available to consider how to get a business started and grow it.
Where do I start?
There are several agencies and organizations that will help you think critically about starting a business. Many offer free or low-cost services. Additionally, they work together and will make referrals to each other to best assist you.
• Small Business Development Center at CNM www.nmsbdc.org/locations/albuquerque (505) 224-5250
• NM Small Business Development Center www.nmsbdc.org/
• NM Economic Development Department www.gonm.biz (505) 827-0300
• WESST www.wesst.org (505) 246-6900
• Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) www.score.org (505) 717-4058
• Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) www.nmdvs.org/veteran-business-outreach-center/ (505) 220-9932
• Small Business Administration www.sba.gov/offices/district/nm/albuquerque (505) 248-8225
• NM Procurement Technical Assistance Center www.nmptac.org (505) 224-5965
What is a business plan, and do I need one? A business plan is highly recommended. Going through the process of writing a plan helps you think about critical issues to make your business successful. Include issues such as a clear description of your product or service, who are your customers and how will you connect with them, pricing, regulations, will this be full- or part-time for you and other considerations.
Do I need a business registration or license? Albuquerque and most of the surrounding communities do require a registration or license at low cost. You register online or call the business registration office to get assistance. In Albuquerque, go to www.cabq.gov/planning/business-registration-information or call (505) 924-3890.
Do I need to register with the state? Anyone who engages in business in New Mexico must register with the Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD). After registering you will receive a New Mexico tax identification number. Use this tax number to report and pay state and local option gross receipts tax, New Mexico withholding tax and compensating tax under the Combined Reporting System (CRS). Known as a CRS Identification Number, it is used to report and pay tax collected on gross receipts from business conducted in New Mexico. You can complete a paper registration form and turn it in at a local TRD office or complete it online at www.tax.newmexico.gov/businesses/. Click on “popular information” and then “how to register a business.”
All Corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Partnerships must first register with the secretary of state. You can register LLCs online, but partnerships and corporations registration forms must be completed and submitted via mail or in person. www.sos.state.nm.us/business-services/start-a-business/.
Can’t I just be self-employed?
Consider how you want to organize your business and seek training and consultation from the agencies identified above. Sole proprietor or LLC are common for individuals starting a business.
It isn’t my business; I will be an independent contractor. What do I need to consider?
As an independent contractor, you are a business. Seek training and consulting from the agencies listed.
Can I have a business in my home?
You will want to check on your local zoning requirements. Regulations differ based upon your business plans. Consider if you will be working out of your home with or without customers visiting your home.
What about taxes?
Have a conversation about income taxes, Social Security and Medicare with one of the agencies identified above and consider talking to a tax professional. Online training is available from New Mexico Tax and Revenue: www.tax.newmexico.gov/news-alerts/workshop-schedule/ and the IRS: www.irsvideos.gov/Business.
Sources: Websites identified above; Francisquita Fernandez, Center Director, Small Business Development Center at CNM. If you have a question you want answered, go to abqjournal.com, click on “opinion” and “submit a letter or column.
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