The state of Virginia has plenty to boast about. It has produced eight U.S. Presidents and is well known for being the home of the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon.
As one of the wealthiest states in the country, it has an incredibly diverse economy from tobacco farming to crab fishing. The 3 main economic drivers are Architecture and Engineering, Banking and Finance and Computer Technology.
Below is a list of a few innovative business ideas for prospective entrepreneurs looking to enter the market.
Profitable Business Ideas
1. Virtual assistant
If access to large amounts of capital is limited, a virtual assistant business is worth looking into. This type of business is easy and cost effective to set up and can be as flexible as you like. The goal is to provide administrative support to either small or large businesses. Some of the tasks may include market research, data capturing or online shopping.
2. Pet grooming service
People love their pets and spend millions of dollars annually on pet grooming. In Virginia a license is required for a pet grooming business and you might have to invest in some educational training.
3. Information Technology (IT) services
With a booming technology industry, an innovative IT company is a great business to start in Virginia. Starting an IT business will likely require a fair amount of capital and extensive knowledge of the industry, but investors are always looking for fresh new ideas in the technology space. If the capital can be raised, IT services can be very profitable.
4. Printing Services
Virginia has many colleges and universities which means a lot of students. The state also has a large number of tourist attractions which means plenty of customers from all over the world. Printing fun t-shirts and selling them to students and tourists may prove to be very profitable.
How to Start a Business
Once a business idea has been decided on it is easy to feel lost and not know where to begin. Below are a few steps that will help with getting your business started.
Write a business plan
This does not have to be very long, but should give a good indication of the purpose of the business, how it will be managed, what the start-up cost will be and any competition in the market.
Choose a business structure
The main business structures to choose from are Partnerships, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole-Proprietorship and Corporations.
A corporation can either be a traditional C-Corporation or a business can select to be treated as an S-Corporation. S-Corps in Virginia start by forming an LLC or C-Corp and then electing S-Corp status from the IRS.
Name the business
A unique and clever business name has the potential of attracting more customers. This process does not need to be a difficult one, as there are a lot of free name generator tools available to use.
For a great guide on registering a business in Virginia, the State Corporation Commision website offers a detailed outline of the process. It’s wise to consult with a legal professional to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the process.
Virginia also advises new businesses to obtain an employer identification number (EIN). This is similar to a social security number, but for businesses. Even if the business has no employees it is still a good idea to apply for an EIN as it might be needed to open a business bank account.
Taxation, licenses and permits
The IRS website has extensive information on small business taxation. Alternatively, the Virginia tax website can be consulted, but it is advised to use the expertise of legal professionals.
Virginia does not issue one general business license and certain professions are regulated by the licensing boards.
Open a business bank account
Opening a business bank account and obtaining a business credit card is an important step when starting a new business. It not only separates personal interests from business interests, but also lends a sense of credibility to the business.
The state of Virginia is full of opportunity and it is a great location to start an innovative business. Find an idea that speaks to the needs of the consumers. A company that can solve a problem, has a much greater chance of success.