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How To Start An Online Business in 2022

Are you considering starting an online business this year? Well now’s a great time! Starting an online business may sound like an easy feat, but for your online business to become successful, you’re going to have to put in some hard work. Use this guide to learn about the many things to consider as you start your online business.

What is an Online Business

First things first: what is an online business? An online business is a business that you operate fully online. You can sell products,services, or even sell other people’s products or services (also known as affiliate marketing).
You could sell tangible products, intangible products, such as pixel art, or even business advice. Really you can sell almost anything online.

Benefits of an Online Business

Online businesses are more popular than ever and for good reason! There are major benefits to owning an online business.
The beauty of online business is that it doesn’t cost much to get started and you can scale your business much faster than you could in a brick-and-mortar store. Because you ultimately just need your laptop to work, you have the freedom to work from anywhere and be your own boss.
Convenience is probably the greatest advantage of owning an online business, but consider how motivated you are before starting one. If you struggle to stay on task and be accountable, then maybe it’s best to have a business partner who can help you stay accountable.
Apart from convenience, since the Covid-19 Pandemic, hundreds of thousands of businesses have either fully transitioned online, or grew their online presence. Online business is the future, so get in while it’s hot!

Finding Your Niche

While we won’t dive too deep into how to find your niche, here are some popular business markets to consider getting started with.The top 6 online business ideas for 2022 are:
  1. ECommerce
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Blogging
  4. Freelancing
  5. Coaching or Consulting
  6. Online Courses
If your current idea doesn’t fall into one of those categories, that’s okay. You can still have a successful online business. Because those are the biggest trends however, consider how you can combine a few of these. Let’s say you love to paint, have lots of experience with it, and want to start selling your paintings. Still sell your product, but consider starting a blog for your company, creating online courses to teach others how to paint, or consider doing 1:1 online consultations for art students. 
Be creative, but also work smart and stay with the trends when starting your online business.

Starting the Business

Now that you have your business idea, how do you actually start the business?3 steps to guide you when starting an online business are:
  1. Registering your business
  2. Getting a domain name
  3. Building a website

Registering Your Business

Every individual has different needs for their business, and legal entities are not a one-size-fits-all solution. While some individuals may feel their online business carries little risk of legal action and opt for a simple sole proprietorship, others may wish to file for an LLC so they are positioned for growth.
Here are some things to consider when registering your online business. 
Sole proprietor.Many independents begin their journey as sole proprietors. For tax purposes, you generally operate under your personal Social Security number or an EIN. The business is also usually run under your legal name. If you want to give the business an alternate name, you’ll register a Doing Business As (DBA) to state the name you intend to give your business.
The biggest downside to note here is that you’ll be personally responsible for anything that goes wrong. Most companies will choose to structure their business as an LLC or corporation to avoid the personal liability that sole prioprieters deal with.
Limited Liability Company (LLC).Originally designed to protect owners of a business from certain business-related liabilities, the LLC structure has since become popular for independents due to its simplicity. This is a very common way to go to quickly avoid the issues of a sole proprietorship by having a legal entity in place.
Corporation. There are two main types of corporations – S Corporations and C Corporations. Each of this is much more involved than an LLC. Taxes are more complicated, as are legal requirements and elligibilities. We won’t dive too deep into corporations here, but if you’re curious, we recommend visiting the IRS’ website for more information!
Use this link from the U.S. Small Business Association website to find the forms and people to contact to register your business, specific to what state you’re in.

Getting a Domain Name

A domain name is the text that people will type into a browser address bar to find your website. You have to create a domain name and then buy it. 
Domains are bought on a yearly basis and cost anywhere from $2-$20. There are a TON of websites out there where you can buy a domain name. Some are a little sketchy, so to save you time filtering through the internet,here are some links to reputable sites to buy your domain name.

Building Your Website

When it comes to building your website, you can either do it yourself, or hire someone to build it for you. 
Hiring someone to build your website will give you a greater ability to customize your site, but if you don’t know how to code, any changes you want to make to your site will have to be done by them. Not only is this a large upfront investment ($2,000+), but expect to be spending money fairly often to update features as your business changes and grows.
If you’re looking for the cheapest option, definitely build it yourself. The market is filled with websites that help you build your own website such as Shopify, Wix, GoDaddy, and WordPress. There are hundreds of YouTube tutorials on how to use each of these tools to build a great website.Check out these helpful tutorials about choosing which web platform to use and how!

Start Your Business

By now, hopefully you’re excited and feel more confident about starting an online business this year! It may not be the easiest thing, but it could prove to be very worth it. While your online business may start out as a part time gig, the more you learn about your market and its current needs, the better your product will get! A better product usually means more customers, and who knows, maybe one day, the little side business you started for fun, can become your full-time passion.Sign up with BetterLegal today to make sure you’re starting your business out legally. We’ll take care of all the frustrating rules and paperwork, specific to your state and situation!
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