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How to Start a Business in New York in 5 Simple Steps

Are you planning on opening a new retail store, liquor store, tobacco shop, or other small business in New York? There are a few simple steps that all first-time owners and managers must follow to create a profitable business. 

However, keep in mind that the odds are stacked against you. According to recent data, 20 percent of small business owners fail in their first year.

There are certain habits and strategies that you must adopt from the outset to streamline business operations, reel in happy customers, and launch your business into the stratosphere! Are you ready to get started?

How to Start a Business in New York: 5 Simple Steps

Before we begin, we’re going to let you in on a secret.

There’s one simple thing that you can do to dramatically improve your chances of small business success – invest in an industry-specific point of sale (POS) system

What makes an industry-specific POS system so great?

For starters, most of these systems come equipped with the exact features you need to successfully grow your unique business. For example, a retail POS system should come with inventory management toolsets. Similarly, a liquor store POS system should come with age verification and mix/match bottle pricing. 

Beyond investing in a small business POS system purpose-built for your unique industry, follow these simple steps to start a business in New York.

1. Create a Business Plan

Start by creating a business plan. To the uninitiated, building a business plan can feel like a massive undertaking. However, it’s a critical step towards building a business.

Here are the components of an effective business plan

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Description and Goals
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Financial Plan

We also recommend including a brief administrative management plan. This sub-section should include details related to both day-to-day and long-term operations. 

Your executive and administrative team, including managers and other key stakeholders, should use this section to better understand internal system features/capabilities, communication channels, and responsibilities. 

RELATED READING: The Best Business Plan Checklist for New Owners

2. Register the Business

Next, register your business with local, state, and federal agencies. The type of business you form and register will influence how you’re taxed in the state of New York. 

The state recognizes a few common business structures, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. When registering the business, we recommend consulting with a legal or financial advisor to better determine which type of business structure makes the most sense for your unique entity.

Take the time needed to familiarize yourself with state and local tax requirements. These state and local regulations may differ depending on the type of business that you’re running. For example, if you’re opening a tobacco shop, you will be subject to an additional state sales tax. New York City even enforces an income and excise tax.

RELATED READING: How to Open a Tobacco Shop in 7 Steps

3. Obtain Business Permits

Next, obtain the appropriate business permits and licenses. These documents allow you to conduct business, hire employees, and obtain insurance in New York.

We recommend taking New York’s Business Express Checklist. The quiz takes less than ten minutes and after completing the short questionnaire, you’ll have all the information needed to apply for the permits and licenses that your business needs. The checklist also provides direct access links to county clerk offices for more information related to the unique license and permitting requirements applicable to your business.

Retail POS System Buyers Guide

RELATED READING: How Much is a Liquor License? 3 Top Factors

4. Secure Business Bank Account

You’re almost ready to start ringing in sales! 

Before you can accept customers, you’ll need to secure a business bank account. If you’re happy with the bank that you’re using for your personal finances, you may consider opening up a business account with the same institution. This is the path that most first-time business owners take.

Regardless of which bank you choose, opening a simple checking account is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you have easy access to your money. Over time, you may also decide to open a savings account. 

Most financial institutions offer incentivized business credit cards. Typically, these cards come with 0% APR or cash-back signing bonuses. Opening a business credit card is a great idea, especially if you plan on making large purchases. You can even use these cards for daily business-related expenses.

RELATED READING: Retail Small Business Point of Sale System Comparison

5. Build and Activate Marketing Plan

Finally, build and activate a marketing plan. Building an effective marketing plan will help to ensure that you see a steady stream of customers lining up at your door.

Before you begin building, you should know that your marketing plan is only as strong as your POS system. Without a robust POS system, you’ll face serious difficulties honoring your marketing promotions. A best-in-class POS system makes it simple and easy to build powerful loyalty programs, seasonal sales promotions, and more.

RELATED READING: 5 Top Digital Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses in 2021

Partner With POS Nation to Power Your Business

Following the steps above will help you launch a successful business in New York.

So what’s next?

We recommend partnering with a POS system vendor that understands your unique wants and needs. With the right POS system, you can attract new customers, launch amazing sales promotions, track inventory, manage employees, and more.


Unfortunately, most POS solutions providers overcharge and underdeliver. Most don’t offer the features that you really need to grow your business.

POS Nation is different from the rest of the POS system providers on the market.

“Choosing the right POS system for a startup can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there is a remarkably patient team waiting to assist. POS Nation made our transition easy. The best part is that they take time to explain and walk you through the software. The on-boarding experience was seamless!” - Trustpilot Review.

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