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How Long Does it Take to Start a Small Business?

By: Jack Nicholaisen author image
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On average, it can take anywhere from three to six months to start a small business.

However, this timeline can vary significantly depending on the nature of business, the industry, location, size, and the amount of capital required.

It is important to remember that starting a business requires patience and perseverance, as there are many factors to consider and obstacles to overcome.

There are several parts of a business that require more time and effort than others.

Here are some general steps to starting a business and their approximate timeframes:

1. Conduct Market Research: 1-3 months

Before starting any business, research is critical.

It involves understanding the market demand, competition, and target customers for your products or services.

A good business idea is one that solves a problem or fulfills a need in the market. It should be unique, scalable, and profitable.

Conducting market research can take several weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of the business.

2. Develop a Business Plan: 1-2 months

A well-written business plan is a document that outlines the business’s goals, strategies, and financial projections.

It is a crucial part of starting a business, and it can take several weeks to prepare.

3. Register Your Business and Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Permits: 1-2 months

Registering a business, obtaining necessary permits and licenses, and complying with tax laws are all essential legal requirements for starting a business and ensuring it operates legally.

Depending on the location and industry, these requirements can take several weeks or even months to complete.

4. Secure Funding (if needed): 1-6 months

Securing funding from investors or lenders is essential to cover startup costs and sustain your business long term.

It can take several weeks or months to identify and secure the necessary funding.

5. Choose a Location (if applicable): 1-3 months

Choosing a location for your business and setting up your physical or virtual storefront can take anywhere from one to three months.

6. Hire and Train Employees (if applicable): 1-2 months

Hiring employees and training them can take several weeks or even months, depending on the size and complexity of the tasks they will have to complete.

7. Launch Your Business!

Starting a business can be a challenging and lengthy process.

It requires patience and perseverance to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

➤ CAUTION: The biggest challenges causing new businesses to FAIL!

Overall, starting a business can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, depending on the complexity of the venture and your diligence.

It is important to remember that these timeframes are just estimates and the actual amount of time it takes to start a business can vary significantly.

Just know, that just because you may have started the business, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily be profitable right off the bat.

It is essential to plan ahead and be prepared for the unexpected.

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In conclusion…

The time it takes to start a small business varies depending on several factors.

It may take several weeks or even months to complete just one of the phases like research, legal requirements, and funding.

The good news is that it IS worth it!

Taking the time and putting in the effort during the early stages will save you more time, energy, and resources later on down the road and will contribute to having a successful business.


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About the Author

jack nicholaisen
Jack Nicholaisen

Jack Nicholaisen is the founder of After acheiving the rank of Eagle Scout and studying Civil Engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), he has spent the last 4 years disecting the mess of informaiton online about LLCs in order to help aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners better understand everything there is to know about starting, running, and growing Limited Liability Companies and other business entities.