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COB 300 - Integrative Business

This guide helps students research their business plan proposals. Be advised this is NOT a comprehensive checklist for all topics that should be researched.

Choose an organizational structure

The Encyclopedia of Small Business can help you understand the differences between the structures (C Corporation, Partnership, LLC, S Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, Cooperative). NOLO's Small Business Start-Up Kit will help you choose the best one for your plan.

Business Plans Handbook shows sample plans for a variety of businesses. You can search by structure ("s corporation") to see what types of companies choose each. 

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Who's on your management team?

Research your competitors (or startups in related industries) to see how they've deployed key personnel and their titles.

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Research salaries in your location

The Bureau of Labor Statistics allows you to search for this information for different states or metropolitan areas.

Use O*NET Online to understand the difference between occupations (such as Industrial Production Managers and Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers) and how that will affect wages.

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Determine employee benefits & costsĀ 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks employer costs for offering employee benefits like health insurance or vacation time. This data is updated quarterly.

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Determine payroll taxes (e.g., SUTA, WC)

Employers pay taxes on their payroll. These rates differ by state and the employer's industry. Look for the rate for new employers.

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Calculate business expenses (e.g., utilities, insurance)

Knowing your NAICS code is important for finding this information. 

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