Starting a business can be an exhilarating experience. However, it's easy to get stuck in the stress of trying to manage a business and your finances. If you're a new business owner, here are five things you can do to get started on the right foot.

1. Choose the Right Business Structure

Familiarize yourself with the various business structures and determine which one will work best with your business and financial situation. For example, if you're a solo business owner, you may start out as a sole proprietor but then move on to being a single-member LLC. Each business structure has its own pros and cons, eligibility requirements and tax consequences. You want to be well-informed on which business structure is right for you so you can properly prepare the required paperwork.

2. Separate Your Business and Personal Finances

When you start a business and are working to build something, you might rely on your personal checking and savings accounts to get started. If you run a solo business, this is easy and even enticing to do. However, it's important to keep your personal and business finances completely separate. You want to be able to pull reports on your income and expenses and keep tabs on everything for taxes without it being mixed up with your personal money. To get started, open business checking and business savings accounts and make sure all business-related activity goes through those accounts.

3. Get a Business Credit Card

One of the perks of being a business owner is that you can write off many of your business expenses as deductions on your taxes. These can be difficult to track, however. Paying for all your business expenses with a business credit card can make it significantly easier to track your business expenses. It can help your business build up its own business credit score. Most major credit card companies offer cards specifically designed for business. Sometimes, they come with special perks like cash back rewards for common business expenses (spending on office supplies, business-related meals and more).

4. Understand Your Tax Requirements

For many people, tax time is a once-a-year pain. But for small business owners, tax time can be year-round. You may have to pay quarterly taxes as a business owner. When you start a business, you want everything possible to be in your favor and that means having a solid financial foundation, including being prepared for taxes. Make sure you keep records of all of your expenses, track your payments and properly estimate your tax payments. You want to keep impeccable records and make your payments on time. Having organizational systems in place for your taxes year-round can make the process less frustrating and set you up for success. Consider hiring an accountant. He or she can be an essential advisor, helping you stay on top of your tax payments, keeping you on track with bookkeeping and more.

5. Devise Standardized Processes to Make Life Easier

When you're working at your business, it can be tough to work on your business. That's why it's important to have processes in place to simplify and standardize as much as you can so that you can focus on what matters — doing the things that are at the core of your business and that are most likely to lead you to success.

Create systems for paying your bills and for payments. Identify the tools and products that will help you manage your bookkeeping. Develop reports that you can easily generate to give you a sense of your business's overall health. For example, looking at a profit-and-loss statement at the end of each month can help you stay on track.

Build a Solid Foundation Through Careful Planning

From taxes to tools and payments to products, you want to make sure you're ready for every eventuality. With careful planning and a little foresight, these steps can help you create a solid foundation to build your business upon.

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