Owning your own business can be extremely rewarding, but getting it started is often a daunting prospect. Our team of experienced business attorneys has assembled a simple checklist of the steps you need to take to get your new company up and running.

Below are the key steps to start your new business in the U.S. Virgin Islands:

  • Create your business plan: Your business plan will be the general overview of how you plan to build your new company. It contains information such as a description of your company, a market analysis, marketing and sales information, how your business will be organized, necessary funding, financial projections and how your business will stand out in the market.
  • Choose a location: If your business needs a physical location, such as an office or retail space, select a customer-friendly spot and make sure it complies with zoning requirements.
  • Seek financing: Take out loans, apply for grants and seek investors and venture capital to get the money you need to begin your operations. Note that almost anyone who gives you money is going to want to see a detailed business plan, again highlighting the importance of that first step.
  • Determine your business structure: Will you establish your business as a partnership, sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation or S corporation? The structure you choose will have a considerable impact on numerous areas of your operations.
  • Register the name of your business: You will need to register your business name with the Corporate and Trade Name Division of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
  • Register for taxes: Obtain a tax identification number, along with various insurance policies, such as workers’ compensation, disability and unemployment.
  • Obtain business licenses: Get all the licenses you will need to operate your company. There are both territorial and federal regulations you will need to consider to determine which permits and licenses are needed.
  • Begin hiring employees: If you will be bringing on employees immediately, make sure you understand all the legal steps you must follow to hire them.
  • Seek assistance: Get in touch with our local Small Business Administration office to find out how the agency can assist you. You should also constantly take advantage of free training and counseling services, both during the business formation process and after your business has officially launched. There are numerous programs available to help startups and small businesses find their footing and eventual success in their markets.

These are just a few of the most important steps to take as you start your new company. For more information on what tasks you need to accomplish while starting your new business, contact a skilled U.S. Virgin Islands business law attorney.


Steven K. Harday is Chair of the Corporate, Tax and Estate Planning Practice Group at BoltNagi, a widely respected and well-established business law firm serving clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.