Start a Business in New Mexico

Checklist for Starting a New Business

The Otero County Economic Development Council has developed a comprehensive checklist for entrepreneurs. The OCEDC’s checklist will help you determine how successful your New Mexico business will be. We welcome you to bookmark this page for quick reference. If you have any questions about starting a business in Otero County, please email the OCEDC or call us at (575) 439-3688.

List the reasons you wish to start a new business.

Identify the niche the business will fill

What services or products will you offer?

Is the idea practical?

Will your business fill a need?

What companies will your business compete with?

What advantages will your business provide that other companies do not?

Is there an existing demand for your business?

What skills and experience do you have that are relevant to your business?

What will the company’s legal structure look like?

How will you maintain business records?

What type of insurance is necessary?

What equipment and supplies will you need?

How will you generate profit?

What financial or other resources do you have?

What financial or other resources do you need?

Where in Otero County will your business be located?

What will you name your business?

Write a business plan. Keep all plans in writing and ensure they are updated as necessary to meet future financing and growth needs.

Write a detailed business budget with profit and loss projections covering the first and second years of operation. You may find it helpful to write two financial plans: one that outlines expected growth and one that outlines a worst-case scenario.

Analyze the Otero County market: check licensing requirements and zoning regulations. Decide whether you will operate a sole proprietorship, a limited partnership or a corporation.

Define your long- and short-term goals, both within Otero County and possible future expansion.

Choose from our team of professionals to work with: an accountant, an attorney and an insurance agent. The OCEDC partners are ready to meet with you and discuss your plan of action.

Outline your company’s financial needs and secure financing. A good rule of thumb is to set aside enough money to operate the business for two years without external income.

Register your business with the city, county, state and federal government as necessary.

When starting a business in New Mexico, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends:

Obtaining a work certificate or license from the state of New Mexico if necessary.

Applying for and obtaining a sales tax number.

Opening a separate business account.

Withholding income and Social Security taxes if your business has employees.

Complying with laws affecting employee health, safety and minimum wage if your business has employees.

Learning the city’s zoning or deed restrictions if you are operating a home-based business.

What advantages will your business provide that other companies do not?

Learning New Mexico’s restrictions on certain goods produced by home-based businesses.