Starting Your Business

Success is your destination, so let’s take the journey together.

Get Started

When you're just starting out, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Our trusted advice gives you the confidence to start strong, setting you up for long-term success.

Business Startup Tools

Explore the new business checklist, calculator tool and tips to launch your business.


Insights & Guidance

Learn from our business banking experience and the journeys of other small business owners.

Get Paid

Your business and your customers are one-of-a-kind. Explore our payment solutions to find the best one for you and your customers.


Start an online business and accept card payments reliably from your website.[1]


Meet your customers where they are - accept credit and debit cards from your smartphone or tablet.[1]

Point of Sale

Discover "Point-of-Sale" systems and payment solutions to run your business more efficiently.[1]

Get Growing

To grow your business you have to know your business.
Manage your business's cash flow with efficiency, control & insight.

  • Cash Flow Insight® [2]: A suite of digital business tools included with your PNC business checking accounts.
  • See your business performance: One dashboard helps you monitor your cash flow and cash position at a glance. 
  • Plan for what's coming: Manage your short-term forecast and know about cash shortfalls ahead of time.
  • Track your expenses: Transactions can be sorted, categorized and exported so you can compare them over time – and monitor employee spending with ease.

Our Success is Your Success

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Small Business Relationships


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in Business

Insights & Guidance

Learn from our business banking experience and the journeys of other small business owners.

Business Planning

How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide for New Entrepreneurs

Taking the leap and starting your own small business is difficult. Getting the right guidance and following the right steps doesn’t have to be.

Business Planning

What Is a Merchant Account and How Can It Help Your Small Business?

As your small business begins, being prepared to accept card payments in various ways is crucial.

Growing Your Business

Whitepaper: Building Your Digital Toolkit

7 Ways Small Businesses Can Leverage Digital Tools and Strategies to Reach More Customers Online

Business Planning

How To Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Business

Going from full-timer to entrepreneur can be daunting. Here’s how you can make an informed decision about your side hustle.

2 min read

Running Your Business

Remix: Where Sneakerheads Go to Get Their Kicks

Charles Reid’s shoe stores offer sneaker enthusiasts an alternative to the sky-high prices of new brand-name sneakers. They offer committed employees a chance at entrepreneurship.

3 min read

Starting Your Business

Tips to Start Your Business Off on the Right Foot

One common denominator can help set any small business up for success — the advice of someone who’s been there. You can start here.

6 min read

Business Start Up Tools 

Explore the checklist, calculator tool and tips below to help you plan, finance and launch your business.

To Do


Helpful Resources

Refine Your Idea

  • Target a specific group or problem with your business idea
  • Consider if there is demand for a product or service that aligns with what you have to offer

3 Ways to Identify Opportunities for Innovation

Write a Business Plan

  • Writing a business plan can help you determine and clarify what accomplishments you want to make in both the short-term and long-term 
How to Write a Business Plan for Direction, Growth, and Success

Market Research and Competitive Analysis

  • Understand trends in the industry affecting your target market and any unmet needs
  • Compare and assess what your competitors are doing


Name Your Business

  • Check your Department of State website to ensure the name is available
  • Check the United States Patent and Trademark database to ensure the name is available and original

United States Patent and Trademark database

Determine a Funding Path

  • There are various ways to finance your business based on the individual business owner, personal financial situation, ability to repay creditors, etc.

How to Finance a Business: Considerations to Get Your Idea off the Ground


Choose Your Business Structure

  • Your business structure defines everything from daily operations to taxes and personal liability
  • Consult with your attorney, accountant and/or tax advisor to determine what structure is right for you

Legally Register Your Business

  • Your business structure and location determine how you need to register your business, along with additional fees and documentation

Get a Federal Tax ID

  • A federal tax ID is required for small businesses to pay federal taxes, get a business license, or to open a bank account
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through an application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Certain business structures may use the owner’s SSN for tax ID

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online

Get a Business License and Permits

  • Federal and State licenses and/or permits may be required to operate your business depending on your industry, location, and product
  • File any state licenses or permits on your Department of State website


Open a Business Bank Account

  • Various forms of personal identification and supplemental documentation is needed to open a Business Bank Account         


Applying for a PNC Business Checking Account

Get a Business Insurance Policy

  • Policies are based on your business type and are vital to protect both personal and business assets

Decide How to Accept Payments for Your Business


  • Choose one of the various payment solutions that will work best with your business and customer convenience

What is a Merchant Account and How Can It Help Your Small Business?


Review Business and/or Personal Credit Report


  • Know where you stand both professionally and personally

Business Credit Ratings

Dunn and Bradstreet

Personal Credit Score

Some credit cards may offer free credit reports as well. Check your credit card company’s website to see if this service is available to you.


This checklist is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. PNC urges readers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.

© The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Creating a working business plan is often a vital first step when searching for financing options. More than just drafting up a document, you need to create a working plan that can you can revisit and reevaluate, so that it evolves to mirror the business you want to create. The business plan should contain a forecast for your business with at least two scenarios: (1) how you expect your business to perform if you don't get any financing, and (2) how it will perform if you do. There are a lot of resources you can turn to for help on the plan, such as small-business resource centers at local universities, your community, or asking for help from trusted professionals or other small business owners.

Sales that don’t get tracked, don’t exist. And, customers with no contact and demographic information captured are imaginary.

To be successful in your venture, you must start out tracking the numbers upfront so that you can prove to yourself that the business is viable and also make a strong case to potential investors down the road that your idea is worthy of the risk.

Start out by tracking sales over different time periods. What are your annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily sales? The next metric to assess is your sales by product or service, so you can quantify exactly what’s selling and get rid of what’s not. Last, consider revenue per sale. What is the actual net profit for each individual unit per sale? Also, get in the habit of capturing as much data on your customers that is relevant to your business as possible. Saying you serve women is not enough. How old is the average woman you serve? Is she married or single? Does she have children? Where does she like to eat, shop or volunteer?

The more intel you gather on your customers, the more you can prove that you understand their needs and equip yourself with the products and services to meet their demand.

Initially, you should invest as much of your personal resources into your business as possible. At the minimum, it ensures that you remain in control of the vision and direction of your idea as opposed to investors that will come onboard. Additionally, your business typically can’t borrow money unless you’ve shown your confidence in the project by personally investing at least 20 to 30 percent of your own funds. You need to use your money to attract more money. Not putting any skin in the game, will likely not encourage anyone else to.

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