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How to Start an E-commerce Business

When Capital Is Hard to Secure

Many people dream of starting their own business, but not everyone has the ability to secure the necessary funding to rent or buy a suitable location and acquire the necessary equipment and inventory to begin conducting business. With the age of the Internet, new pathways have been opened for individuals to start up their own online businesses for a fraction of the cost of starting a business that requires a physical location.

Many times, individuals must go into debt and sign a promissory note in order to acquire the necessary funding to get their business off the ground. Generally, all that is required to start a successful e-commerce business is having a good idea or product and the time and ability to develop a website capable of promoting it.

Get Technical Help If Needed

For individuals who are not technically capable of creating and maintaining a website, there are companies available to assist them for a nominal fee and can also maintain the website over time for a monthly service charge. While this can increase the startup costs of an e-commerce business, it is a minimal expense compared to the startup costs associated with a location-based business.

The most important consideration is that the individual has a solid concept to base their business on and a desire to follow through on their vision of starting their own company. In this regard, starting an e-commerce business is very similar to starting a normal brick and mortar company.

Understanding Applicable Laws

It is important to note that online businesses conducted through websites must still adhere to the same local, state, and federal laws concerning taxes, contracts, labor laws, and accounting practices that location-based businesses must adhere to.

An e-commerce business should even be structured similarly to any other business that might be based on a partnership, sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation; the only difference is that the storefront of the e-commerce business is through an online portal and not a physical door at the front of a building.


Online businesses that require storage space to house products can initially get by using home garage space or renting a small storage facility. As the business grows, larger warehouse space can be acquired as needed.

Low Risk and Potentially High Rewards

Starting an e-commerce business is an excellent way for an individual to incrementally grow a good idea into a moneymaking opportunity. An online business offers a good risk to reward return on investment because it does not require a great deal of capital to get started. The opportunity for growth is generally limited only by the amount of effort an individual places into the development of the business.

Perhaps the most advantageous aspect of an e-commerce business is that it opens the door for nearly anyone of any educational or economic background to establish their own business with very little risk. The only thing it really requires is a good idea and a will to succeed.

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