How to Register a Business (in 5 Easy Steps)


April 20, 2022

How to Register a Business (in 5 Easy Steps)

One of the most challenging aspects of starting a business is the step or small business registration. It involves multiple local, state, and federal organizations to register a company, but UpFlip is here to make it easy to understand how to register as a small business.

We walk you through the steps to verify a business name, choose a business structure, how to register a small business as a limited liability company, and how to register your business with the IRS to get an EIN.

Before we begin, I think it’s important to discuss the Small Business Administration.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration office is the best place to go to get a good introduction to your county or city governments’ requirements for business licensing. When we were living in Texas, my significant other was able to have them help her with the formation of her business without charging extra.

They offered an in-person class that went through the specific requirement for registering separate entities, the business’s legal requirements that would need to be met, and what local government websites or offices to use. She found it much easier than when we created businesses in other locations.

In addition, they will often offer classes to help make you a better business person. If you are starting your first business, I would strongly recommend going to talk with them first. Alternatively, you can check out our guide on how to get started.

Let’s get into researching if the legal business name is available.

Step 1. Verify the business entity name is available

The first step to register as a small business is to verify the business name is available. You’ll perform this step of registering a business name online with your state’s business license search.

The picture below is for Washington’s business license search, but you can find where to search your state’s business licenses by searching “my state’s business license verification.”

Website to verify the availability of a business name

Most states will let you search registered small business names by related topics including:

  1. Business name
  2. License number
  3. Address
  4. The principal or Registered Agent
  5. Tax ID
  6. Reseller Permit

For this scenario, you just want to use the business name. Put in the company name. I used the name “Super Awesome Clothes,” verified that “I am human” and pushed the search button. This confirmed that the name is available in Washington. See the screenshot above.

A website to purchase a domain name for business

You also want to check domain availability on Name Cheap. In the picture above, SuperAwesomeClothes.com is available for $1,800 a year, which seems outrageous to me. The price is that high because someone wants to make a profit from it.

I could buy SuperAwesomeClothes.clothing for $3.48 per year which is reasonable. That sounds like an awkward domain to remember so I checked to see if SuperAwesome.clothing is available for the same price. It is so we’ll buy it and go back to register the business with the state.

A website showing the price of a chosen domain name

Step 2. Choose the business structure

The most common business structures are limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, corporations, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. Choosing which one you want is fairly simple. Ask yourself these questions to decide which will work best?

  1. Do I want to protect my personal assets?
    • If a single owner does not want to protect personal assets, go with a sole proprietorship.
    • If there is more than one owner, go with a partnership.
  2. If you want to protect personal assets, then the next question to ask is do I want to sell stock?
    • If yes, go with a corporation.
    • If not, go with an LLC or limited liability partnership.

Every type of business entity, except for sole proprietorships and general partnerships, is considered a separate legal entity, which means:

  • Business liabilities are separate from personal liability.
  • Business assets are separate from personal assets.

Most business structures allow pass-through income, meaning the business income counts as personal income, but a C-Corp has to pay taxes on income separately from personal income.

A limited liability corporation can choose whether they want to adopt the corporate tax code, but the default business structure is as a pass-through entity, meaning their owners only have to pay federal tax with their personal income.

Step 3. How to register a business

Registering a business will be slightly different for each type of business, but to help you best understand how to set up a business, we are going to use a limited liability company to walk you through the registration requirements.

The process will normally involve several state agencies and federal government agencies. The most common agencies you will have to interact with during the business registration process include:

  • Secretary of State Offices for each of the states you plan to have a physical presence in
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for getting an Employee Identification Number
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for trademark protection
  • Local agencies or city governments, which can normally be found on the Secretary of State Office while you register your business structure
  • The appropriate state agency to approve a seller’s permit

If you’re wondering how to register a business name for free, there aren’t many options. When I was researching how to register my business name in 2017, I found Nevada allows sole proprietorships to register for free, but it is under the person’s name.

If a prospective business wants a fictitious business name, commonly referred to as DBA (Doing Business As), it will cost extra. Some states include it in the costs to obtain business licenses or business structures, but some will also charge for it separately.

Creating the business structure for a Limited Liability Company

This section will walk you through how to start a limited liability company in the State of Washington. There will be some notes throughout regarding other types of business structures and different states because it is hard to create a one-size-fits-all blog for 50 states plus Washington DC. We’ll be adding more state specific blogs in the future.

Sign up for an account on your state’s website

Depending on the state, you may need to register for an account with the website before beginning. That was the case in our example using Washington to register a limited liability company.

The next step in the business registration process is to sign up for an account with the appropriate Secretary of State Office. Here is Washington’s SOS, but you can find others on USA.gov.

It takes approximately five minutes to set up, requires verifying email, and then takes you to a page that looks something like the picture below once you can sign in.

Website to sign up for an account

How to register my business

We want to register your business, so we’ll choose that option, which is the 6th option on the left-side menu. This takes you to a page that asks if you are going to be a Washington-based business owner or one from another state or country.

Because most business owners using this guide will conduct business in their home state, we’ll register as a Washington business for this example. After you make that decision, it will ask you to choose from 11 business structure options, which you can see in the picture below. If you aren’t sure which to choose, read our article about how to choose a business structure.

For this example, we’re going to choose a WA Limited Liability Company and defer the initial report for 120 days.

A website showing a dropdown menu with different options

Application to Register a Business Name as an LLC

The following questions will be asked when registering a business in the application:

  • Do you already have a UBI number, which is a Unified Business Identifier to help the state track businesses across government agencies?
      • Another state may have something similar.
      • We do not.
  • Have you already reserved the name?
      • I did not, I added “Super Awesome Clothes” and it tells me it’s available.
  • Who is the registered agent?
      • Gives the option of self or other
      • If you are in the state, you can be the registered agent, which I am doing for the purpose of this example. If you are not in the state you will need a registered agent.
      • What is their address?
  • What is the address of the primary place of business?
  • Do you want to upload a certificate of formation?
    • You will have to do this to register your business name.
    • For those wondering “how do I register my business as a corporation,” you’ll need the Articles of Incorporation.
  • How long will this company be a legal entity?
    • Choose perpetual unless it is for a set duration.
  • When is the effective date?
    • Choose the date you want the business to become a legal entity.
    • I chose the date I am writing this.
  • Executor–You can use yourself.
  • Opt-in for emails.
  • Add documents.
  • Include the signature of the authorized person (you).

After you add all the information to the page, it gives you a chance to review it on the next page. Then to check out. You’ll want to check out, which in this example would be $200.

Once you have paid, it will be two days, according to this site, for the business structure to be approved or request more information. Once the business structure is approved you will have a UBI that you can use to get:

  • Reseller’s license
  • Local business licenses
  • DBA (if you need small business registration as a partnership or a sole proprietorship)

Then you’ll need to get an employer identification number.

Step 4. Get an Employer Identification Number

Before we begin, it is important that you have everything prepared before you start this step.

The application has to be done in one sitting. 

It cannot be saved. The IRS says you need to understand the following items before you register your business:

  • If your business structure includes applying for tax-exempt status, it needs to be fully approved before applying here.
  • Fifteen minutes of inactivity will end the application for the Employer Identification Number.
  • The person applying must have one of the following forms of valid taxpayer identification number:
    • Social Security Number-All citizens should have one.
    • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) – Used for people who need to file taxes, but cannot obtain a Social Security Number. If you think you might need one, apply for an SSN first. These are the categories of people who normally need an ITIN:
      • Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
      • U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
      • Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen or resident alien
      • Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
      • Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
      • Nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception
    • Employer Identification Number – If you already have a business and this will be a subsidiary, you can use your previous EIN.

If you need more than one EIN for companies controlled by the same person, it will take multiple days due to the one EIN per day per person limit.

You can start the EIN application on the IRS website. Once you click the “apply now” button, you’ll be directed to the screen below. Remember to read and accept the conditions. Then continue.

The IRS website for EIN application

The first question that the system will ask is about the business structure. I chose LLC because it is the most common, other than a sole proprietorship.

The IRS website showing different business structures to choose from

Then, it gives you some information about an LLC.

Choosing LLC as business structure

On the next page it will ask:

  • How many members are in the LLC?
  • What state is the business in?

Answer them, and it will provide some information about the business structure. In this example, I used one member and it informs us that we can not be a partnership, but that we can file a Form 8832 to be taxed as a C-Corp or Form 2553 to be taxed as an S-Corp. I have provided links to both forms.

An online form asking for number of employees

Then, the system will ask why you need an EIN.

IRS website system some questions

Next, it will ask for your name, SSN, or ITIN of one of the owners, or a third party. Input the information.

IRS website personal information section

Then, it will ask for the address of the LLC and if you want the mail to be sent to a different address. Input the information based on your LLC.

The IRS website address section for EIN applicants

Then it will ask about the LLC name, and where it is located. Answer them.

LLC name section on IRS website

On the next page it will ask the following questions:

  • Does your business own a motor vehicle with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more?
  • Does your business involve gambling or wagering?
  • Does your business need to file Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return)?
  • Does your business sell or manufacture alcohol, tobacco, or firearms?
  • Do you have, or do you expect to have, any employees in the next 12 months that will require W-2?

Under most scenarios, I would expect the answers to be “no” except for the last question. If you are engaged in those fields, there will be other requirements, which you can find by searching: “IRS special requirements for businesses that involve (gambling, vehicles over 55,000 pounds, alcohol, tobacco, firearms)”.

Required fields on the IRS website EIN application section

Each one you select will have a page like the one below that I marked for the number of employees Super Awesome Clothes LLC will have in the next year.

Number of employees section on the IRS website

Then, the system asks “What does your business or organization do?” Depending on your answers, the pages after this one will change. I chose retail, then clicked next.

Different business categories on the IRS website

The next step is for you to answer what type of retail, online, storefront, auction house, direct sales, or other. If you will be doing more than one under the same business name select “other “and list the ones the business will engage in.

Questions to be answered about retail business on the IRS website

At this point, you will choose how you want them to provide the EIN. You can choose electronically or by mail. Whichever you choose, the next step is important.

Options on how to receive confirmation letter on the IRS website

After you complete the previous steps, the system will give you an opportunity to review the information. If everything is correct, click submit and the system will provide your EIN.

Step 5. Save your documents somewhere safe

When you get documents from each of the agencies, it is important to print them out and save both a physical and electronic copy. I would suggest posting the legal documents in a frame on the wall in your business because some are required to be publicly viewable. I would also suggest saving them in a cloud platform like Google Drive

Wrapping it up

Now you know how to register an online company or brick-and-mortar store. Don’t forget to buy business cards! Check out our business card reviews.

The process for where to register a business name has never been easier because your state’s office probably upgraded their systems because of the pandemic. 

If you need to register a new business and have difficulty locating your local requirements after using the site USA.gov, ask our preferred partner, Better Legal to help. They help set up small businesses as LLCs and C-Corps all day long and offer $30 off to UpFlip readers when they need to register a new business.

As we produce more content, we plan to start doing more state-specific blogs based on the results of our analytics software and readers’ requests. If you went through the process as you were reading this article, what state are you registering your business in? Did you find the process easy or difficult?


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Do you want to expand your products into other stores to help drive revenue and sales? We’re going to show you how to get your product in stores to hyperdrive your business.  We followed up with Jazmin from BlkSunflower for some input on how she got her product in stores. We’ll walk you through the benefits, the planning, and approaching decision-makers so you understand how to get your product into stores. We’ll also discuss how to support the stores selling your product, how to sell your product in local stores, big-box retailers, and supermarkets. Get ready to have a better understanding of how to sell your product in other business owners’ stores.

How getting my products in stores is beneficial 

We’re going to discuss some of the benefits of getting your products in stores before digging into the process. If you already know the benefits of selling your products in other stores, skip to the section on how to get your product in stores. Let's start by discussing how getting your product in stores increases sales.

How to get my products in stores to increase sales

Whether you are approaching a small business, big-box retailer, or adding a platform like Amazon, you can increase sales by selling products in new stores.  Assuming that you go from a single small business location to offering your products in another retail store, sales can nearly double, but profit will likely decrease because they’ll want to be able to sell at the same price you do. That means you’ll have to give them a quantity discount. When a product is added to Amazon or Walmart, there is the potential for it to start compromising most of your sales. Many of the successful business owners we profile tell us that 65% or more of their sales come from Amazon. Walmart has comparable percentages of retail store sales. Check out the video below to see how Shed Defender went from five sales per month to 100 overnight, and then to $150K per month. [su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTiks_VFTMo"]

How to get my products into stores and increase geographical reach

Another benefit of approaching business owners or major retailers is you can expand your geographic reach. A company should improve sales if their product is available closer to their customer base.  Starting a second store is far more costly, so finding other entrepreneurs that want to sell your product makes sense. Just make sure they are far enough away that the new store doesn’t eat into existing sales.  Check out this research paper on how distance impacts revenue. It compares how store locations impact how much customers spend and how nearby locations increase or decrease sales. Keep reading to learn how selling a product in retail locations increases business growth.

How to get my product into stores for business growth

New locations to sell your products can increase customer awareness of your products and start them on the customer journey to researching and eventually buying your products. Just make sure you approach market participants that align with your brand values. Convenience stores can be a great place to sell many products.

How to sell your products in stores and lower costs of operation

Assuming you already sell online, you can either find businesses to sell your products or open your own locations. When thinking about how to get your product into stores, it is far less expensive to find an existing retailer than to start your own brick-and-mortar stores. The table below compares the changes that will occur when you sell to other retailers or open your own stores. As you can see, there are fewer costs and risks involved if you approach retail stores.
Financial Changes When Considering How to Sell Your Products in Shops
Sell to Retailers Open Your Own Store(s)
Increased order quantities, partially offset by potential volume discounts Increased order quantities, partially offset by potential volume discounts
Increased shipping costs Increased shipping costs
Potential of increased tech costs Potential of increased tech costs
Lower revenue per product Same revenue per product
Increased rent
Increased licensing costs
Increased inspection costs
Increased utility costs
Increased equipment costs

Convenience

Selling to smaller stores or big retailers simplifies your business. It lowers the number of shipments you have to make or pay someone to fulfill. You ship orders of hundreds of products to the shops and the store owner sells the products to their customers. That makes running your business more convenient because you can focus on aspects like creating new products, marketing, and finding more customers. The actual daily sales to the end customer are managed by the store owners.

Focus on marketing and efficiency

Since you have moved many of the customer service functions to the retailers, you now have time to build the business through additional marketing and business administration improvements. These are the areas that most successful business owners credit as the difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful business. Now that we’ve looked at the main benefits of selling a product to retailers, let’s look at how to get your product in stores.

How to get your product into a retail store

The process of getting your products into stores is a five-step process:
  1. Know yourself.
  2. Plan sales and marketing.
  3. Research the right stores for your products.
  4. Engage the decision-maker.
  5. Support the retailer.
Get ready to learn how to get your products in stores.

Step 1. Know thyself

To get your products in stores with efficiency, you’ll need to do it in a way that honors who you are, what your company stands for, and that appeals to your target market. Because these things are so important, it makes sense to discuss some characteristics that help business owners get their products in national and local retailers. Some of the most important considerations are:
  • Know when you’re ready to approach retail stores
  • Ready to explain what makes the product stand out
  • Be a leader
  • Be an expert
  • Be a go-getter
  • Develop Experience
  • Operate in a way that builds trust
Keep reading for the second step in our guide on how to get your products in new markets.

Step 2. Sales and marketing plan

Colorful sticky notes on a desk Creating a sales and marketing plan can help you develop confidence and help you develop small successes before trying to get your product into major retailers like Walmart, Costco, or Target. We’ll look at some of the things to consider before you start approaching retail stores.

Start small and dream big

Don’t expect to go from selling everything online or in your own retail store to selling in large retailers. It might be achievable, but you’ll most likely have kinks in your process that will have to be worked out as you grow.  Build gradually and start working with a few small businesses first. After the kinks are worked out you can approach larger retailers. Build this thinking into your plan to sell products. Jazmin told us: [su_quote]I currently only sell in a few small stores, and my wholesale program has been on hold since November 2021 because I am working to keep up with the online demand from large contracts that I have secured to make corporate gifts.[/su_quote] [su_quote]I have currently hired two people and am working on two more to help with the demand. Before the contracts, having stores allowed the opportunity for potential customers to experience my products before making a purchase.[/su_quote] Document your goals for the following time spans:
  • 1 year
  • 3 year
  • 5 year
  • 10 year
You may need to approach potential investors to fund some of the growth plans. If so you should check out our hub article about how to fund a business.

Think about your target market and their needs

Consider how your target market shops when looking for businesses to establish relationships with near you and elsewhere. Some of their needs you might want to consider include:
  • Where do they shop?
  • What are other products they like?
  • What kind of services do they need?
For instance, it might be as simple as talking to salons if you have created hair products for humans, but dog groomers and pet stores if you created pet shampoo.

Prepare an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is your chance to get someone’s attention. It is meant to be 30 seconds or less and includes the following information:
  1. Who you are
  2. What you do
  3. Why it matters 
  4. What you want from them
Key decision-makers don’t have a lot of time so you need to have your elevator pitch perfected. This is an example pitch I used when I was looking for partners for a clothing brand: [su_quote]Hi. I’m Brandon with (company name omitted). We create vests, T-shirts, and jackets to celebrate the tenets of music, freedom, and country, and we are looking to partner with musicians that share those values. Can we set up a meet and greet when you come to town on (insert date)?[/su_quote] I got a yes every time because I believe in what the company does and the pitch is completely true. People can hear and see when someone believes in what they do. You’ll have to rise above any anxiety or fear and make it where this pitch is as natural as answering: What is 1+1? Keep reading to plan how margins will impact your marketing.

Lower your gross margins or cost of goods sold (COGS)

A green and white keyboard Everyone is in business to earn a great living and that all comes down to margins. Let’s assume you sell your product for $10 online. Every business will want to be able to sell it for the same price as you. Plus, they’ll want to make money off of it. Most successful businesses aim for a gross margin of 45% or higher. That means you can’t sell in bulk to a store for more than $5.50 per $10 in revenue. Does it cost more than that to supply your product to stores?  Jazmin told us: [su_quote]Research the market and determine the average wholesale markup for your product type. For candles, the industry standard is about 50%. This means that you need to make sure your product is priced correctly so you are not losing money when it comes to selling wholesale.[/su_quote] If so, you’ll have to find a way to reduce your COGS or convince them to take a lower margin. That’s just one of the reasons planning is so important. Keep reading to learn about how having a sell-sheet will improve your results.

Create a sell sheet

A sell-sheet is simply a marketing tool to help small business owners and retail stores understand your product. Canva has 60 suggested templates for the easy creation of sell sheets. You should include the following information on the sell sheet:
  • Your logo and product name
  • Full-color visuals
  • A catchy headline
  • An introduction to your product
  • Product specifications, benefits, and accurate data about its performance
  • Visually appealing data representation
  • How to contact you to order your product
Read HubSpot’s article on how to create a sell sheet to learn more. If you have multiple products you are trying to get buyers to stock, you will need line sheets. A line sheet is similar to a sell sheet but contains multiple products for buyers to consider.  There are some automated services to create line sheets, but I have not found any that seem to truly improve supplier success over spending more money and time to get custom sheets.

Upgrade the packaging

A man drawing on a white notebook Packaging can sell products in retail stores. If you are using generic packaging to save costs, create product packaging that will attract attention on the store floor. When you show it to the store owner, it should fit well with their products, but stand out as something new.  Packlane is a site where you can design your own packaging and they have a blog on what makes good packaging. Packaging like this seems to be doing well lately.

Impact on store shelves

Retail stores are confined by the amount of space. Therefore, they want to make the most money in the least space. There are several ways they can calculate it including:
  • Sell-through rate
  • Revenue per square foot per year (R/Sq Ft-Yr)
Sell-through rate uses the equation:

Units Sold/Units Bought = Sell-Through Rate

The formula R/Sq Ft-Yr calculates the total amount of money made over the course of a year. The higher the number, the better. To calculate this value:
  1. Measure a 1-foot by 1-foot space on your shelves.
  2. Measure the height between shelves.
  3. Add your product to the shelf and count how many fit in the space.
  4. Divide products sold in a year, by-products in the square foot.
  5. That’s your R/Sq Ft-Yr.
  6. Communicate the dimensions of the shelving and product so store owners can alter the calculations based on their shelves.

Step 3. Conduct research to select the right store for your product

Research the retailer where you want to sell your product. For a local retailer, you’ll probably have to go to their location and observe foot traffic, price points, nearby stores, and product categories. If you are researching a national chain, you’ll want to do most of your research online. You’ll want to search for:
  • Competitor's products on their website
  • Their procurement process
  • The onboarding process for new vendors
  • Relevant decision-makers
All but the decision-maker can be found on their website. You may need to do some searching on LinkedIn to establish who the decision-maker is. You’ll want to look for titles like VP of Procurement.

Step 4. Engage decision maker

You’ve prepared yourself for the conversation, now it’s time to engage the decision-maker. If you have already met them while doing your research, it will be much easier to reach out and get a meeting.  You will probably need to make first contact through email or LinkedIn when approaching the decision-maker, but entrepreneurs like Jazmin Richards have had success by working with a publicist. She tells us about how she got a publicist in the interview below. [su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzZ5aTbiLh0&t=1476s"] You can also try trade shows for building relationships with buyers’ agents. You may be able to find some virtual trade shows, but most have gone back to in-person events. You can find a list of nearly 2,300 trade shows at Events in America You’ll want to schedule a first meeting where you will give your pitch in person. You’ll want to tell them why your brand is different, how you’ll help the product succeed with their customers, and how it will help drive sales. Remember to bring product samples, your sell sheet, documentation on why the product belongs in their store, and a document with the proposed terms. They may agree on the spot or need some time to consider the terms and whether they agree that the product is a good fit for their buyers. Once they do, sign a contract and you have become a supplier.  At this point, it’s time to consider how to sell your products in other retailers’ establishments. Cautionary Tale: Make sure to get a trademark attorney that represents similar types of companies before going to trade shows. There are a lot of market participants that may validate or steal your idea. Plus, it costs a ton of money. Paul Akers will tell you more in the interview below. [su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wog3FLh0tHk&t=805s"]

Step 5. Support the retail stores

Supporting the retailer consists of a variety of tasks including:
  1. Help make sure the products are replenished repeatedly so both companies can keep making money from the deal.
  2. Create hype about entering a new market through marketing emails and social media.
  3. Provide the retailer with the best advice on where your product should be placed in the store.
There are some additional considerations that you’ll need to consider if you start wholesale distribution. We’ll look at that next.

How to Sell wholesale products 

If you are trying to sell wholesale, you may also want to build relationships with distributors. There are a ton of distributors in the US. The best way to find them is to search “US (type of) distributor.” When searching for apparel distributors, I found a few links that warrant considering:
  1. Mr. Checkout: Featured on Shark Tank and works with Mr. Wonderful 
  2. Buyers Direct: Connects sellers with over 2,400 buyers
The beneficial thing about working with a distributor is they have resources you don’t have because they already have nationwide buyer information to know where your product might do well. I reached out to Jazmin from BlkFlower to get input and she told us: [su_quote]If people want to grow quickly I highly recommend focusing on b2b wholesale in addition to online sales. This will allow businesses the opportunity to sell more at once, and also allow the other business to essentially do the marketing for them and get their products in front of more people.[/su_quote] Research the market, and determine the average wholesale markup for your product type. For candles, the industry standard is about 50%. This means that you need to make sure your product is priced correctly so you are not losing money when it comes to selling wholesale.

How to get your product in local stores

If you’re wondering how to get your products in local stores, you’ll need a few extra considerations. You may want to provide them with sample products for them to test in their store. You may also need to train them on how to sell your products in local stores. Because most entrepreneurs don’t have the budget that major corporations do, you may also have to work with them by offering more flexible payment terms.

How to get your product in supermarkets

A store employee putting the products on the shelves Supermarkets include some additional challenges that you may want to consider: 
  • Most of the products are perishable.
  • Major supermarkets won’t take unknown products.
  • Many supermarkets want companies to supply retailer products.
Retailers’ products include items like Sam’s Choice at Walmart or Kroger products. These will typically be identical to your product but with their packaging. This may be the answer you seek when wondering how to get your product in stores like supermarkets. Providing the products in retailer packaging will not give entrepreneurs brand recognition, but may give them a leg up in entering large retailers like supermarkets.

Conclusion

Your best bet to strike a deal is to start by researching local small businesses and find the ones you want to contact. Come prepared to pitch in person and support them the same as you do your retail customers.  Once you’ve mastered the process, start going to local chains, then distributors, and national retailers. The key is to give yourself small wins, time to learn, and the ability to identify supplier issues. If you try to go straight to the big leagues, you’ll have very little wiggle room. What part of the process would you like to know more about?

Are you buying a farm or starting any kind of farm business? You’ll want to come up with some creative farm names. What are good farm names? Well, the best farm name ideas combine farm references with some indication of what you do.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] Consider some of these farm business name categories. Then use the helpful tips while naming your farm. Jump to any category to find a memorable name to attract potential customers to your new farm.

Get ready to find a farm business name you’ll love.

26 Funny Farm Names

Farmer holding a chicken in front of a red barn with "funny farm names" written on a blackboard behind him

While the funny farm is slang for a mental hospital, these funny names are for a farm business that raises animals or grows food.

1. Moo La Land Farm
2. Chuckle Hut Homestead
3. Quack Shack Ranch
4. Giggling Gourd Gardens
5. Poultry in Motion Farm
6. Fifty Shades of Hay
7. Feather Friends Farm and Petting Zoo
8. Crop Circle Circus
9. Snicker Snack Fields
10. Loco Harvest Haven
11. Udder Delight Homestead
12. Chuckleberry Acres
13. Grin and Grain Gardens

14. Whimsical Weeds Farmstead
15. Barnyard Banter Ranch
16. Hootenanny Homestead
17. Laughing Llama Meadows
18. Silly Sprout Fields
19. Chuckle Cove Cultivators
20. Giggle Grove Gardens
21. Quirk Quarters Ranch
22. Udder Nonsense Farm
23. Egg-cellent Acres
24. The Laughing Stockyard
25. Legen Dairy Farm
26. One or the Udder Farm

Pro Tip: When selecting a funny farm name, let humor be your guide while keeping it lighthearted and universally appealing. Incorporate puns, wordplay, or playful references related to farming, animals, or crops to add a touch of whimsy.

Consider your target audience and ensure the humor aligns with their sensibilities. Test the name on friends or family to gauge its comedic impact. A funny farm name can create a memorable and enjoyable brand, but be cautious not to choose anything offensive or too niche.

Striking the right balance between wit and charm will make your farm stand out and leave a lasting impression on customers.

20 Cute Farm Names

Want a cute farm name? Consider some of these:

1. GreenVista Farms
2. Harvest Haven
3. Meadow Bliss
4. Sunlit Acres
5. Rustic Roots Farm
6. Sown Serenity
7. Prairie Purity
8. Golden Fields Ranch
9. Tranquil Tiller Farm
10. Cedar Grove Homestead

11. Valley View Gardens
12. Whispering Winds Ranch
13. Country Charm Cultivators
14. Evergreen Meadows
15. Serene Pasture Farm
16. Blue Sky Harvest
17. Hidden Grove Gardens
18. Rolling Hills Homestead
19. Noble Oak Orchard
20. Gilded Grain Fields

Pro Tip: When choosing a catchy farm name, consider incorporating elements that reflect the essence of your farm, such as its location, key crops or produce, or the values it represents.

Additionally, ensure the name is easy to remember, spell, and pronounce. Check online and local business directories to avoid unintentional duplicates, and choose a name that resonates with your target audience.

A unique and memorable farm name not only sets you apart but also contributes to brand recognition and customer recall, fostering a positive and lasting impression.

46 Good Farm Names

There are plenty of good farm business names. Consider some of these for your farm business:

1. Ironwood Oasis Farm
2. Mystic Meadows Ranch
3. Whispering Wind Homestead
4. Hidden Hills Ranch
5. Timber Trail Homestead
6. Starlight Serenity Farm
7. Radiant Ridge Meadows
8. Solitude Springs Homestead
9. Mountain Breeze Fields
10. Whispering Waters Farmstead
11. Sunset Symphony Ranch
12. Serendipity Sown Fields
13. Sunkissed Summit Homestead
14. Whispering Willow Vineyard
15. Azure Sky Harvest
16. Harmony Hills Ranch
17. Rustic Refuge Fields
18. Blissful Birch Homestead
19. Mystic Maple Homestead
20. Mountain Vista Meadows
21. Cedar Ridge Ranch
22. Whispering Willow Fields
23. Tranquil Terrace Homestead

24. Rolling Ridge Vineyard
25. Whispering Wind Ranch
26. Sunset Symphony Fields
27. Starlight Serenity Homestead
28. Hidden Hills Vineyard
29. Rustic Refuge Meadows
30. Blue Horizon Ranch
31. Timber Trail Fields
32. Green Valley Produce
33. The Orchard
34. Ripe Production
35. Cornucopia Produce
36. Sunny Side Farms
37. Green Acres
38. Harvest Moon
39. Green Thumb Farms
40. Farm to Table
41. Green Meadows
42. Farmhouse Country Crops
43. Harvest Bounty
44. Countryside Fields
45. Berry Lush Hills
46. Fertile Valley Farms

Pro Tip: When selecting a cool farm name, aim for a combination of creativity and relevance.

Consider incorporating words or phrases that evoke a sense of adventure, uniqueness, or modernity while staying connected to your farm's identity or products. Think about the overall vibe you want to convey and choose a name that aligns with the personality of your farm.

Additionally, check online platforms and databases to ensure the chosen name is not already in use. A cool farm name should not only resonate with your target audience but also spark curiosity and interest, making it a memorable and attractive choice for your agricultural venture.

30 Cool Farm Names

Dairy farmer walking among stalls using a tablet

Think farm life is cool? Consider a farm business name like the ones below.

1. Enchanted Harvest Homestead
2. Labyrinth of Crops Farmstead
3. Celestial Sow Ranch
4. Whimsy Willow Fields
5. Timeless Terra Gardens
6. Nebula Nectar Vineyard
7. Secret Sanctuary Farm
8. Celestial Meadows Ranch
9. Zenith Zen Garden
10. Kaleidoscope Cultivators
11. Ethereal Eden Homestead
12. Aether Acres
13. Utopia Uplands Farm
14. Quasar Quarters Ranch
15. Ponderosa Paradise Fields

16. Solar Symphony Gardens
17. Tranquil Tendril Homestead
18. Velvet Vale Vineyard
19. Synchronicity Sown Farm
20. Blissful Bounty Ranch
21. Terra Nova Meadows
22. Radiant Roots Farmstead
23. Infinite Harvest Haven
24. Serenity Springs Homestead
25. Terra Tint Fields
26. Terra Firma
27. Sunburst Farmstead
28. Wildwood Harvest
29. Blossoming Acres
30. Honeycomb Fields

Pro Tip: When selecting a creative farm name, let your imagination roam freely while keeping it connected to the essence of your farm.

Combine words, concepts, or themes that evoke a sense of innovation and uniqueness. Consider the story you want your farm name to tell and how it aligns with your values or the products you offer.

Embrace metaphors, symbols, or cultural references that resonate with your target audience. Check for name availability online to avoid duplicates and ensure that your chosen name is easy to spell and remember.

A creatively crafted farm name can serve as a powerful storytelling tool, helping your agricultural venture stand out and fostering a strong connection with customers.

24 Unique Farm Names

Wooden baskets full of produce with a chalk board sign that reads "unique names" situated among them

A farm business name should stand out from the pack. Consider some of these names to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Agrarian Endeavors
2. Rural Resources Ranch
3. Precision Harvest Homestead
4. Sustainable Fields Farm
5. EcoHarvest Holdings
6. TerraSphere Cultivators
7. ProHarvest Partners
8. Modern Farmstead Solutions
9. AgriTech Ventures
10. CultivaCore Agriculture
11. TerraLogic Holdings
12. Harvest Hub Farms

13. GreenVista Agro Ranch
14. ProSeed Precision Farms
15. TerraForm Innovations
16. Sustainable Harvest Network
17. PrimeCrop Agribusiness
18. HarvestSphere Homestead
19. AgriVision Holdings
20. TerraCatalyst Farms
21. EcoGrove Ranching
22. Apex Agro Solutions
23. GreenHarbor Harvesters
24. TerraNexa Cultivators

Pro Tip: When choosing a professional farm name, envision it on business signage, marketing materials, and digital platforms. Opt for a name that is not only representative of your farm's values and offerings but is also visually and verbally versatile.

A professional farm name should be easy to pronounce, spell, and remember, facilitating effective communication with customers and partners. Consider the scalability of the name as your business grows and ensure it aligns with a professional and trustworthy image.

Lastly, conduct a thorough online search to confirm domain name and social platform availability, securing a cohesive online presence for your professional farm.

34 Chicken Farm Names

Old McDonald had a farm and on his farm, he had a chicken. What did he name his farm?

1. E-I-E-I-O Farms
2. Willow's Haven Farm
3. Meadow Dreams Homestead
4. Sunflower Ridge Ranch
5. Whispering Oaks Fields
6. Hen-derson's Happy Chicks
7. Cedar Haven Homestead
8. Cluck Cluck Here
9. Grandma's Yolk Farm
10. Evergreen Embrace Ranch
11. Here a Cluck
12. Feather Lite Acres
13. There A Cluck
14. Tranquil Tendril Ranch
15. Ponderosa Pines Homestead
16. The Egg-cellent Adventure
17. Golden Gateways Farm

18. Lush Legacy Ranch
19. Starlight Sanctuary Fields
20. The Happy Cluckery
21. Everywhere a Cluck Cluck
22. Whispering Winds Homestead
23. Jolly Wings Farm
24. Ethereal Eden Ranch
25. Rolling Ridges Farmstead
26. Sunset Valley Cluckers
27. Gentle Grove Fields
28. Enchanted Elm Fields
29. Second Chance Sanctuary
30. Elysian Echo Ranch
31. Tranquil Terrace Farm
32. Cluckingham Palace
33. The Yolk's on Us Farm
34. Rustic Reverie Fields

Pro Tip: If you opt for a personal-sounding farm name, focus on creating a connection between your farm and the individuals who will interact with it.

Consider incorporating elements of personal significance, such as family names, local landmarks, or sentimental references. This not only adds a touch of authenticity but also fosters a sense of familiarity for your customers.

Additionally, choose a name that resonates emotionally and reflects the warm and inviting atmosphere you want to convey. A personal-sounding farm name creates a more intimate brand identity, making customers feel like they are part of a unique and cherished community.

32 Catchy Farm Names

Professional gardener on his patio pointing to a large sprouting plant

Catchy farm names might reference the natural environment or the critters you keep with names like:

1. Sunshine Acres
2. Ozark Orchards Homestead
3. Green Gables
4. Rockies Retreat Farmstead
5. Bluegrass Bliss Ranch
6. Pacific Peak Fields
7. Shenandoah Valley Homestead
8. Gulf Coast Gardens
9. Adirondack Acreage Ranch
10. Sierras Solitude Farm
11. Chesapeake Charm Fields
12. Napa Valley Nexus Homestead
13. Everglades Essence Ranch
14. Green Mountain Grove
15. Desert Mirage Farmstead
16. Cape Cod Cultivators

17. Yellowstone Yonder Fields
18. Palmetto Plains Homestead
19. Great Lakes Gardens
20. Pine Ridge Ranch
21. Mojave Meadow Fields
22. Finger Lakes Farmstead
23. Hoppin' Mad Ranch
24. Sow Much Love Farm
25. Sundown Patch
26. Rooted in Tradition Farm
27. County Fairground Greens
28. Barn Quilt Farm
29. Bluegrass Dairy Farm
30. Happy Hens Sanctuary
31. Squealing Piglet Acres
32. Moovelous Hilltop

Pro Tip: Consider a location-based farm name that identifies the geographic setting and captures the essence and unique features of your area. Consider the landscape, local flora or fauna, historical landmarks, or cultural elements that make your location special.

This ensures that your farm name reflects a sense of pride and connection to the community. Additionally, think about the scalability of the name in case your farm expands or diversifies its offerings.

A well-chosen location-based name not only roots your farm in a specific place but also helps create a strong local identity, attracting customers who appreciate the regional character of your agricultural venture.

What Should I Name My Farm Company?

A good farm name communicates the essence of your farm while being memorable, distinctive, and relevant. Here are some key factors that contribute to a good farm name:

  • Relevant: Choose a name that reflects the nature of your farm, whether it's related to the crops you grow, the livestock you raise, or the farming practices you employ.
  • Memorable: A good farm name should be easy to remember. Avoid overly complex or confusing names that may be hard for customers to recall.
  • Distinct: Ensure that your farm name stands out from competitors. Avoid generic terms and aim for a unique and original name that sets your farm apart.
  • Value-Driven: If your farm has specific values or principles, consider incorporating them into the name. This helps convey a sense of authenticity and purpose.
  • Positive Imagery: Choose words or phrases that evoke positive emotions and imagery. This creates a favorable impression and attracts customers.
  • Scalable: Think about the future growth and diversification of your farm. A good name should be versatile enough to accommodate potential changes in your offerings or business focus.
  • Cultural and Regional Considerations: If your farm is rooted in a specific culture or region, consider incorporating elements from that culture or region into the name. This adds a local touch and connection.
  • Avoids Trends: While it's tempting to follow current trends, consider that trends change quickly. Opt for a timeless name that will remain relevant over the long term.
  • Available: Before finalizing a name, check for its availability online and in business registries to ensure there are no conflicts or trademark issues.
  • Easy Pronunciation and Spelling: A good farm name should be easy for customers to pronounce and spell correctly. This facilitates word-of-mouth marketing and online searches.

Remember that your farm name is an essential part of your brand identity and take the time to choose a name that aligns with your vision and values and will resonate with your target audience.

How to Name Your Farm Business

Miami Fruits owner holding a box full of plantains

Registering your farm's name is a pivotal step in building and safeguarding your agricultural brand. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to register your farm's name:

  1. Check Availability: Before you settle on a name, make sure it isn't already in use by another farm, especially in your agricultural sector and location. Conduct online searches, check local business directories, and examine trademark databases to confirm the availability of your chosen name.
  2. Perform a Trademark Search: A thorough trademark search is essential to ensure your chosen farm name is not already trademarked by another entity. This step is crucial for legal protection and to avoid potential infringement issues.
  3. Buy the Domain: In today's digital landscape, securing an online presence is crucial. Check the availability of your farm name as a domain to secure a corresponding website address. Even if you don't plan an immediate website launch, reserving the domain is a wise move for future use.
  4. Determine the Legal Structure: Define the legal structure of your farm, whether it's a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. The chosen structure will impact the registration process.
  5. Register with the Local Agricultural Authority: Officially register your farm name with the relevant local agricultural authority. The process varies depending on your location but often involves filing a "Doing Business As" (DBA) or trade name registration with the appropriate local agency.
  6. Consider Trademark Registration: While not mandatory, registering your farm name as a trademark with the relevant intellectual property office can offer additional legal protection. This becomes especially crucial if you plan to expand your farm's presence nationally or internationally.
  7. Claim Online Platforms and Social Media: Secure your farm name on popular social media platforms and relevant online marketplaces, even if you don't intend to use them immediately. Maintaining a consistent brand across various channels strengthens your online presence.
  8. Renew and Maintain: Stay vigilant about renewal requirements for your farm's registration and trademark, if applicable. Regularly update your contact information to ensure you receive renewal notices.

By following these steps, you can effectively register your farm's name, establish a robust brand identity, and shield your agricultural business from potential legal challenges. If you have specific questions or concerns about the registration process in your area, consult with legal professionals or agricultural advisors.

Next Steps After Choosing Your Farm Name

In conclusion, choosing the perfect name for your farm is an exciting step that sets the tone for your agricultural journey. Whether you're drawn to catchy or cool, professional or personal, the key is to find a moniker that resonates with your values and captures the essence of your venture.

To spark your creativity, we provided examples of farm names that are funny, cute, cool, and beyond. Consider exploring all the lists then mixing and matching elements to create a name that suits your farm's personality perfectly.

Once you've found the perfect name, the next step is to register it. Follow our suggested steps for registering farm names, ensuring legal protection and a solid foundation for your brand. Don't forget to check for domain availability and secure your online presence for future growth.

Remember, the right name for your farm is a blend of creativity, relevance, and resonance. Trust your instincts, involve others for feedback, and enjoy the process of naming your farm. Happy farming!

We know how hard it is for small businesses to choose the right business management software. New tools are constantly coming out, and they all take different approaches and specialize in making other parts of your business life more manageable.

Used correctly, business management software will help your business accomplish more as a solo effort or a multi-team machine.

That’s our goal at UpFlip, too.

So we’ve tested various tools and always ask the business owners we interview about the software that helps them succeed. We compiled the best business software solutions based on personal experience, expert interviews, and Trustpilot reviews.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"]We’ll dive into the following topics with small businesses in mind. Click on any section to jump straight to it.

What is business management software?

First, let’s work with a clear definition. Business management software (sometimes called business process management software) refers to systems or applications that help business owners or employees support, manage, and automate business processes.

The software provides tools for designing, executing, and automating business workflows to improve business results.

What is the best business management software?

Man in an orange polo shirt working on a laptop with networking- and business-related icons including dollar signs, graphs, emails, and gears hovering overhead

The best business management software varies depending on the needs of your company. We ranked the top 45 business management software today based on their average Trustpilot review score and the number of reviews.

Our minimum average ranking was 4.0, and our minimum number of reviews was 50.

  Business Management Software Average Review Score Number of Reviews
 1.  Homebase  4.3  163000
 2.  Sage  4.4  17000
 3.  Quickbooks  4.6  13000
 4.  Zoho One  4.4  4400
 5.  Deel  4.8  2900
 6.  Pipedrive  4.5  1500
 7.  Bonsai  4.5  407
 8.  Housecall Pro  4  402
 9.  Teamleader  4.2  157
 10.  Timely  3  135
 11.  Bigin by Zoho  3  104
 12.  ProWorkFlow  4.6  51

The business management software in this category ranges from HR to project management to all-in-one business management tools. Read more about each software below.

Homebase: Best Employee Management Tool

You can get free timesheets and tracking, scheduling, messaging, and hiring for up to 20 employees with Homebase. The paid plans add additional functionality and unlimited employees. You can add payroll to any plan for $39 per month plus $6 per employee.

This business management tool also has integrations with popular apps and companies like:

  • ADP
  • Shopify
  • Wells Fargo
  • Square
  • Google
  • QuickBooks
  • Clover
  • Vend
  • Upserve
  • Lightspeed
  • Payanywhere
  • Toast
  • Paychex

Sage

Sage offers accounting, an HR system, and timeslips to help businesses manage their finances. There are packages for small and medium enterprises and accountants to help them provide their customers with financial reports.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks subscription comparison page on a laptop

QuickBooks is a financial management and payroll system by Intuit. Almost every company management system integrates with it. The highest plans help you manage estimates, invoices, inventory, and bookkeeping.

It will also make accounting easier during tax time because Quickbooks and TurboTax are in the same company.

Zoho One

Want business management software that seamlessly integrates every aspect of your business? Zoho One helps make your company data more accessible by using a company management system with over 40 seamlessly integrated apps to simplify data storage, sharing, and workflows.

Plans cost $45 monthly for all employees or $105 monthly to add the employees you need.

Deel

Companies with global teams might consider Deel for their HR and payroll needs. With plans ranging from free to $599 per month, you can handle everything you need to hire employees or contractors.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive plan comparison page screenshot in the background and a young, casually dressed man working on a tablet in the foreground

One of the critical pieces of business management software is customer relationship management. Pipedrive is the first business management platform that focuses explicitly on turning leads into sales with features like automation and AI task management.

The most popular plan is $59.90 monthly. But there are plans ranging from $21.90 to $119 per month.

Bonsai

Small businesses can manage customer relationships, projects, finances, and banking with a single software. It’s called Bonsai and has everything you need from a business management system for $25 to $79 monthly. Each additional user is only $10 monthly.

Housecall Pro

Housecall Pro is a great business management platform for service businesses. This business management solution makes managing the customer relationship as easy as can be.

While you can use the $65 per month plan, the $169 monthly plan has some crucial features in a business management solution like Quickbooks and Zapier integrations.

Pro Tip: I’ve tested this software, and it was the most user-friendly client management software I’ve ever used. I particularly loved the client onboarding and review process.

Teamleader

This comprehensive business management software is European. It helps you manage projects and customer relationships, but some catches might impact business operations and growth planning. You’ll want to be aware of the following:

  1. Teamleader doesn’t charge in USD, so your cost will vary based on exchange rates.
  2. There are only quarterly and annual payment options.
  3. The price per user drops after six users.

Timely

Timely pricing and plans screenshot in the background and a young woman in a blazer and glasses working on her laptop in the foreground

AI powers this time-tracking software and automatically assigns time to specific projects. As you use the project management tool, the software learns which project each time-tracking task should be classified.

Timely charges for time-tracking based on the number of users and features. The minimum is $11 per user monthly, while the most advanced features are $28 per user monthly.

Bigin by Zoho

Most business management software is built with employer organizations in mind, but solo entrepreneurs can drastically improve their efficiency with Bigin by Zoho.

The free plan is the best business management software for solopreneurs, and the paid plans are $9 per month or $15 monthly. They offer more features than the Zoho One free plan but slightly less than its paid plans.

ProWorkflow

On the surface, there isn’t anything special when you look at this business management tool. Then why’s it on the list? Almost every review for this business management tool mentions their support is phenomenal, and the project management features make resource management more accessible.

The only negative review for ProWorkflow was from 2015, and it was because they made a change to their invoicing without providing the proper training. No reviews mention that issue afterward.

Start with the $20 per month plan and build from there.

Met Average Review Score Threshold

These business management systems scored above the minimum threshold of 4.0 but did not have over 50 reviews. That means reviewers were happy with them, but more reviews would build our confidence in the average rating.

These business software applications may eventually make it to the list of best business management tools, but they need to keep proving their chops for now.

A business software solution on this list works remarkably, but they may need more marketing to stay in business long-term. Check other review sites before purchasing these software applications for business.

  Business Management Software Average Rating Number of Reviews
 13.  Homebase  4.4  10
 14.  Connecteam  4.2  22
 15.  Proofhub  4.1  6
 16.  Basecamp  4  15

You’ll find a communication app, a business management app, and two project management apps in this category.

Chanty

Chanty plan comparison page on a laptop

Chanty focuses on helping team communication. This business management software is similar to Slack but half the price. Most teams can use the free version forever, but it’s only $3 per user each month if you need more.

Connecteam

Connecteam is one of the best business management software for small businesses because it offers ten users for free. The Small Business Plan has all the features of the Expert plan.

You can get three types of accounts: operations, communications, and HR. When you buy one, you get limited functionality of the other two.

Once you have more than ten employees, you’ll have to upgrade to paid memberships, which are $59 monthly for up to 30 members. Each additional team member is $1.80 per month.

Learn more about Connecteam’s pricing.

ProofHub

ProofHub is a communication and project management platform that allows unlimited projects and unlimited users for $99 per month or up to 40 projects and unlimited users for $50 monthly.

Having unlimited projects and users is especially useful for businesses like construction, which work with multiple companies and industries to get a job done.

Learn more about ProofHub’s pricing.

Basecamp

Screenshot of Basecamp’s page on its Pro Unlimited Offering

Basecamp is similar to ProofHub, but it will save you money if you have up to four users. Otherwise, just use Proofhub, as Basecamp is three times the price for unlimited users.

Met Review Quantity Threshold

Many people use this business management software, but they came in below the minimum review score threshold of 4.0. Even so, anything above a 3 deserves your attention.

Most of the software in this group is well known, but their review score could be lower because they try to be everything for everyone. As many successful business owners have found, sometimes it is better to focus on doing one thing well.

As you look into these services, avoid those with reviews mentioning inflated prices, a bad user experience, and poor customer service.

  Business Management Software Average Review Score Number of Reviews
 17.  monday.com  3.8  3100
 18.  FreshBooks  3.7  770
 19.  Hubspot  3.3  608
 20.  Keap  2.9  453
 21.  HoneyBook  3.9  258
 22.  ClickUp  3.4  258
 23.  Trello  3.8  154
 24.  Wrike  2.5  171
 25.  Asana  2.6  161
 26.  Odoo  1.7  129
 27.  Thryv  2.7  79
 28.  Microsoft Onedrive  1.7  116
 29.  Smartsheet  2  64

Since HoneyBook, Monday, Trello, and Freshbooks barely missed the list of best business software, we’ll review them below.

HoneyBook

HoneyBook allows you to track inquiries, automate workflows, send forms and questionnaires, book and schedule, sign contracts, send invoices, accept online payments, and manage projects.

Honeybook is effectively a comprehensive suite for business operations—as long as you get the $39 per month plan. They also have a $19 monthly that lacks business process automation and a $79 monthly plan that allows unlimited users.

monday.com

Yes, monday.com is one of the more sophisticated business management platforms. Unfortunately, the way it charges is less than friendly to small businesses.

It charges by seat, and you’ll need to pay a minimum of $60 to make it where most core business processes are automated.

The main advantage of monday.com is that it has more templates than any of the best business management software. Check out our monday.com business management software review.

Trello

Man looking at Trello plan comparison page on a desktop computer

Trello provides a user-friendly project management solution. While there is freedom in how you use the service, you generally attach tasks to “cards,” which you can click and drag through a series of steps you define.

The free version could work for solopreneurs and small companies. The paid versions range from $5 per month to a monthly per-user fee for larger companies, and they progressively unlock features like new workspace views and increased automation.

Trello project management is typically the management software that software development teams prefer. Our design team likes Trello, but our content team chooses ClickUp.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is another financial management tool. The plans vary dramatically in what they offer. The $8.50 plan has unlimited expenses and estimates but limits you to unlimited invoices for five clients and only provides tax reports.

More expensive plans add additional features, like more clients, recurring billing, other payment options, better reporting features, and mileage tracking.

FreshBooks is also less expensive than QuickBooks, which may benefit your business, assuming the savings aren’t eaten by complicating your tax filing.

Business Management Tools That Failed To Pass

Young man furrowing his brow at a laptop surrounded by icons of business management softwares that didn’t pass UpFlip review

These business management tools failed to pass the minimum thresholds of 50 reviews and an average review score of 4.0 stars on Trustpilot. For that reason, you’ll want to research them more heavily.

But just because they did not pass our criteria doesn’t necessarily mean they are the wrong tools. Reasons for failing to meet our thresholds include:

  1. Too few reviews: Trustpilot penalizes companies with a small number of reviews by lowering their scores. One five-star review can equal a 3.2 score overall.
  2. Company Doesn’t Focus on Trustpilot: Many small business owners love Jobber, but the Trustpilot reviews aren’t good. If they directed reviewers to Trustpilot, the score might rise.
  3. New Company: Simply put, it takes time for a company to establish a reputation.
  4. User-Friendliness: Some software could be more user-friendly, and people abandon it due to challenges.
  5. Support: One of the most common complaints about business management software is that customer support could improve.
  Business Management Software Average Review Score Number of Reviews
 30.  nTask  3.7  6
 31.  Productive  3.6  3
 32.  Favro  3.3  3
 33.  Insightly  3.2  6
 34.  Flodesk  3.2  3
 35.  TimeCamp  3.2  2
 36.  Deltek  3.1  2
 37.  OneSoft Connect  2.9  4
 38.  Deskera  2.8  30
 39.  Podio  2.8  20
 40.  Bitrix24  2.6  39
 41.  Apptivo  2.6  6
 42.  Jobber  2.5  6
 43.  Teamwork  2.1  19
 44.  NetSuit  1.9  17
 45.  Oracle  1.8  46

Pro Tip: I have used Jobber and found it to be very useful for a service company.

Business Management Software with No Reviews on Trustpilot

The following business management software did not have any reviews on Trustpilot. That’s not an indicator that it shouldn't make the list of top business management software—just that side-by-side comparisons don’t work based on our standards.

  1. Clarizen: This unified business management suite is only helpful for companies that can afford $1,620 per user paid upfront for a three-year subscription.
  2. WORKetc: Looking for one business management software to run your whole company? WORKetc will work, but there are less expensive options.
  3. BlueCamroo: People seem to like BlueCamroo, a customer relationship management software. It comes with a free version that allows up to two users, and more advanced paid packages start at $5 per user monthly.
  4. StudioCloud: This desktop software works offline and uploads information to cloud storage services. There’s a free version and a paid version.
  5. beSlick: This is a business process management tool with drag-and-drop automation capabilities and compliance monitoring.
  6. Bit.ai: This is a cloud-based business management tool multiple Ivy League schools use to manage their content.

Other notable software that failed to get ratings were:

  • Dubsado
  • Striven
  • Nifty
  • Quixy
  • Kissflow Workflow
  • iBE.net
  • Todo. vu
  • Frank
  • Paymo

Specialized Business Management Software

Next, we’ll cover types of specialized business management software that small business owners have explicitly recommended.

Scheduling Software

Booking Koala is by far the most impressive software I have tested in nearly 10 years of testing business software. I was first introduced to it by Cristobal Mondragon while writing our blog about how to start a cleaning business.

Booking Koala provides custom quotes online and lets the customer book without talking to someone. The detail you can add to quotes is impressive. It helps you stop wasting time talking to people who aren’t your ideal clients.

The software costs $27 monthly, but most businesses will want to use the $57 plan. There is a 14-day free trial. The downside is it isn’t entirely comprehensive—you’ll need to integrate it with other software.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

There are so many different CRM programs people can use. The one you choose will depend on what your business needs. I’ve tested 10 CRMs, and there are three that I find genuinely user-friendly:

  1. Housecall Pro: Easy to use
  2. Jobber: Not as easy, but popular
  3. ClickUp: We use this at UpFlip because we have more workflows than many businesses.

Other valuable CRMs that are much more complex include Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, and Zoho CRM. And based on reviews, Begin by Zoho is the most highly regarded CRM. I hope to test it soon and provide a review.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

ERP systems integrate various business processes, including accounting, HR, inventory, and customer relationship management. Some popular ERP software options are SAP, Oracle NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics.

The business management software in this category tends to be pricier and will need the assistance of a developer or software development company to use it most effectively. It’s more robust than the standard solutions because you can create anything.

Project Management Software

Business owner working on a kanban board on his desktop computer

The best business management software will vary depending on the industry and necessary tasks. Good project management software should help you with:

  • Project planning: This includes creating a timeline budget, assigning tasks, and creating Gantt charts to track progress and dependencies.
  • Task management: After you assign tasks, you’ll need to track changes against the expectations and adjust the timeline and budget accordingly.
  • Project accounting: A business needs to know whether every project is going according to plan or whether expenses are over budget.
  • Expense tracking: Expense tracking helps you stay under budget. You can also use this feature for time and expense billing methods.
  • Time management: Tracking time is crucial for tracking expenses, especially if you have people working overtime. Overtime pay can quickly impact profits compared to a billing rate at regular wages.

Human Resource Management (HRM) Software

HRM software streamlines HR tasks, such as payroll, employee onboarding, and performance management. ADP, BambooHR, and Workday are reputable HRM solutions.

Check out our reviews of the best HR software.

Accounting Software

To handle financial matters, consider using QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks for small- to medium-sized businesses. Given that we’ve already discussed QuickBooks and FreshBooks, let's briefly discuss Xero.

Xero: Writer’s Favorite Accounting Software

Xero qualifies for the main list, but I held it out because I’ve rarely found U.S. businesses that use it. With its primary team being across the world, you may experience challenges with customer service. You’ll also get your best results if you have an accountant and developer team on hand.

Xero is a small business management software company based in New Zealand. It is popular among small and medium enterprises in Australia and other countries. Its Trustpilot rating is 4.3 stars with around 5,900 reviews, making it the fourth most reviewed management system for business.

This program automates processes in accounting and can be integrated with other business management software, like human resources or inventory systems, to improve your business intelligence.

I particularly liked Xero’s automated expense classification, which allows you to customize how expenses are treated based on the store or other factors.

Inventory Management Software for Small Businesses

Forbes inventory management software article in the background and woman in an orange button down holding her laptop in the foreground

You can either get inventory management as part of your complete business management software, or go with a specialized offering, like:

  • Sortly: Sortly has a 4.1 score across 125 reviews, which meets our standards. There’s a free version, but you'll need the paid version if you have over 100 items or need custom fields.
  • Zoho Inventory: Get inventory as part of Zoho One.
  • ShipBob Merchant Plus: You might like this if you combine self-fulfillment with dropshipping or print-on-demand. With a 3.8 rating, it just barely misses our cutoff.
  • monday.com: You can get free inventory management with monday.com.
  • Cin7: This business management system has a 2.26 rating between their two offerings, meaning it does not meet the quality threshold.
  • Ordoro: Forbes calls this software the best for multichannel sellers, but it has no Trustpilot reviews.

Time Tracking Software

We use Upwork’s time tracker for hourly freelancers, but I liked how Screenshot Monitor worked elsewhere.

Many cloud-based business management systems have time tracking software built-in, including ClickUp, but I wish ClickUp had a standalone time tracker that I could get to more conveniently.

Marketing Automation Software

To automate marketing campaigns, consider platforms like:

  • HighLevel: GoHighLevel has over 1,100 reviews, and 96% are 5-star. It has everything you need for your marketing for $97 per month.
  • Mailchimp: The most famous name in email automation, Mailchimp is not particularly loved by Trustpilot reviewers because of poor support and cancellation issues.
  • OptinMonster: OptinMonster is what we use at UpFlip. It has a 4.0 rating across 159 reviews. Plans cost $9 to $99 per month.

eCommerce Platforms

Shopify page loaded on a tablet with a miniature shopping cart full of boxes in the foreground

eCommerce platforms function as management software for small business operations. The companies below have a store and other tools you can download to enhance critical features.

  • Shopify: I find Shopify the most intuitive eCommerce platform. Its pricing is reasonable, but you’ll probably want additional apps that raise the price quickly.
  • WooCommerce (WordPress plugin): WordPress and WooCommerce are some of the most used company software. It’s more expensive, at $70 monthly, and I find it cumbersome.
  • BigCommerce: This eCommerce platform is competitive with Shopify pricing on the low end and goes higher for people wanting multiple stores and additional key features.

Unfortunately, none of them have great reviews because they are expensive if you don’t monetize your store quickly.

Point of Sale (POS) Software

Businesses with physical stores or in-person sales will need POS systems. Both of these companies offer a free version and additional plans.

  • Square: Most people are familiar with Square. With a 4.3-star rating, those who use it are satisfied. It’s the safe bet for starting a business and needing payment processing.
  • Toast: Restaurants will want to go with a company like Toast that offers critical features that restaurants need. They have a 3.7-star rating, and the highest plans have mobile ordering apps.

Business Analytics Software

Analyze your business results with analytics tools. There are both free and paid tools you can use, including:

  • AirDNA: This business intelligence system for Airbnb hosts and contractors makes establishing prices easier by providing competitor pricing and demand. Cristobal Mondragon and other Airbnb companies suggest it. They only have a 2.9 Trustpilot rating, though.
  • Semrush: Every business needs search engine optimization to improve its results. The Semrush software helps you analyze what you need to rank higher on Google. It only has a 3.3 Trustpilot rating, but it is one of the industry standards.
  • Ahrefs: Ahrefs is the other SEO tool many people use. Many consider it more challenging than Semrush, but I love how deep I can dive with it.
  • Google Analytics: Every single business will need Google Analytics for business intelligence. There’s a free version most people use, but you might also consider the paid version.

Content Creation Software

Man winking and giving the okay hand gesture while holding a laptop showing Google Workplace plan comparison with business management software icons including Surfer and Canva hovering overhead

Try content creation software to maximize your task management for content creation. Here’s some of the software we use at UpFlip.

  • SurferSEO: The SurferSEO software supercharges content creation by helping identify the content subjects you need, then specifying certain thresholds—like blog length, the number of pictures, and the number of keywords—that can help you succeed on search engines.
  • Canva: You’ll also want some design software to help create images. Canva makes it easy to create professional photos, with a limited free option and paid options for less than $15 per month.
  • ChatGPT: Besides SurferSEO, we use ChatGPT to help us generate outlines for how-to blogs.
  • Google Workspace: There’s a reason Google Workspace is the most commonly used team collaboration tool. Where else can you get team collaboration tools like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and Meet for just $6 monthly?

Want to know what our process looks like?

  1. CEO will assign tasks in ClickUp.
  2. I research keywords with Ahrefs and create a SurferSEO “Content Editor” (a tool that tells us the range of acceptable keywords in a blog).
  3. I write the blog in Google Docs and send it to Editing with ClickUp.
  4. Editor suggests edits in Google Docs.
  5. I make changes and send the blog back to the Editor.
  6. The editor sends the blog back for a second revision or sends it to Design.
  7. The Design team creates graphics and adds the blog to WordPress.
  8. The editor reviews the design, requests changes if needed, and schedules the blog.
  9. Our CEO requests any changes he wants.

Choose your business systems

We’ve covered a variety of business process management software. We’ve discussed solutions for HR, marketing automation, supply chain management, project planning, and other standard business processes.

Most will have a per-user billing strategy that will impact your decision-making.

We’d love to be able to review every software you could desire in one blog, but that would be the longest blog ever. Is there software we missed? Do you agree or disagree with the suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.


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