written by: W. A. Swan•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/15/2010
Got an idea for a business? Having a business charter outlining your idea provides for better organization of your idea and provides a road map for success. Creating a charter can also be a first step in developing a solid business plan.
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Gather the information you need before you start putting the business charter together. The main goal of this document is to create a map of your intentions for the business. This will help orgainze your thinking much like the business plan will in a longer formal form. You will need projections of income and sales, capital on-hand, investments made to date, contact and government regulatory information in front of you when you write the business charter.
A business charter is a generalized statement outlining the company and its operations. While it is not as complex as a business plan, it can be used in conjunction with a business plan where the business plan provides a detailed thorough outline of what is stated in the business charter. Having a sample business charter to examine can be a useful tool to someone just starting a business.The business charter template can be found in the media gallery for you to follow.
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In charters for corporations with shareholders this part of the business charter would be called the Executive Summary. The business charter template uses a single sentance which simply defines main ideas; the identity of the business, the type of business and the product. For multi-facited businesses or businesses with multiple product lines starting out, a full one page statement is acceptable because you will need to accurately describe the general scope of the company.
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In the business charter template this section provides three important pieces of information; the type of legal structure the business is taking, the principal participants in the business and their experience in the industry. In the template this information shows a sole proprietorship, run by a person who has worked in similar operations within the industry. This section also provides information about why the participants feel a need to start the business.
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The sample business charter uses a product, but this does not mean you cannot use this template for a service oriented operation. A service is an intangeable item but it is still considered a product; examples would be painting, janitorial, repair or delivering. In the business charter template this section describes in detail the general product line and how they intend to compete in the market or markets they have chosen.
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This is where the information gathered initially will become most useful. In the sample business charter information is provided for five questions: where the business is being established; what market share the business expects to capture; the time frame the business expects to reach its goals; where the company expects to be within a set number of years; and when the participants plant to commence operations. This is the section that lenders, investors and government agencies such as the SBA will be looking at the closest to determine if the goals and time frame are realistic.
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This part of the business charter template shows how the company plans to utilize resources and where it will target its efforts. Descriptions for each product line or service and each market served must be straight-forward and concise as possible. This is where the company provides a general roadmap of how it will sell the product. As shown in the sample business charter the company plans to use both local and national marketing efforts to ahcieve its goals and the reasoning behind those efforts.