In this article:
- Getting started
- Step 1: Enter a company name
- Step 2: Choose a business stage
- Step 3: Decide when your forecast should start
- Step 4: Select the length of your forecast
- Step 5: Decide how detailed your forecast will be
- Step 6: Choose the currency you want to use
- Step 7: Choose the plan language
- Step 8: Number separators
- Create your company
LivePlan lets you create as many companies as you’d like - there is a limit on how many of these can be "active" at one time, but no limit on the number you can create and keep in your archive. You do not have to pay extra to have more than one company in your account.
Creating multiple companies gives you the flexibility to plan for multiple business ideas or test several feasibility scenarios for the same idea. You can easily switch between companies in your account using the Companies menu.
Tip: If you are already at your company limit, and you don't want to upgrade to a higher limit, just archive your active company first and then add a new company. There is no limit to the number of companies you may keep in your archive.
If you've just created a LivePlan account, you'll automatically be taken to the Create a New Company page.
If you have an existing account and want to add another company, archive your current company, and then click the Create New Company button:
This will take you to the company options menu, where you can configure your plan settings. These settings can be changed later in the Options menu.
Step 1: Enter a company name
Be sure to give each company a unique and meaningful name (between 2 and 60 characters long). LivePlan allows you to have more than one company with the same name, but this isn't recommended.
The name you enter will appear on your Pitch and at the top of each page of your business plan document. It will also help you distinguish this company from the others in your account:
Step 2: Choose a business stage
Are you planning for a new start-up or an existing company? If you're planning for an existing company, are you using accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online or Xero? The business stage you choose here helps LivePlan include a couple of relevant sections in your plan outline, such as a Company History section for existing businesses:
Step 3: Decide when your forecast should start
Think about when you will begin to execute your business plan, and then choose the fiscal year cycle and and year that your forecast will start. We recommend selecting a date that reflects when you first begin to experience financial activity. This way, the start-up costs you make as you prepare to open your business are captured in your forecast. If you are forecasting for an existing business, we recommend starting your forecast at the start of your current fiscal year.
Note: You can change the start date of your forecast later.
Read more: Using a calendar year vs. a fiscal year in your forecast
Step 4: Select the length of your forecast
Choose whether you want your forecast to extend three years into the future or five:
Note: you can change the length of your forecast later.
Step 5: Decide how detailed your forecast will be
Indicate how many of those years you'd like to have expressed in monthly forecast numbers (rather than annual totals). The first two years of your forecast defaults to having monthly detail, and you can select up to three years:
Note: You can change the monthly detail setting at any time.
Read more: Changing the forecast length and years of monthly detail
Step 6: Choose the currency you want to use
For each company in your LivePlan account, you can designate the currency symbol you want to use.
Note: This setting only changes the currency symbol; it does not perform currency conversions. The numbers you enter will remain the same regardless of the currency symbol you choose here. Once you've created your company, you can change the currency setting again on the Options tab.
If the symbol you want to use isn't listed, choose Other and enter the desired symbol or notation in the field provided:
Read more: Changing the currency format
Step 7: Choose a plan language
All of LivePlan's instructions and examples are in English. You're welcome to write the content of your pitch and plan in any language you choose. LivePlan can translate the section titles and table labels into six languages. Select the language of your choice:
More info: Changing the plan language
Step 8: Number separators
For each company in your LivePlan account, you can select the type of decimal and thousands separator used in your financials.
Step 9: Multi-month charges
If you have revenue streams with recurring charges that cover multiple months, LivePlan gives you two options:
- To spread those charges out (generally referred to as accrual-based accounting)
- To recognize the revenue immediately when you receive it (generally referred to as cash-based accounting)
Read more: Changing the setting for multi-month charges
Create your company
When you have completed all of the selections on this page, click Create Company:
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