It is perhaps the true “American Dream”: to leave your job working for someone else and start your own business. The idea is that not only do you have more control–over your time commitment, pay, the types of customers you deal with–but it also enables people to engage in an activity they actually have a passion for. However, just having that passion is not enough to make a venture successful. It takes thorough planning, researching all of the available resources, and a major time investment. The following is an outline describing several key steps that need to be considered when making the leap from employee to employer (in no particular order of importance since they are all important). The planning stage is perhaps the most important of the entire process, as these decisions will affect everything that follows.