When you start QuickBooks for the first time, you will see a window like the one below. Inside the No Company Open window are 3 boxes:
Select Create a new company to get to the QuickBooks EasyStep Interview, which will guide you through the process of setting your company up in QuickBooks.
Select Start Interview to create a new QuickBooks company file.
The first screen you come to requires you to enter your company name. While nothing else is required on this form and it is easy to get back to the form later, I recommend filling out as much as you can. Then click Next.
QuickBooks will use your industry selection throughout the interview to recommend features that will work best for your business. After selecting your industry, click Next.
Select the proper type of business for your company, which QuickBooks will use to create the proper accounts and to assign tax form lines to those accounts, and then click Next.
Select the first month of your fiscal year (normally January, but not always). If you aren't sure, select January and make a note to verify with your accountant. If it turns out that January is incorrect, you can change it later. Click Next.
Setting a password is optional. QuickBooks recommends you create one, but if you keep your QuickBooks file on your own computer, will be the only one using it, and wouldn't be that upset if someone saw your financial data (after stealing your computer or accessing it without your permission), then you can leave it blank. If you save your file on a network and/or if there will multiple users, then I definitely recommend setting a password for your QuickBooks file. Click Next.
You are now ready to create your QuickBooks company file.
While you are only about one fifth of the way through the QuickBooks EasyStep Interview, after creating the file you are able to leave the interview and pick up later where you left off. Regarding naming your QuickBooks file, I recommend something very simple such as your company name. Save your QuickBooks file wherever you want (laptop or desktop, as opposed to a network, is fine), but make sure you have a backup system in place.