I just planted a mess of seeds... and am in Zone 5a... once they have been stratified the only disadvantage of starting them as early as possible is space, work and the cost of adequate lighting, pest control. I have a friend (Zone 5a) who wont start his until February because they get big enough for him in that time frame to plant outdoors, they then overwinter and most bloom the following summer. Now he has awesome soil.
My soil is not great, my growing season in 5a is shorter than my friend's in 5b by almost a month... so I want my plants to have more of a head start... so I plant earlier. On the downside there will be more work, and I need to use larger planting trays to accommodate larger seedlings indoors.... I use 1020 trays with extra deep inserts (36 per tray). That seems to be big enough... but come spring they will be pretty packed... so even larger would be better (but these are good enough).
As you can see... i am planting seeds in larger containers just to get them germinated with 3 leaves then I will transplant into 1020 inserts one seedling per cell... I am doing it in 2 steps so that my 1020 flats have no spaces where seeds failed to germinate. This saves space for me ultimately... and helps keep things orderly. It is also more work and may cause more stress on the seedlings if transplanting is not done carefully. However, this also allows me to germinate in verliculite which MAY help with dampening off and any fungus gnat issues when seedlings are youngest and more delicate. Also, these lettuce crispers I am germinating in are very cheap... much cheaper than using 1020 tray domes. There are up to 40 seeds in each of these 7in x 7in crispers. This is the 1st time I am doing it this way... we shall see if it was a good or bad idea. LOL
If you dont have tons of seeds I would germinate and grow in the same container. Either 1020 tray/inserts or the red solo cups many folks use. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see the blooms