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Starting a Business: Resources

Starting a business is intimidating—from securing startup capital and hiring the right people to simply maintaining your stress levels. Thankfully, there are state and federal resources and nonprofit organizations that help the self-employed and support entrepreneurship.

As a small business owner, you will likely need help, information, and guidance at some point. This article shares various available resources and information on how to access information online and from your local government, federal government, and other organizations. This page also points you to other helpful articles on FindLaw.

Learn where to find resources for:

  • Networking with potential business partners
  • Applying for grants and other funding opportunities
  • Writing a business plan

Networking With Potential Business Partners

As you begin formulating your business launch, you may find you need help—either with all or particular aspects of it. In situations like this, having a reliable business partner can be an asset.

Finding a compatible business partner takes time and effort. One of your best strategies for locating a potential partner is through strategic networking events. If you live in a major metro area, you shouldn't have a problem finding in-person events. You can also use online platforms (like LinkedIn) to find virtual networking events.

The Senior Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) also provides mentor-matching services.

Networking can feel uncomfortable. But it's beneficial to have solid connections in place before something happens and you need to ask for help. Consider these ideas for authentic networking:

  • Connect with members of any industry-specific and professional organizations you belong to. Sending an email to introduce yourself or inviting someone to coffee can go a long way.
  • If you have a trusted mentor, set up a meeting to see if they have any networking connections.
  • Stay active in online forums related to your industry. Share expertise, ask questions, and connect with other business owners.
  • Reach out to your local chamber of commerce to see what resources they offer.
  • Participate in workshops, classes, and professional development opportunities.

Applying for Small Business Grant Programs

Be on the lookout for small business grants offered through economic development grant programs and local and state government agencies. A grant is free money that you aren't required to repay like a loan. Grants are available for nonprofits and profit businesses.

There are numerous small business grants for several types of eligible small businesses—from government grants to private funding. Whether you plan to build a multi-billion dollar record label or run a neighborhood coffee shop, you may find organizations willing to help you reach your goal by awarding grant money.

Check with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and your local Economic Development Center for grant opportunities and assistance programs.

Organizations have varying requirements that grant recipients must meet to qualify for their grant awards. Before starting the grant application process, ensure your location, industry, business size, and other criteria match their grant eligibility requirements.

Depending on your industry and demographic, you may be eligible for more targeted grant funding:

Securing Financing for Your Small Business

Financing options change across the lifecycle of a business. Entrepreneurs often fund their new business through:

  • Their own bank account, savings, or personal credit cards
  • Help from friends and family
  • Crowdfunding, investors, and venture capital
  • Small business loans from banks, credit unions, or SBA

Your ability to get loans and investors depends on the strength of your business plan and the value proposition of your product or service.

Use the links at the end of this article to learn more about small business financing and how to attract lenders and investors.

Help With Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is your roadmap to long-term success. You might have a wonderful business idea, but lack the background for writing the specifics of a formal business plan.

If you need assistance, there are several options out there that can help. You can always:

Business Registration and Taxes

Your best source of business registration information can come from your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Chapters in states offer extensive opportunities to educate yourself on filing instructions, fees, and any additional requirements for your business.

If you have tax-related questions, start with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They provide information on applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and selecting a business structure.

Finding a Business Attorney

While you may be able to do all this on your own, hiring a qualified business lawyer can ease the burden and help you avoid future problems. There are business situations where you may want to seek out legal help, especially if a large amount of capital is involved.

business attorney in your area can provide crucial assistance in several aspects of your business, including:

Reference the articles below to learn more about hiring legal help for your new business.

Choosing a Business Location and Property

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
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