State Resources: Starting a Business
There are 31.7 million people employed by small businesses. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses comprise more than 99% of all US businesses. They are economic drivers. It's no wonder that the federal government as well as every state has multiple agencies dedicated to helping new businesses form and succeed.
State small business resources include:
- The Secretary of State offices often provide key startup services such as registering a business name and trademark.
- State Departments of Economic Development often provide training programs, financing, tax credits, hiring assistance, and more.
- State departments of commerce oversee regulated industries and help ensure a competitive and fair marketplace. In some states, they provide business registration services.
- Small business development centers provide training and business advice to new and existing small business owners. They can help an entrepreneur find capital, develop a business plan, conduct market research, and improve management.
- State Procurement Offices provide opportunities to secure state-level business contracts.
- State licensing agencies provide occupational, professional, and other business licenses required before some companies can do business.
- State regulatory agencies provide needed permits for some types of businesses.
State-by-State Resources for Business Startups
Clearly, there are many agencies and organizations ready to help a new business get off the ground. The table below provides links to state resources for starting a business.
|District of Columbia|
Puerto Rico& Virgin Islands
Federal and Local Government Resources for Businesses
At the federal level, key agencies include:
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) with offices in every state
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect the intellectual property of new businesses
- SAM.gov, the website businesses can use to find government contracts
- The IRS provides an employer identification number, which every new business will need before it employs anyone (other than the owner) or pays business taxes. (Sole proprietors have the option of using their personal Social Security number.)
Local governments also provide business services:
- Counties and cities also have procurement offices
- Permits may be needed, depending on the type of business
Chambers of Commerce
Many people think of a Chamber of Commerce as a government entity, but it is not. It is a professional network of businesses and business owners. A business may be able to access competitive benefits packages, business products, and even HR expertise through their state Chamber. But local communities may also have a chamber of Commerce.
For additional information about starting a business, see
Get Legal Help Before Starting a New Business
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