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Startup 101: Resources You'll Need

Small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all United States businesses, according to the SBA with 30.2 million small businesses in operation in 2018. If you want to be someone who owns one of those small businesses, you need to set yourself up for success during the startup phase. The best way to do that is to use the resources available to you, many of which can be found for free online.

American FactFinder: Census information on the demographics of your community including population, housing and the economy

Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps): A database of federal government contracting opportunities

IRS Small Business Portal: Answers to small business tax questions, plus access to forms and publications, a video library, an event calendar and other online tools and products

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA):  Supports businesses in minority communities by providing grant and loan information, business opportunities and business certification resources

National Association for the Self-Employed: Nonprofit membership association representing the small business community in Washington, DC

National Business Association: Nonprofit association that assists the self-employed and small business community in achieving their professional goals.

National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB): Nonprofit association representing small and independent businesses

National Women’s Business Council (NWBC): Provides independent advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues important to female business owners

SCORE: SCORE, “the nation’s largest network of volunteer business experts,” is an SBA resource partner, dedicated to entrepreneur education. SCORE has over 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters with years of business experience available to help small business owners through one-on-one counseling, business tools and training programs

Small Business Administration (SBA): District offices in all 50 states provide resources, training and specialists to help start and grow businesses, plus hundreds of online resources for small business owners and employees.


Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): Resources vary by location, but typically include things like assistance with business planning, access to financing, counseling services and classes


Small Business Legislative Council: A coalition of trade and professional associations


Social Security Online: Home to multiple social security resources for small businesses and employees


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Nation: The Chamber’s website has resources, toolkits on a variety of business topics and information on how you can get your voice heard in Washington, DC.


U.S. Department of Commerce Department: Comprised of 12 different agencies, this Department promotes job creation and economic growth and works to strengthen America’s position in the global marketplace


U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: Information on U.S. working conditions, labor market activity, and price changes in the economy


U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEACs) offers information about export assistance programs and services.


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Grants U.S. patents and registers trademarks


Veteran-owned businesses (SBA resources): Funding programs, training, and federal contracting opportunities for veteran entrepreneurs


Women’s Business Centers (WBCs): Education centers for women business owners across the U.S. along with online resources


Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): Provides assistance and education to certified women's business enterprises (WBEs) and government entities




Franchise Business Network: Network of franchise business owners across the U.S. who meet quarterly Their search tool allows you to find franchises in the U.S. and Canada; their site also offers articles and lists of relevant conferences


Franchising USA: Monthly digital publications with the latest in franchising news, advice and information


FranChoice: Franchise consulting services


FranNet: Franchise experts, consultants and brokers for finding your next franchise opportunity


The Franchise King: Website and blog managed by franchise expert, Joel Libava, filled with resources and insights on the franchise experience


International Franchise Association (IFA): Search for franchise opportunities across the globe




Home-Based Business

Home Business Magazine: Online magazine with resourceful articles, podcasts, business spotlights and guides

My Own Business Institute: Programs, certifications and course for the home-based business entrepreneur from Santa Clara University

Power Home Biz: Website filled with resources, tools, tips and advice for home business entrepreneurs



Legal Information and Documents

Find Law: Search forms by category and access combo packages Incorporate your business online and learn about your incorporation options


LegalZoom: Legal advice, business services, trademarks & IP


Nolo: Connect with attorneys, research with their legal encyclopedia, and download helpful software and resources


RocketLawyer: Search for documents and business legal advice and get advice from attorneys


US Legal Forms: Search forms by category to find what you need





Small Business Magazines

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Online and print magazine bringing news and business together


Entrepreneur: Online and print magazine with insights from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial experts around the world


Fast Company: Online and print magazine focused on innovation in technology, leadership, creativity and design


Forbes: Online and print magazine covering all things business from experts and leaders around the world


Inc.: The “most trusted name in entrepreneurial journalism” guiding founders, innovators and influencers to propel their businesses forward - online and print magazine


Small Business Trends: Online and print magazine covering all aspects of small business ownership


Success Magazine: Online and print magazine that provides advice on best business practices, inspiration, and motivation


TradePub: Find magazines for your specific industry


Wired: Online and print magazine focused on the people and ideas that are changing the world


YFS Magazine: Online magazine providing insights, analysis and opinions from global, high-performing entrepreneurs





Small Business Websites

AllBusiness: “Your small business advantage”


Noobpreneur: “Helping small business owners grow their business by tapping into the small business trends and industry insights shared by fellow small business owners, experts and professionals.”


SmallBizDaily: “Ideas, Insights, Information and Inspiration for Entrepreneurs”


Small Biz Survival: “The small town and rural business resource.”


Small Business Bonfire: “Social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs…”


Small Business Today: “Your guide to ‘Big’ Business Achievement”


Smart Hustle: “Events and content to educate business owners in how to grow their businesses!”


Startup Nation: “Everything you need to build your business”


Succeed As Your Own Boss: Run by Melinda F. Emerson, America’s #1 Small Business Expert


The Self Employed: “Your Gig Just Got Easier”


Venturebeat: “Tech news that matters”


Wall Street Journal: Small Business: World business news


Women on Business: “Award-winning online destination for the news and information women need to be successful in the business world...”

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