entrepreneurThere are a variety of groups and organizations that can help entrepreneur in their businesses. Below are tips and other helpful information.


10 Steps to Starting a Business

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 4: Finance Your Business

Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)

Register your business name with your state government.

Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number

Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

Startup Resources

There are a number of available programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups. The following resources provide information to help specialized audiences start their own businesses.

You can save money when starting or expanding your business by using government surplus. From commercial real estate and cars, to furniture, computers and office equipment, find what you need for your business in one place.

Startup Business Loans


A start up loan may be just what your business needs to get up and running. This type of financing is secured by thousands of companies every year, spanning a variety of industries.

Start up companies that are interested in a business loan must first consider the various details surrounding this form of financing.

How to Secure a Start Up Business Loan

It is one thing to say you are interested in obtaining a business loan, but another thing entirely to move through the process in a fast and efficient manner.

The process you follow will determine whether or not you secure the appropriate amount of financing. Along with this, you need to take steps towards choosing the right lender for your current situation.

Note: there are hundreds of lenders, some national and some local, that provide business loans to start up companies. Since you can only choose one, you need to be confident of your decision.

Choosing a Lender

It is easy to believe that one lender is the same as the next, but this is not the case – especially when it comes to securing a start up business loan.

As noted above, choosing a lender takes time and the comparison of multiple details. Here are three of the most important details to consider when it comes time to select a lender:

  • Reputation. There is nothing more important than choosing a lender with a good reputation for providing start up companies with high quality service. You are in a unique position with your business, so you must be sure your lender is willing to work with you to put you in the best position to succeed.
  • Local or national? This is one of the biggest decisions to make when choosing a lender. Some companies prefer to work with a small, local bank. Others, however, have no problem branching out and seeing what national lenders have to offer. If you have a preference, stick with it. If you don’t, consider all your options.
  • Types of loans. You may go into the process hoping for any type of business loan, but find out soon enough that there are many options. You want to find a lender that offers a variety of loan types, ensuring that you can compare all your options before making a decision.

Types of Business Loans

There are many types of business loans, with most fitting into one of two categories:

  • Secured start up business loan: collateral is required.
  • Unsecured start up business loan: no collateral is required.

There are pros and cons of both types of loans. Here are some of the finer details associated with a secured loan:

  • Collateral is required, ensuring that the bank has something to “take” should you default on the loan.
  • Since you are putting up collateral, your interest rate may be lower than an unsecured loan.

Here is what you need to know about an unsecured business loan:

  • There is no collateral required, as the bank is offering you money based on your past credit history. Since your startup has no credit history, this will likely be based on your personal credit score.
  • Higher interest rate than a secured loan. The bank is taking a bigger risk, since there is no collateral. Subsequently, they are forced to charge you a higher rate of interest.
  • The better your personal credit history the easier the process will be. Before you apply for a business loan, review your credit report and do whatever you can to take care of any bad marks that could hold you back.
  • Unsecured start up loans are typically for $50,000 or less. If you need more money, a secured loan is the way to go.

Start Up Business Loan Rates

When applying for a start up business loan, there are not many details more important than the rate.

Simply put, the higher your interest rate the more you will pay each month as well as over the term of the loan.

When comparing lenders, be sure to pay close attention to the rate offered by each one. This can be a differentiating factor, as most start up companies agree that choosing the lender with the lowest rate (if all else is equal) would be in their best interest.

Questions to Ask before Applying

Deciding whether to apply for a business loan is a big decision. This will have an impact on your company now, as well as in the future.

Before applying, you should ask and answer the following questions:

  • Is a business loan really the best type of financing for my company?
  • Which lender has the most to offer?
  • How much money should we borrow at the present time?
  • What is the money going to be used for?
  • How long will it take until the loan application is approved or denied?

When you answer these types of questions before applying, it is much easier to decide how to move forward. You may find that applying for a loan with a particular lender is something you should do right away, or you may find that your original strategy is not as solid as you once believed.

As a start up company, you are faced with financial challenges. With a business loan, you can address many of your concerns while helping your company get off the ground.

Business Resources for Entrepreneurs with a Disability

There are more opportunities than ever for individuals with disabilities to start their own businesses. Those who are deaf, blind, paralyzed or dealing with intellectual disabilities can reach out to government programs, support nonprofits and organizations, scholarship and grant foundations and more. These programs boost the likelihood of success, and give people with a disability and a plan the start they need.

The business plan is the most crucial element for anybody trying to start an enterprise, whether disabled or not. This plan outlines specific information about the potential business, including purpose, cost, demographics, marketing plans and risks. These plans are beneficial not only to the business owner for laying out clear and concrete actions, a business plan is also necessary in order to receive assistance. Lenders and foundations won’t open their pocketbooks or resources without a business owner having a credible business plan. Every entrepreneur had to start somewhere, so budding business owners should seek guidance on creating the business plan and provide the necessary research.

Marketing refers to the act of spreading the word about a business, in order to garner more business and make valuable contacts. Disabled people can do this through various networking associations, partnering with other people with disabilities and pooling resources. They can also create marketing plans that help advertise the business and give people the opportunity to get the word out. Marketing should never be done in a haphazard way, but should instead be done through consistent, deliberate actions. This is the cornerstone of business and will help people maximize their potential.

Outreach and growth through sponsorship, events, initiatives and multimedia allow business owners to become a staple in the community and marketplace. Disabled organizations often produce seminars on the benefits of outreach, teaching business owners how to properly position themselves for success. These programs are worth their weight in gold, as a connection with the community drops the barrier between producer and consumer, and opens channels of communication. It also goes without saying that no business has ever been started without some capital costs. Disabled people have a number of options in this regard, including generous low-interest loans, government grants and coaching and mentorship for prospective disabled entrepreneurs. This startup money is crucial to the success of a person’s business, so anyone looking to open an enterprise should focus on securing the necessary monies to make the dream a reality.

Business Plans

Marketing Strategies

Outreach and Growth