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FAQ / Starting a Business

Starting a BusinessThe Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a wealth of useful information on their web site for those interested in starting a business. By visiting http://www.sba.gov/ you can access information on establishing a business plan, on forming a corporation, and obtaining capital and funding. If you would like more information or wish to speak to an SBA representative, you can contact the SBA toll-free.

As a new business owner, you will need to understand your federal tax responsibilities. To learn more about federal tax responsibilities, visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS also provides resources for starting a business in your state.

The SBA does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses (with some exceptions), although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. (See http://www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/ for more information.)

While the SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support nonprofit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments. Please visit http://www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/grants/ for more information.

Another excellent resource to consult is a private organization called the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). SCORE is comprised of retired business executives who donate their services and expertise to people starting or expanding a small business. SCORE has offices all over the country.

There also exists a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), which is administered by the SBA. This program was developed to provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. To visit the SBDC online, please visit http://www.sba.gov/sbdc/. There are also Business Development Centers designed specifically to assist women, Native Americans, and minorities to which the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) can direct you.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can help a company understand how to raise capital and comply with the federal securities laws.

Many states provide resources that can help you start a business. The agencies that provide these resources vary from state to state. To locate one of these agencies, please contact your state government.

For additional information on starting a business, please visit http://www.business.gov/ and http://www.usa.gov/Business/Business_Gateway.shtml.

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