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Starting a Business? Get Up and Running with Five Essential Online Guides

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Starting a Business? Get Up and Running with Five Essential Online Guides

By ngoriel, SBA Official
Published: May 5, 2011

Starting a business is an exciting prospect, but unless managed properly it can quickly become a hairball of administrative and regulatory mis-haps.

For example, how are you going to register your business? Should you incorporate your business? And what are the differing requirements that the federal government puts on new business owners, let alone your local city, county or state government?

Then there are other considerations such as zoning laws, licenses and permits. Even home-based business owners need a business permit to operate legally.

While every business venture is unique, there are some fundamental steps that you do need to follow to establish your business properly and in compliance with the law.

To help you on your way, the SBA has put together a host of resources and guides to help you build and grow your new business.

SBA Direct – The Answers You Need Start Here

We all know how much administrative work is involved with buying a new car – new registration, new tags, property tax adjustments, insurance updates, new decals, and so on, not to mention the changing and differing legal requirements by city and state. 

The same is true of starting or opening a new business, and then some!

But just imagine if you could just push a button and you get all the answers you need to help you start and grow your business – in one place.  

Well, that’s exactly what “SBA Direct” does. Just enter your zip code and some basic information about your business, as well as the type of assistance you require, and SBA Direct will serve up personalized answers and resources to help you start, manage and grow your business.

SBA Direct also serves up a list of local resources, including SBA offices, Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women's Business Centers and more, who can help answer your start-up questions.

SBA Direct is accessible from just about every page on the SBA website, so that you can quite literally get the answers you need anywhere on SBA.gov.

Car buyers, dream on!

10 Steps to Starting a Business

Whether you are a freelancer, a home-based business, opening a main street or online store, and so on, there are a number of regulatory steps you need to take and decisions to be made about planning, financing, and structuring your new business, that you need to be aware of.

These “10 Steps to Starting a Business” walk new entrepreneurs through each stage of starting a business, from how to write a business plan, where to seek financing, choosing a business location, how to structure your business, registering your business name, and so on. It even includes a useful “Permit Me” tool that helps you pinpoint the exact licenses and permits your business needs based on your business type and zip code.

Assistance for Specific Business Types

Starting a business as an independent contractor or sole proprietor? Want to operate your business from your home? Thinking of starting a business that specializes in “green” products? Are you a woman, veteran, or minority-owned business?

Whatever your business type, SBA has put together a series of “Guides” that helps you get started, comply with specific business regulations, and understand the opportunities that are available to your new business in the form of financing, counseling and training.

Buying an Existing Business?

Purchasing an already established business can help alleviate some of the risks of new business ownership, if done wisely. SBA’s “Buying an Existing Business” guide can help you choose the right business, determine its value, conduct due diligence, and navigate the purchasing process.

What about Franchising?

Franchising currently represents 10.5 percent of all businesses and crosses literally hundreds of industries. If you are interested in franchising as a business opportunity, be sure to do your homework, have a clear strategy, and understand how the law protects you. This “Guide to Buying a Franchise”can help you make sure you make the right decisions.

Additional Resources

For more information and guides to help you start your business, visit SBA’s “Starting and Managing a Business Guide“.

About the Author:

Natale Goriel

SBA Official

Hi, my name is Natale and I'm serving as a Moderator for the SBA Community. Our goal is to continually improve this site to meet your needs, so we appreciate your feedback and participation.


Having started a few businesses myself(My Criminal Defense & DUI Defense Law Firm as well as a marketing company) I know how difficult it is to start a successful business...Having resources like this definitely makes the process a bit easier but it still takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
It's rare for me to discover something on the web that is as entertaining and intriguing as what you've got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are outstanding, and what's more, you use source that are relevant to what you are talking about. You are definitely one in a million, good job!
Thank you SBA for these valuable guides. They are really helpful for small business owners like me.
This was an informative and constructive article.
Well done bro! Fantastic article, im so happy I found this site. Its full of useful guides and tips. Kind Regards John Webmaster of: mini countryman mini countryman reviews
This blog is nice to read and it is very helpful indeed. I would like to commend the author of this blog. Two thumbs up to you!!!!
When we started our online rental and sublet business website known as ToSublet.com, we definitely experience a lot of challenges related to any business startup. We were fortunate to have been introduced to many useful resources and articles at the SBA which helped us get through our growing pains with less pain and speed bumps.

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