Prepare for startup Library

A business owner sitting at a table counts piles of money from a grant she's won

Small Business Financing 101: Small Business Grants

Too many people tell small business owners that they can't attain grants. But the truth is that there are quite …

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A group of professionals sits at a table and listens to an investor pitch

The Pitch: Keys to Winning Over Investors and Others

Most small businesses rely on outside sources of funding, especially when they’re starting up or ramping up to expand their …

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A team of professionals work through their first board meeting.

How to Hold Your First Board Meeting

One of the first things you’ll need to do after incorporating your business is arrange your first board meeting. This …

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A smiling hostess welcomes customers who find her restaurant.

Help Your Customers Find Your Restaurant

Your site is selected. Your team is in place. You've got a killer concept and a menu to match. All …

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A board of directors table has seats waiting to be filled.

How to Elect Your Business’s Board of Directors

Is your business a public company? If so, it will need a board of directors that represents its shareholders’ interests. …

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A person sits at a computer attempting to register a business with a state

Small Business Basics: How to Register Your Business with State and Local Governments

After selecting your business’s name and choosing its structure, you may need to register your business with your state and …

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An approved stamp is used on a patent or trademark application

What You Need to Know to File Your Business’s Patent and Trademark Documents

If you’ve developed a unique product or a design, you should take steps to protect it. Filing for a patent …

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A person at a computer is on the phone working with a ROBS advisor to set up a rollover as business startup from his 401(k).

Small Business Financing 101: How to Use Your Retirement Account to Fund Your Small Business Startup

Many small business startups rely on loans for their early capital needs. But if the idea of hefty loans and …

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Adding machine tape shows many inputs as an owner tallies up his startup costs.

Small Business Financing 101: Estimating Startup Costs

What does it cost to start a business? It varies for every company, but having a guide you can depend …

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It's easy to set up email addresses that suit your small business.

Small Business Basics: How to Set Up Email Addresses for Your Small Business

Every small business needs an email address to communicate with customers, vendors, distributors, and employees. Many need multiple addresses, not …

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A wall with many doors represents the options business owners have as they choose a business structure

Small Business Basics: Choose a Business Structure

As you work through the steps of starting your business, you’ll need to choose a business structure. The choice you …

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Host a grand opening event to celebrate your first day of operations.

Grand Opening: How to Create the Hype You Need to Make Your First Day a Success

Lots of work goes into starting a small business, and your first day is a major achievement for you as …

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A person interviews a vendor using the questions provided here for her supply chain needs

How to Interview Vendors and Suppliers for Your Business

If the success of your business depends on inventory, parts, inputs, or other entities’ products, you'll vendors and suppliers who …

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A lender holds a stamp of approval for a small business term loan.

Small Business Financing 101: Term Loans

Loans are one of the most common sources of capital for small business startups. For your venture, you might consider …

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An interviewer shakes hands with an applicant while working to hire for a small business

How to Hire the People Who Will Make Your Small Business a Success

Will your idea succeed? The answer can depend on the people you bring on board. That's why it's vitally important …

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Two professions form a partnership to start a business.

Tips for Forming a Partnership to Start a Business

It can be expensive to start a new business. Partnering with another person can be a great way to cover …

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An entrepreneur applies for an SBA loan for her startup venture.

Small Business Financing 101: SBA Loans

SBA loans are one of the most commonly used ways to cover early-phase costs. Named after the Small Business Administration …

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Multiple excavators in a row are an example of the assets a business can borrow against with an asset-backed loan.

Small Business Financing 101: Asset-Backed Loan

There are many ways to finance a business. One that few business owners consider is an asset-backed loan, an option …

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A person sitting in a creative office smiles while thinking about how to raise capital

Your Go-to Guide to Raising Capital for a Startup

Real estate, equipment, inventory, technologies, wages, and insurance are some of the many costs you’ll need to cover when starting …

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A row of retail storefronts, any one of which can be attained with a commercial real estate loan

Small Business Financing 101: How Commercial Real Estate Loans Can Help You with Your #LocationGoals

Disclaimer: This article was written to help you evaluate your commercial real estate loan options. It should not be construed …

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A person sits at a computer and tries to set up a tax ID

Small Business Basics: How to Attain a Tax ID Number for Your Small Business

If you're starting a small business, you may need to set up a tax ID number, also known as an …

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A woman with hand-drawn wings represents an angel investor

Small Business Financing 101: Angel Investors

Angel investors are individuals or networks of people who want to find and invest in new, small, or growing businesses …

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A person completes forms to acquire the small business licenses that are needed to run a business

Small Business Basics: Permits and Licenses

Do you need a permit or license to run your small business? You might, depending on your line of work, …

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A person holds a credit card she obtained for business expenses.

Small Business Basics: Sign Up For a Business Credit Card

Obtaining a small business bank account is important, but you should also get a business credit card to track your …

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A person looks thoughtfully at a series of question marks while thinking of a name for a business

Strategies for Naming Your Business

Your business name is important: It may be the first impression your customers have of your business. The right name …

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A person shakes hands with a registered agent

Why You Might Need a Registered Agent

Most businesses are required to register in the states or territories where they'll conduct “business activities.” These activities might include …

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A person sitting at a desk with a computer, notepad, and calculator works through some key business ratios.

The Ratios You Need to Measure Your Business’s Success

How do you know when your business is succeeding? You might look at the number of sales you make. Or, …

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A person holding a pen works on writing a business plan for her new restaurant

Write a Business Plan for Your New Restaurant

When you apply for financing for your new restaurant, your lender may ask you to submit a business plan along …

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A person uses a 3D printer and creates a product prototype before starting large-scale production.

How to Create a Product Prototype

Producing a product? It’s a great idea to start with a prototype. This will help you experience it and understand …

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A variety of utensils and equipment are shown in a restaurant kitchen

Your Go-to Guide to Equip Your Restaurant Kitchen

When you're starting a restaurant, you'll need to set up your kitchen with tools and equipment so your team can …

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Find a manufacturer with a facility large enough to grow and scale to meet your needs.

How to Find a Manufacturer for Your Products

If you decide to outsource production, you’ll need to find a manufacturer that can meet your timelines, standards for quality, …

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A empty storefront that could be acquired by owners who choose to lease or buy the site

Lease or Buy a Site: How to Make the Right Call for Your Small Business

Location is a factor you can’t afford to get wrong. As a new owner, it's important to spend time assessing …

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A person holds and reviews a commercial lease for a business property

Your Go-to Guide to Commercial Leases

If you choose to rent a storefront or commercial property for your business, you may need to sign and abide …

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A coffee shop owner works with her equipment.

Your Go-to Guide to Equip Your New Coffee Shop

Thinking of opening a coffee shop? You'll need to set up your space so your team can create delicious drinks …

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A factory worker engages in practices to optimize production

Best Practices to Optimize Your Production Line

Want to build smarter products, realize cost savings, or remove complexities? In this article, we share some of the best …

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Manufacturing standards can be set to improve the efficiency, safety, and sustainability of your manufacturing floor.

Incorporating Manufacturing Standards in Your Production

Manufacturing standards can help your business produce products in the most efficient, safe, and sustainable ways possible. Designed well, your …

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Venture capital professionals shake hands with a business owner

Small Business Financing 101: Venture Capital

When you’re looking into financing options for your small business, you may wonder whether venture capital should be part of …

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A life preserver floats in water, representing the importance of the protection afforded through small business insurance

What Kind of Insurance Do I Need for My Business?

Have you thought about the types of insurance your business will need? If you haven't, take time right now to …

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A person sitting at a restaurant table uses her tablet to explore loans.

Restaurant Loans and Other Ways to Raise Cash

Real estate, equipment, inventory, technologies, wages, and insurance are some of the many costs you’ll need to cover when starting …

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Two post office boxes demonstrate one of the options you have for setting up a mailing address for your business

Small Business Basics: How to Attain a Mailing Address for Your Home-Based Business

Do you need a separate mailing address for your business? Many small business owners say yes. That's because there are …

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A person faces arrows pointing in multiple directions, representing the paths he could take to become a business owner

Which Path to Entrepreneurship Is Right for You?

Wondering how to become a business owner? There’s more than one way to reach this goal. In this article, we’ll …

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Bottles on a conveyor belt for a company that chose to outsource manufacturing

Should You Outsource Your Manufacturing or Produce Your Products Onsite?

Outsource manufacturing or produce on-site? You'll need to give this question some thought as you decide how and where you’ll …

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A person sitting at a desk reviews the terms of a creditor insurance policy

Small Business Financing 101: What Is Creditor Insurance?

When you take out a mortgage, loan, or line of credit for your small business, your lender may ask you …

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A professional sitting at a computer prepares to write a business plan.

Write a Business Plan to Finance Your Startup

If you're applying for a loan, grant, or another form of funding for your new business, you'll need to create …

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A cafe manager smiles confidently after starting a business with his free checklist

Where to Start When Starting a Business

When you're starting a business, you need a plan—a checklist—that will help you stay organized and ensure that you're covering …

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Two people sit in a bank branch office setting up small business banking options

Small Business Basics: Attaining a Business Bank Account

Ready to spend money on your business or accept money from your customers? If so, you'll need to take on …

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A person uses a calculator to determine whether a commercial bridge loan would benefit a business

Should a Commercial Bridge Loan Be Part of Your Financing Strategy?

When it comes to real estate purchases or improvements, many business owners find that they need fast access to capital. …

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A legal balance for startup attorneys

Every Startup Needs an Attorney. Here's Why.

An attorney can be an invaluable member of your team, especially as you work through the startup stage of your …

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One of a business's authorized signers prepares to sign a contract

Using Authorized Signers for Your Business

As your business grows, you may need some assistance navigating the everyday tasks of operations, including signing checks, paying bills, …

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A retail storefront that could be an optimal small business location

Location Can Be the Make-or-Break Factor for Your Business’s Success

For on-the-go businesses, such as roofing companies, concrete designers, or cleaning businesses, a facility's location is important. A central location …

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