Start Your Business 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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A business owner and an attorney sit at a desk discussing the letter of intent they drafted

Why You Need a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Purchase a Business

When you find a business you'd like to purchase, your attorney will draft a letter of intent (LOI) to indicate …

Read More →
A person sitting at a desk reflects on the pros and cons of buying a business

The Pros and Cons of Buying an Established Business

Before you decide whether buying a business is the right path for you, take some time to learn about the …

Read More →
A person at a desk is looking at his computer screen to learn about the fundamentals of buying a business

The Fundamentals of Buying a Business

Wondering how to buy a business? Many people do, especially when they see the benefits others have achieved by taking …

Read More →
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. …

Read More →
A person talks on the phone to find businesses for sale

How to Find Businesses That Are for Sale

Maybe you've heard about the benefits of buying a small business, and you've even decided which kinds of operations you …

Read More →
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 …

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

Small Business Basics: Attaining a Business Credit Card

Obtaining a business bank account is important, but you should also consider signing up for a business credit card to …

Read More →
A new restaurant kitchen that is financed through asset-backed financing

Why Choose Asset-Backed Financing?

There are many ways to finance a business. One that few business owners consider is asset-backed financing. Many banks and …

Read More →
Two people sitting at a table read through some franchise requirements.

Studying Your Target Franchise’s Requirements

Every franchise has a set of requirements prospective owners must meet to begin the ownership process. In this article, you'll …

Read More →
A person types on a computer keyboard to search for franchise opportunities

How to Find Franchise Opportunities That Suit Your Skills, Interests, Goals, and Budget

Many sites list franchise opportunities, making it easy for prospective owners like you to find and compare options. But, sometimes, …

Read More →
A person sits on a couch and reads a franchise disclosure document

Your Guide to Reading a Franchise Disclosure Document

When you're evaluating a franchise for purchase, one of the documents the franchisor will share with you is the franchise …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A modern-looking cafe sits in a great location for a restaurant: right on the corner of a popular area.

Find a Great Location for Your Restaurant

Need a great location for your restaurant? Lots of factors come into play. To start, you'll want to be close …

Read More →
A prospective franchise unit owner considers asset-backed financing.

Asset-Backed Financing for Franchise Owners

There are many ways to finance the purchase of a franchise unit. One that few aspiring business owners consider for …

Read More →
Two prospective franchise unit owners read a franchisor financing terms document with another professional

Considering Franchisor Financing? Here’s What You Should Know.

Does the franchise you're considering offer franchisor financing? These programs are a popular way to cover the startup costs of …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A person shakes hands to buy a business.

Consider Using an SBA Loan to Buy a Business

SBA loans are one of the most commonly used ways to finance the purchase of a business. Named after the …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A person in front of a work van chose to buy a business that's enduringly profitable

Smart Play: Buy a Low-Risk, High-Margin Business in a Growing Industry

If want to buy a business, then you’ve probably thought about operating one that’s novel, trendy, or exciting—one that’ll impress …

Read More →
A person at a desk smiles as he works through the steps he needs to take to set up an entity to buy a business.

Pro Tip: Set Up an Entity Before Buying a Business

When most people set out to “buy a business,” what they’re really doing is buying a company’s assets. Many are …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A person at a cash register studies her small business sales tax requirements

Understanding Small Business Sales Tax

The United States doesn’t levy a federal sales tax, but many of its states do. And within those states, various …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
Two people who sit together are reading a document to determine whether they need a small business tax attorney

When Do I Need a Tax Attorney?

Is your business facing tax challenges? Are you working through an audit? Are you up against some complexities in determining …

Read More →
A person stands ready to review his small business income tax requirements

Understanding Small Business Income Tax

Is your business required to pay small business income tax? The answer is that it depends on your business structure. …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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, …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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, …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A person sits on the ground outside with a computer in her lap, working as an absentee franchise owner

Can I Be a Franchise Owner Without Working Onsite?

Most franchises ask owners to work a minimum number of hours onsite each week. Many want their owners to commit …

Read More →
The costs of a franchise unit can be covered with an SBA loan.

Finance Your New Franchise with an SBA Loan

If you plan to buy into a franchise, you may be wondering about the SBA loan program you can use …

Read More →
A prospective buyer sits facing a seller, attempting to negotiate to buy a business

How to Negotiate to Buy a Business

Once you’ve found a business that meets your criteria and you’ve vetted it with your accountant and attorney, you'll start …

Read More →
Two prospective buyers negotiate a lease to buy arrangement with a seller

Lease-to-Buy: Could It Work for Your Acquisition?

There are lots of ways to finance a business acquisition. Few prospective business owners consider lease-to-buy, an option that can …

Read More →
A business buyer connects with two business owners to buy a business that's not for sale

Buy a Business That Is Not for Sale

If you're an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to buy a business instead of starting one from scratch, you likely know …

Read More →
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, …

Read More →
A store owner turns an open sign for her grand reopening celebration.

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

Closing on your new business is a major achievement. Celebrate it by planning a grand reopening event that reintroduces your …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A storefront that may be one element an owner should consider when developing a plan for financing a franchise

Your Go-to Guide to Financing a Franchise

Franchise fees, real estate, equipment, and inventory are some of the many costs you’ll need to cover when starting a …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
Two people bump fists as they work through a seller financing arrangement

Why Seller Financing Can Be a Great Source of Capital

Seller financing is often a great option for buying a business. Let's dive into what it is and why it …

Read More →
A small business accountant holds a calculator

Thinking of Hiring an Accountant? Start Here.

Every business has accounting needs. There are financial standards, valuations, and tax concerns to keep up with and work through. …

Read More →
A person completes paperwork to open a small business bank account

Small Business Basics: Attaining a Business Bank Account

Every small business needs a bank account. It's key for spending money on your business or accepting money from customers. …

Read More →
A person holds a pen and a magnifying glass to evaluate a business for acquisition

Preliminary Due Diligence: How to Evaluate a Business Before Buying It

It can be exciting to find a small business that meets your criteria for acquisition. But do you know how …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A person sitting at a desk looks through documents as he considers buying a distressed business.

Is a Distressed Business a Good Opportunity?

Distressed businesses exist in every industry. Some can be great opportunities, especially when they're purchased for a low price and …

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

Your Go-to Guide for Financing an Acquisition

Have you thought about taking out a loan to buy a business? Many owners do. There are lots of loan …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A person sitting at a desk grapples with the question, which franchise is right for me?

Assess Your Skills, Interests, and Goals Before Searching for a Franchise Opportunity

If you're like many aspiring business owners, you know the benefits of opening and operating a franchise unit. But you …

Read More →
Attendees listen to a speaker during a franchisor training session

Franchisor Training: What to Expect

After signing your franchise agreement, you can enroll in franchisor training. This is a program your franchisor may offer to …

Read More →
A storefront that could serve as a franchise location

Location Can Be the Make or Break Factor for Your Franchise's Success

Most franchisors provide their franchise unit owners with a territory in which they can own and operate a business. For …

Read More →
A franchise unit owner works with a loan officer to obtain a loan for construction

How to Attain Financing for Franchise Construction or Renovation

There are many costs to starting a franchise unit. After the franchise fee, one of the most significant costs is …

Read More →
A person with a computer works through the due diligence process to buy a franchise

Considering a Franchise? Here's How to Make a Smart Call.

Thinking of owning a business? Franchises make it easy, but it's risky to go after any opportunity without some careful …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
Two professionals interested in a franchise choose to partner.

Reasons You Might Need a Franchise Partner

Is a franchise partner right for you? There are a number of reasons you might say yes. Let's dive into …

Read More →
A pen lays atop a financial document used for evaluating the asking price of a business.

Evaluate the Asking Price of a Business

Two of the most difficult parts of buying a business are learning to evaluate the asking price and proposing a …

Read More →
A person uses a laptop computer to write a business plan for running a franchise.

How to Write a Business Plan for Your Franchise

When you apply for an SBA loan, a term loan, or another form of financing, you may need to present …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
Two businesspeople look at charts they might compile in their business plan to buy a business.

Develop a Business Plan That’ll Help You Attain Financing

When you apply for an SBA loan, a term loan, or seller financing to buy a business you’ll need to …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A banker points to paperwork for one of the loans he can offer for a business acquisition.

Loans to Consider to Buy a Business

Loans are one of the most common sources of capital owners use to buy a business. Many banks offer three …

Read More →
A person sits at a desk in an office and works through the steps of buying a franchise

Nine Tasks to Take on Before Buying a Franchise

Thinking of buying a franchise? You aren't alone. The number of people interested in this path is on the rise, …

Read More →
A person at a computer works through important steps before buying a business

Pre-acquisition Action Items: Steps You Must Take Before Buying a Business

Buying a business is a complex process. One of the smartest moves you can make is to spend time studying …

Read More →
People attend a discovery day event

What is Discovery Day and How Should I Prepare?

Discovery days are an event franchisors hold to showcase the business to prospective franchise unit owners. This event provides the …

Read More →
Two people with a computer work through the steps to evaluate a business for sale.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Evaluate a Business Listing

Businesses listed on business brokerage sites often follow a specific format. It can be great to have this consistency—and benefit from …

Read More →
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. …

Read More →
A person sits in a office and reviews a series of franchise agreements

A Crash Course on Franchise Agreements

After reading the franchise disclosure document (FDD) and taking part in discovery day, you may be given an important document: …

Read More →
Two business partners working in an office look at franchise resale opportunities on a computer

Smart Play: Franchise Resale Opportunities

Sometimes, it's better to buy an existing franchise unit than start a new one. The benefits of these “franchise resales” …

Read More →
Two people sign a document agreeing to a seller earnout

Smart Play: Offering the Seller an Earnout

Some businesses look risky to buy. Owners make promises that can't be verified, or they make projections that seem too …

Read More →
Two professionals attempt to renegotiate a purchase.

How to Renegotiate a Purchase with the Seller

Due diligence is one of the most important tasks you’ll take on when buying a business. Through the process, you’ll …

Read More →
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 …

Read More →
A person sits at a desk with an open portfolio wondering about the mistakes he might make when buying a business

The Mistakes You Must Avoid When Buying a Business

From overlooking key issues to making missteps in negotiations, most first-time business buyers make mistakes when buying a business. In …

Read More →
A man and a woman standing in an office partner to buy a business.

Find a Partner to Buy a Business

Thinking of finding a partner to buy a business with? There are lots of reasons to choose this option. Partners …

Read More →
Two people use a calculator to determine how much a franchise will cost

What It Costs to Buy a Franchise Unit

When you're buying a franchise unit, cost may be one of your biggest deciding factors. It's what will determine how …

Read More →
A person at a computer considers using his 401(k) for financing his new business.

How to Use 401k Financing for Your Business Acquisition

There are lots of ways to access the funding you need to finance a business acquisition. But if the idea …

Read More →
An attorney and a business buyer review documents to complete due diligence before completing an acquisition

Due Diligence for Buying a Business

In the due diligence process, you’ll review the ins and outs of the business you intend to buy. You’ll gather …

Read More →