For many people, entrepreneurship is the ultimate American dream. Five years ago, there were already more than 25 million Americans running their own businesses.1 And with the COVID-19 pandemic leading many W-2 workers to reevaluate the way they're spending their time, the number of American entrepreneurs may continue to increase. What resources may help entrepreneurs make the most of their new ventures?
The Small Business Administration (SBA)
Not only does the SBA help guarantee loans to certain small businesses, providing crucial startup capital, but it may also hook entrepreneurs up with networking opportunities, webinars, and other educational resources to help a business grow. The SBA should be one of the first stops on any small business owner's journey and may continue to provide advice and assistance even after you've been in business for years.
The American FactFinder and FedStats
The U.S. Census Bureau has a large amount of free market research, allowing you to drill down into demographic information to help you determine your target audience.2 FedStats includes data gathered by dozens of federal government agencies, providing an additional layer of information.3 Although you may still opt for more targeted demographic software and services, these free resources may help you get a running start.
IRS's Small Business Tax Center
This website includes tax news, forms, and the other documents you may need to make sure your small business is compliant with the U.S. Tax Code.4 Because taxes may change regularly, staying on top of breaking news through the Small Business Tax Center may be a must for any small business owner.
Small Business Development Centers
The SBA has its own network of local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), which may provide advice and assistance when it comes to financing, starting, running, and expanding your small business.5 You may even be able to network with other small business owners at the SBDC's events that are targeted toward local entrepreneurs.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
This government site provides the information you need to file for a product patent, a trademark, or a copyright.6 In today's highly digital environment, it may be necessary to trademark or copyright certain parts of your website or other online offerings to protect against piracy.
LPL Tracking # 1-05186372
4 https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed 5 https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find?type=Small%20Business%20Development%20Center