If you were to ask anyone today what they thought a startup company was, you would find that most often the phrase is associated with high tech and high growth oriented companies. To me, “startup” has become a very common thing type of business even considering todays economy. In just a few short years of there being a small number of startup businesses the number has grown significantly. In order to create a startup company in todays age there are many laws, licenses, loans, ect. that are necessary. With the flashing lights and promises of a lot of online sites that claim they have the plan that is right for you it is easy to be led astray. The following sites are what I believe to be the top 5 online resources that start up business of today should be made aware.
My first online resource for you is SBA, otherwise known as U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist, and to protect the interests and concerns of small businesses. SBA has five guiding principles at the heart of their site. Creativity, advocacy, results, empowerment, and last but not least success. With these principles you see clearly that they cover just about every area that a small business would need in order to become successful.
The extensive SBA programs available that are the driving force behind this site are very organized and easy for anyone to navigate. The Main Headings go through training and counseling, financial assistance, contracting assistance, and disaster assistance recovery. There is also a header that will link you with special interests areas such as business groups for women, veterans, Native Americans, opportunity gaps, young entrepreneurs as well as international traders. This site also offers online training as well as an extensive library, audio and video, web chat and forums, and several other beneficial services.
The next site would have to be the IRS. I know just those three letters can be enough to strike fear in anyone but in this case this could be a life saver for any startup company. With this site there is no fear that you are not getting the right documents that the IRS might need for your business because you are getting them directly from the source itself. You will find things that are vital to the life of a startup company such as EIN (Employer ID Numbers), important tax information for every stage of your business, and forms and publications. They also provide information for employment taxes such as Federal Income Tax, Social Security and Medical Tax, FUTA, Self Employment and more. Also a link that will give you the information to correctly determine if the individuals providing services are employees or individual contractors. This site offers a huge range of resources that could be very beneficial to your startup company.
USA Funding Applications
Not everyone who wants to start a new business has the capital or the necessary funding available to them to make said business a continuing operation. This fact makes the next online site another that could potentially be beneficial. USA Funding Applications is a site that has so many different grants available that it is dizzying. This site offers grants to those people who might not be in a situation to start a business because of issues with credit or capital. They offer potential grants to people who are unemployed, have filed bankruptcy, had a foreclosure, bad credit, or if you have no collateral. With this site there is a one application fee of $24.95. This fee covers all applications for one month. There is a guarantee to back this up that says if you do not qualify for a free grant program they will refund you immediately. This site is very user friendly and a very useful tool.
US Small Business Association
Not all sites are user friendly and easy to navigate which leads me to my next site. The layout of this site is amazing and completely organized with so many options. This site is also a official business link of the U.S. Small Business Association. They have a specific link just for startup company that will guide you through 10 steps to starting a business. It also takes you through writing a business plan finding a business location and offers training and assistance from experts.
Business Startup Online Resource
My last recommendation is BSOR (Business Startup Online Resource). This site is pretty much explains itself with that simple name. This site has a very thorough checklist that will give you access to all the resources necessary to save time for any entrepreneur. Critical steps can easily be overlooked with any business so having this primary list is essential. This site takes you from everything from registering a business name to record keeping and hiring employees.
In the world of todays internet it can be hard to navigate to the sites that give you the information that is necessary. The list I have comprised above with hopefully benefit those of you looking for information on everything you need to know to start a business of your own.