There are many programs and services available to help you start your own small business. The following sites will help you to locate financial assistance, understand their legal requirements and locate other government services supporting the nation's small business community. Be warned, though: The criteria for obtaining assistance is very strict, and many start-up businesses do not qualify.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) website is an exceptional resource for anyone considering starting a business. The SBA will help you in determining what type of business to start, as well as how to get started. You can also find required licenses and permits needed to start your type of business. The site also covers finance and taxes, and provides a blog and forum to help you get the answers you need, including loan and grant program information. There are free services, courses and a wealth of information at SBA.gov. The site also provides resources on obtaining loans and grants to help finance a new business idea.
SCORE is a nonprofit partner of the the SBA. This is a community of retired business owners that provide free training and counseling to help you get your business off the ground and to keep it successful. Take advantage of this opportunity to obtain mentoring from an experienced business owner.
Check your state government's website for small business assistance programs. Some states, such as Massachusetts, offer various programs to help get businesses off the ground.