How to Start a Small Business Resources

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Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. Download the Checklist HERE and scroll down to learn about each step.

Conduct Market Research  

Market research will tell you if there’s an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. It’s a way to gather information about potential customers and businesses already operating in your area. Use that information to find a competitive advantage for your business.

Write Your Business Plan  

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. It’s a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. You’ll use it to convince people that working with you — or investing in your company — is a smart choice. 

Fund Your Business

Your business plan will help you figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business. If you don’t have that amount on hand, you’ll need to either raise or borrow the capital. Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to find the capital you need. 

Pick Your Business Location

 Your business location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business or launching an online store, the choices you make could affect your taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. 

Choose a Business Structure  

The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your personal liability.

Choose Your Business Name  

It’s not easy to pick the perfect name. You’ll want one that reflects your brand and captures your spirit. You’ll also want to make sure your business name isn’t already being used by someone else. 

Register Your Business  

Once you’ve picked the perfect business name, it’s time to make it legal and protect your brand. If you’re doing business under a name different than your own, you’ll need to register with the federal government, and maybe your state government, too. 

Get Federal and State Tax IDs  

You’ll use your employer identification number (EIN) for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes. It’s like a social security number for your business. Some — but not all — states require you to get a tax ID as well.

Apply For Licenses and Permits  

Keep your business running smoothly by staying legally compliant. The licenses and permits you need for your business will vary by industry, state, location, and other factors.

Open a Business Bank Account  

A small business checking account can help you handle legal, tax, and day-to-day issues. The good news is it’s easy to set one up if you have the right registrations and paperwork ready.

Additional Resources

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) has many resources to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses  in each step of their project – The ASBTDC is a university-based economic development program that assists entrepreneurs, both new and seasoned. They help with every aspect of business creation, management, and operation.   The ASBTDC provides Consulting services as well as Market Research that can be specifically tailored to your business venture. Primary areas of assistance include planning, financial analysis, market research, loan packaging, online and traditional marketing, growth and expansion, management, and profitability.

These consulting services are free of charge for Arkansas small businesses. Whether you are a first-time entrepreneur or are looking for a competitive edge for their established business, they want to help them grow and succeed.  I encourage you to visit their website as well: asbtdc.org for more information.

  1. Alicia Payseno

    Economic Development Director

  2. Physical Address
    101 N Second Street
    Cabot, AR 72032

    Mailing Address
    101 N Second Street
    Cabot, AR 72032

    Phone: : 501-843-3566


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses.

Learn more about opening a small business steps:   https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/10-steps-start-your-business 

Assistance With Your Business from the local SBA office:  https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/ar/little-rock

You can contact the SBA Arkansas District Office at Arkansas_DO@sba.gov or 501-324-7379.  

To see all upcoming webinars and for additional information, please visit: www.sba.gov/ar  

  

Subscribe to get the most recent SBA updates and learn about upcoming webinars at www.sba.gov/updates