Small Business Information
Deciding to Start a Small Business
Starting and managing a small business can be a challenging and rewarding experience. In business, there are no guarantees. Getting involved with starting a new business can bring you face-to-face with challenges you have never experienced before. You can improve your chances of success by research, planning and preparation.
Do You Have the Right Idea?
The Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center can help you evaluate your business idea to determine your potential for success before you spend time and money on a business plan.
Is it Right for You?
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides some resources to help you decide if small business ownership is right for you with their Starting a Business guide.
Writing a Business Plan
A business plan serves as a road map to the future of your small business. A good business plan will help you secure financing and credit for your business, provide a guide for managing operations, finances, promotion and marketing and clarify goals and objectives.
- SBA provides guidance on the elements of a business plan, sample business plans and how to get the most out of your business plan.
- Bplans is a gallery of more than 500 business plans for specific areas.
- Business Plans Handbook is an online collection of business plans for hundreds of different types of businesses.
- Business Plans Handbook: A Compilation of Actual Business Plans Developed by Small Businesses Throughout North America* is available electronically through Gale Virtual Reference Library* at any Springfield-Greene County Library branch or from outside the Library with a valid library card. Also available in print at the Library Center.
Deciding on a Business Structure
The type of legal structure you choose for your business is important. This decision affects how much you will pay in taxes, the amount of personal liability you may face and your ability to get financing. There are six typical structures for small businesses. To find out what they are and which is right for your business, check out these resources:
Registering Your Business in Missouri
Created a business entity? Obtained a federal identification number? Registered for required state taxes? Review these web sites to ensure that your business is in compliance with federal, state and local government regulations.
- 24/7 Missouri
- Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers' information on legal requirements
- Missouri Secretary of State
Locating Start-up Financing
All businesses require some form of financing. You need to decide how much your business will need and where you will get the money.
- SBA offers information on its loan and grant programs, including micro-loans.
- The Missouri Department of Economic Development facilitates a variety of programs designed to promote business development, including many that help with financing.
- Springfield Finance and Development Corporation provides loans to small business projects located in central Springfield which result in job creation or retention and which could not be financed through conventional means
- There is no free money to start a for-profit business. There are, however, some non-traditional options available. Nonprofit microfinance organizations like Accion work worldwide to provide opportunity to small entrepreneurs who cannot access bank loans. Microloans are typically much smaller than bank loans, and are generally made to small business owners with fewer than 5 employees. Another way to help out a new business is to contract with the federal government. There are numerous opportunities available through SBIR and beta.SAM.gov.
Selecting a Location for Your Business
Choosing the right location for your business can be a major factor in its success -- or not -- depending on the type of business, your customers' location and the kinds of facilities you need.
- Buy Assets and Equipment from SBA presents an overview of several legal issues you need to consider when deciding on a location.
Buying a Business
- SBA has a guide on Buying an Existing Business or Franchise.
- The Federal Trade Commission has a guide on Buying a Franchise.
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