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Prospective Business Owners

Starting a business is a significant decision that involves planning, financing, and licensing and other legal activities. You may ask yourself these significant questions: What type of business? What business structure is advantageous to my venture? What makes an effective business plan? Where will the financing come from? What licenses, permits, and registrations are required by my state government? By the federal government? We have outlined six steps below to get you on your way.

If you are interested in operating certain alcohol or tobacco businesses, you must file with TTB an application for a permit and receive approval BEFORE engaging in business.

Refer to our industry startup tutorial to learn about the steps for starting a TTB-regulated business. Or, go to our Permits and Applications Web page if you are ready to start a business and only need to know about tax and license filing requirements.

1. Formulating Your Organization

2. Financing Your Business

  • Funding Options
    Map out your business financially. Use SBA's guide to learn what lenders are looking for, financing options, government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

3. Establishing Your Business

4. Fulfilling Taxes and Licensing Requirements

5. Understanding Employer Responsibilities

6. Growing and Maintaining Your Business

Specialized Groups Startup Resources

There are programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups. The following resources from SBA provide information to help specialized groups start their own businesses.

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Last reviewed: November 7, 2016
Last updated: January 30, 2018
Maintained by: Office of Communications