Starting a new business is often a complex, time-consuming process that requires intensive labor before your efforts can bear fruit. But, help is available and some of it is even free. It is in the government’s interests to support your success and assist in the development of a healthy enterprise. As such, there are many initiatives designed to smooth the path to commercial prosperity. Here are just a few resources that may serve your needs and help your business grow.
Free Business Advice
It helps to know at least a little bit about every aspect of your business. You don’t have to be an expert, but it is definitely an advantage to have a general grasp of topics such as employment law, company tax, insurance, human resources, and marketing. For specific advice, reach out to a mentor through the SCORE program, which is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This non-profit organization provides access to hundreds of mentors at no cost to you. Browse the SBA site for more than 60 free courses in areas such as cybersecurity, customer services, and how to write a business plan. There is also information about SBA-approved loans.
Another smart move is to check-in with your local and state government hubs for small business administration guides and resources. Some even offer low-interest loans and incentives for projects like improving your energy efficiency. After making contact with government agencies, it might also pay to inquire about any contracting opportunities they might have.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants businesses and individuals to pay their taxes, obviously. What you may not know is that the IRS is also willing to support you in achieving this. The aim of the IRS Fresh Start Program is to offer alternatives to people struggling to meet their tax commitments. Approved applicants can lock into installment agreements allowing them to make payments via monthly direct deposits for up to six years. Alternatively, offers in compromise are made after the IRS assesses the debtor’s ability to pay. A deal can then be struck to reduce the amount owed, easing financial burden.
Protection for Your Intellectual Property
Whether you’ve created an innovative product that’ll streamline peoples’ lives or commissioned a unique logo that perfectly reflects your business, it is important to consider safeguarding your idea. The United States Patent Office can grant a trademark or patent and help you protect your intellectual property. Simple registrations can be lodged online and the website provides valuable information that’s easy to understand. Nobody wants their brainchild stolen. Research your rights and seek the guidance of an intellectual property attorney if you have questions.
If you know where to look, credible guidance for small businesses is out there. Tax breaks, subsidized loans, and other financial stimulus measures are also accessible via different levels of government. Running your own business can be both challenging and rewarding. By being as informed as possible, you’ll give yourself the best chance of success in your venture.