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FREE resources to help you start and grow a successful business

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Search for your local area to find free business advice, networking groups, funding and local grants.

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Find help and support in your local area.

Search for your local area to find free business advice, networking groups, funding and local grants.

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Starting a business is the easy part!

Keeping it going profitably is an entirely different matter.

Start Your Own Business is designed to help anyone running their own business or thinking of doing so. The aim is to increase your chances of success by providing a selection of FREE start-up resources and to highlight the support that is available in each area.

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Welcome from our founder.

Free Startup Resources

It is a common trait amongst entrepreneurs to just want to 'get on with it'.

However, if you want to maximise your chances of success, it is worth putting in time and effort before you start to ensure that you have set-up correctly. This collection of resources has been put together to make the process as straight-forward as possible but also to ensure that you do not miss anything important.

How to start a new business in the United States

Start a business in the United States

If you are thinking about starting a business in the United States, you are not alone! At any one time, one in three Americans are also dreaming about being their own boss.

Total US Population: 333 million
Small businesses in the US: 33 million
US businesses with 1-9 employees: 32.55 million
US businesses with no employees: 27 million

This means that almost three quarters of all US businesses are individuals trading by themselves.

We would love to help you join them!

To find help and support in your local area, please either find your location by using the search box above.

We also have sections dedicated to each state:

Starting a business step-by-step

Starting a new business in the United States can be an exciting venture with tremendous opportunities. However, it requires careful planning and consideration of various factors to ensure a successful launch. This guide aims to provide you with a step-by-step overview, important considerations, relevant statistics, and organizations that can assist you in the process.

Table of Contents:
  • Step 1: Defining Your Business Idea
  • Step 2: Market Research and Feasibility Analysis
  • Step 3: Business Plan Development
  • Step 4: Legal Structure and Business Registration
  • Step 5: Financing Your Business
  • Step 6: Hiring Employees and Human Resources
  • Step 7: Taxation and Compliance
  • Step 8: Marketing and Promotion
  • Step 9: Business Support Organizations
  • Step 10: Continued Growth and Success
Step 1: Defining Your Business Idea:
  • Determine your product or service offering: Conduct thorough research to identify a uniqueand viable product or service that fulfills a need or solves a problem in the market.
  • Identify your target market and competition: Define your target audience, understand their demographics, preferences, and buying behaviors. Assess your competitors to identify your unique selling points.
  • Assess your unique value proposition: Clearly define what sets your business apart from competitors and how it provides value to customers. Determine your competitive advantages, whether it's price, quality, innovation, or exceptional customer service.
Step 2: Market Research and Feasibility Analysis:
  • Conduct market research to evaluate demand and competition: Gather data on market size, growth potential, and consumer trends. Identify existing competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, and market share.
  • Analyze the feasibility of your business idea: Evaluate the economic viability of your business concept by analyzing projected costs, pricing, and revenue potential. Assess the availability of resources and potential barriers to entry.
  • Consider potential challenges and opportunities: Identify potential risks, market fluctuations, and regulatory factors that may impact your business. Recognize opportunities for growth, partnerships, or market expansion.
Step 3: Business Plan Development:
  • Create a comprehensive business plan: Outline your business goals, mission statement, and core values. Include sections on executive summary, market analysis, operations, marketing strategies, and financial projections. Define your target market, marketing tactics, distribution channels, and key milestones.
  • Outline your business goals and strategies for achieving them: Set measurable and realistic short-term and long-term objectives. Develop strategies for marketing, sales, operations, and financial management. Include contingency plans to address potential challenges or changes in the market.
Step 4: Legal Structure and Business Registration:
  • Choose a legal structure: Evaluate the pros and cons of legal structures such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Consider factors such as liability protection, taxation, ownership, and operational flexibility.
  • Register your business with the appropriate authorities: Register your business name with the Secretary of State or County Clerk's office. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses specific to your industry and location. Check federal, state, and local requirements to ensure compliance.
  • Obtain necessary licenses and permits for your industry: Research the specific licenses and permits required for your industry, such as professional licenses, health permits, zoning permits, or environmental certifications.
Step 5: Financing Your Business:
  • Determine your startup costs and ongoing expenses: Calculate the initial investment required for equipment, inventory, marketing, and operating expenses. Consider fixed costs (rent, utilities) and variable costs (materials, labor).
  • Explore financing options: Investigate funding sources such as small business loans, grants, angel investors, venture capital, or crowdfunding. Prepare a comprehensive business plan and financial statements to present to potential investors or lenders.
  • Prepare financial statements and projections: Create financial forecasts, including cash flow statements, balance sheets, and income statements. Demonstrate a realistic revenue model and projected profitability. Use accounting software or consult with a financial professional to ensure accuracy.
Step 6: Hiring Employees and Human Resources:
  • Understand labor laws and regulations: Familiarize yourself with federal and state labor laws, including minimum wage requirements, employee classification (full-time, part-time), overtime regulations, and anti-discrimination laws.
  • Develop job descriptions and hiring criteria: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities for each position in your business. Identify the skills, qualifications, and experience required for each role.
  • Establish an employee benefits and compensation plan: Determine competitive and fair compensation packages, including salary, benefits (health insurance, retirement plans), paid time off, and employee incentives.
  • Comply with tax withholding requirements and payroll taxes.
Step 7: Taxation and Compliance:
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN): Apply for an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes. This is necessary for filing taxes, hiring employees, and opening business bank accounts.
  • Understand federal, state, and local tax obligations: Familiarize yourself with tax requirements for your business structure, such as income tax, self-employment tax, sales tax, and payroll tax. Consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance.
  • Comply with employment laws, insurance requirements, and workplace safety regulations: Understand and adhere to regulations related to workers' compensation, unemploymentinsurance, health and safety standards, and employee rights. Obtain necessary insurance coverage to protect your business and employees.
Step 8: Marketing and Promotion:
  • Develop a marketing strategy and brand identity: Define your target audience and develop a marketing plan that outlines your promotional channels, messaging, and tactics. Build a strong brand identity that aligns with your target market and differentiates you from competitors.
  • Establish an online presence through a website and social media: Create a professional website that showcases your products, services, and brand story. Utilize social media platforms relevant to your target audience to engage with potential customers and build brand awareness.
  • Consider digital marketing techniques, traditional advertising, and networking opportunities: Explore various marketing channels such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, email marketing, public relations, trade shows, and networking events.
Step 9: Business Support Organizations:
  • Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA provides resources, counseling, and assistance for small businesses. Visit their website at for information on business planning, loans, government contracting, and more.
  • SCORE: SCORE offers free mentoring, workshops, and resources from experienced business professionals. Access their website at to find a mentor and gain valuable insights into starting and growing your business.
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): SBDCs provide free or low-cost consulting, training, and resources to help entrepreneurs start and manage their businesses. Locate your local SBDC at
  • Chambers of Commerce: Local Chambers of Commerce offer networking opportunities, business directories, and advocacy for businesses in their respective communities. Visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website at to find your local Chamber.
  • Local economic development organizations: Many cities and regions have economic development organizations that support local businesses. These organizations can provide information, incentives, and resources to help you navigate local business regulations and opportunities. Search for economic development organizations in your area for assistance.
Step 10: Continued Growth and Success:
  • Regularly review and adapt your business plan: Continually evaluate and update your business plan as market conditions and opportunities evolve. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your progress and make informed decisions.
  • Seek ongoing professional development and education: Attend industry conferences, workshops, and seminars to stay up-to-date with trends, technologies, and best practices. Consider joining professional associations related to your industry for networking and learning opportunities.
  • Embrace innovation and stay up-to-date with industry trends: Continuously monitor market trends, consumer preferences, and emerging technologies. Explore opportunities for innovation, process improvement, and expanding your product or service offerings.
Important Statistics:
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20% of new businesses fail within the first year, while about 50% fail within five years.
  • Small businesses account for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses (Source: SBA).
  • The United States is consistently ranked as one of the top countries for ease of doing business (Source: World Bank's Doing Business Report).

Starting a new business in the United States requires thorough planning, research, and compliance with legal and financial requirements. By following the steps outlined in this guide and leveraging the support of relevant organizations, you can enhance your chances of building a successful and sustainable business. Stay focused, adaptable, and proactive to achieve continued growth and success.

FREE startup workshops

If you are thinking about starting a business, our FREE three-hour ONLINE workshop is definitely for you!

Open to everyone, our sole aim is to increase your chances of success. We do that by explaining:

The reality of running a business; the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them; which legal status is likely to be most suitable; funding, grants and managing your money; business planning and cashflow forecasting; finding and keeping customers.

Start-up articles

100's of free startup articles

We have created a collection of 100s of startup articles to help anyone with whatever stage they are on with their business journey. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone before you and we can learn from what they got right and avoid the things that have been proved not to work so well.

You can see the full list of 'articles' at: How to start a business

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We are delighted to promote suitable businesses and organisations completely FREE of charge. Your coverage can contain: logo, company name, brief description, special offers, telephone number and link to your website.

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If you can help new business start-ups in your area, we would be delighted to let them know.

One of the aims of SYOB is to raise awareness of the support that is available in each area. Not only does this mean that the new business owner is more likely to succeed, it will also benefit the local economy! Add your free listing

Latest articles

You don't know what you don't know!

The prospect of starting a new business can be incredibly exciting but should be approached with care. You have probably heard scary stories about how many start-ups fail in the early stages. You can make sure that you are not one of them by learning as much as possible before you launch. Over the years, we have collected lots of articles which will show you what has worked well for other start-ups and the putfalls to avoid.