help for new small businesses

We've put together this short list of organizations that provide valuable tools and education for building a business and researching your marketplace, competition, and industry.

Regardless of the type of business you have, certain basics apply. Whether you go it alone, or whether you hire professionals to help you with incorporating, filing patents and trademarks, or navigating federal, state, and local business regulations - you can be more prepared, and steer clear of regulatory and financial potholes, by educating yourself.

USPTO Lookup

"USPTO" stands for United States Patent & Trademark Office. The USPTO is a government entity. This government office is the national repository for patents, trademarks, and applications for these certifications. Before applying for a patent or trademark, you may wish to consult with an attorney whose practice focuses on patent and trademark filings.  To look up an existing patent or trademark, visit USPTO.gov.

Kauffman Foundation

Founded by engineer and entrepreneur Ewing Marion Kauffman of Kansas City, MO, the Kauffman Foundation focuses on education, entrepreneurship, and research. Information about aspects of entrepreneurship is available on their main site, Kauffman.org, and entrepreneurial resources are offered at Entrepreneurship.org.

U. S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, focuses on helping individuals start and grow a business via loans, grants, education, and local assistance. You can find out about the programs and assistance offered by visiting SBA.gov.

USA.GOV Small Business

The U.S. government's official site for starting and operating a business in the United States, USA.gov offers information on the steps to start a small business, how to get financing help from the government, importing and exporting, nonprofits, business taxes, federal government contracting, programs for veterans and minorities, plus resources state by state. You can find out more by visiting USA.gov/business or calling 1-844-USA-GOV1.

ADA Guidelines

The Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, was signed into law July 26, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. This law prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in mainstream American life - employment, purchasing goods and serices, and participation in government programs and services.

As a business or employer, it is important to understand and comply with ADA guidelines. You can find out about the law and ADA standards by visiting ADA.gov.