Develop a Business Plan - Choose a Business Structure - Secure Financing

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1. Develop a Business Plan

A business plan serves as a roadmap for decision-making and helps you remain focused on the core mission and goals of the company. It’s a living, breathing document – something that should be reviewed often, updated as the business environment changes and that evolves as the business grows. It’s not just a requirement for bank financing– even if you don’t need a loan, every business needs a plan.

Resources for Writing a Business Plan

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)SBDC provides free and low cost assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. Explore classroom offerings - or - schedule a one-on-one counseling session. Contact the Frederick County Consultant Brandon Mason at 888-237-9007, ext. 5 for more information.

Score: Frederick – This is a local business mentor group made up of volunteer experts across a range of industries that offer real life experience and advice.Find a mentor.

Reference USA - A free resource available through Frederick County Public Libraries that offers detailed records about 12 million U.S. businesses to help guide your market research Search for business data.

2. Choose a Business Structure

Selecting the right business structure is important for legal and tax purposes. There are many different options for business format, such as sole proprietor, limited liability corporation (LLC), S-Corporation, and more.

We recommend you discuss the options with both a lawyer and an accountant before deciding on your business structure, as different structures come with different legal liabilities and tax implications.

If you are considering starting a charity or non-profit organization, please visit the Maryland Secretary of State for more information.

3. Secure Financing

The next step is to figure out how much money you need to start and operate your business, and what kind(s) of financing your business may qualify for.

Start-up funds can come from a variety of sources. Whether investing personal capital or taking on loans, be sure to plan carefully and ensure your business venture is adequately capitalized.

Resources for Financing

  • SBA Lenders - The SBA’s Lender Match is a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders
  • Incentives – The City, County, and State offer a multitude of loan programs, tax credits, and grants to encourage local investment and job creation. Research the opportunities
  • Frederick County Business Pitch Services – The County offers two free services to assistant those who are looking to build their business capital:
  • TEDCO – is an independent, Maryland-based resource for entrepreneurial business assistance and seed funding for start-up development across the full range of industry sectors
  • Start-Up Investor Organizations: Start-Up Maryland, Mid-Atlantic Angels