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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Since its founding, the SBA has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Today, the SBA is a powerhouse of information on starting and growing a business, with workshops covering every topic imaginable. Whatever the question is, SBA has the answer!

STARTING

Starting a business is emotional; it’s exciting and challenging and surreal, all at the same time. The SBA’s Starting a Business Toolkit offers resources to help you learn what it takes to start a business. Not sure if you’re quite ready to take the leap? The SBA also offers a Small Business Readiness Assessment Guide to help you better understand how prepared you really are to start your business.

Create Your Business Plan

Through a step-by-step process, the SBA has a tool that will guide you through writing a business plan at your own pace. Create an account, and take the first step to having a great plan!

Employer Responsibilities

Ready to hire employees? The SBA can guide you through the process, as well as the laws surrounding employment. Grow your team with the SBA!

Insurance

There’s no doubt about it — starting a business is an investment. With the SBA, you can learn why having business insurance is important, tips for buying insurance, types of business insurance, and much more. Access business insurance information from the SBA!

Taxes and Recordkeeping

No matter what, taxes can be tricky, but this is especially true for small business owners. The SBA has tools to help you find out if your business needs a tax ID, as well as what the benefits and requirements are. Learn more about small business taxes from the SBA!

Getting Started

Virtually every business needs some sort of license or permit to operate legally. On their website, the SBA lists everything you need to know about the federal, state and local permits, licenses and registrations you’ll need to run a business. Find out which licenses and permits you’ll need to get started!

Counseling & Training

From online training resources to the opportunity to discuss, the SBA offers tools that allow you to share and gain insight from fellow business owners, as well as industry and government experts. Check out their small business assistance and training resources!

If you have a great idea, logo, business name or invention, you need to protect it. With the SBA’s guide to intellectual property law, you can access information to help you better understand patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Access it here!

Franchising is a great alternative for entrepreneurs who want to be their own boss, but aren’t ready to start their own business from scratch. The SBA has compiled a list of resources to provide helpful advice on buying and evaluating a franchise, including an online training module featuring franchising basics.

GROWING

Are you ready to expand your business? Planning and preparing for new challenges is a crucial step in the process. Find out from the SBA how you can successfully grow your company.

Export Assistance, Research & Statistics

When it comes to taking your business global, the SBA can help. Through counseling, training and financing, the SBA offers a variety of resources that support small businesses with exporting opportunities. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/grow/export-import-products-trade-international

Export Financing

If you’re an entrepreneur hoping to develop or expand your exporting activities, you know how crucial financing can be. The SBA makes it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to access a number of loan programs specifically designed for exporting. Learn more about the SBA’S export loan programs!

Are you leaving your business, retiring, or handing your business to a relative? Whatever the reason, the SBA has tips to help you close down your business, the right way!

LOCATING

Avoiding Mistakes

Most businesses choose a location based on its exposure to their customers, but there are other, less obvious factors that need to be taken into consideration. Here are the SBA’s tips for choosing your business location!

The SBA also offers tips for leasing commercial space, featuring expenses, maintenance and repair, and negotiation.

FINANCING

Angels and Equity Investors

The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program works with private investment funds to provide growth capital to U.S. small businesses, and the SBA gives you a full directory of current SBIC Licensees in our state! https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/investment-capital

Federal Programs

  • SBA Loan Programs: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assists small business owners with starting and expanding their businesses by helping them get loans through private banks and financial institutions. The SBA offers a number of low-interest loan programs for business owners who may be having difficulty getting traditional bank loans. Learn more about SBA loan programs!
  • Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR): If you’re seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies, SBIR is a program that helps entrepreneurs participate in federal research, develop life-saving technologies and create jobs. Learn more about SBIR. Check out SBIR.gov!
  • Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR): Like SBIR, STTR is another highly competitive program for entrepreneurs seeking to commercialize innovative technologies; one of the major differences between the two is the fact that STTR requires that small businesses formally collaborate with a research institution. Learn more about the SBA and STTR!
  • Environmental Grants, Loans and Incentives: The SBA makes it easier to find money to pay for energy efficient upgrades to your facilities, environment-related projects and improvements, and financial incentives that can save you money, such as tax credits, tax deductions, sales tax exemptions, property tax exemptions and rebates. Learn more about how the SBA can help you find the financing you need to go green!
  • SBA LenderMatch: LenderMatch is an online referral tool to link small business borrowers with participating SBA Lenders. Prospective borrowers complete a short online questionnaire, and the responses to that questionnaire are then forwarded to participating SBA Lenders that operate within the small business’ county. If lenders are interested in the referral, the lender and the prospective borrower’s contact information will be exchanged. Learn more about how the LenderMatch program can link you to financing!

When it comes to financing, do you know what you need? Assess your current situation here.

Charlotte SBA 504 Lenders

SBA’s 504 Loan Program is a financing program known for providing small businesses with long-term, fixed rate financing. 504 Lenders in Charlotte include BEFCORCarolina Business Capital andSelf-HelpLearn more about SBA loan programs here!

CONTRACTING

Government

The SBA helps small businesses find contracting opportunities, register their businesses, apply forHUBZone status and much more. Get the contracting resources you need through the SBA.

The SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program encourages surety companies to bond small businesses who are having difficulty obtaining bonding on their own. Learn more about surety bonds and how the SBA can help you obtain one!

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SBA Charlotte Office

6302 Fairview Rd., Suite 300
Charlotte, NC

nc@sba.gov

(704) 344-6563

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