Free Information for Start-up Businesses

by Maria Marsala

OK. So you're ready to start your own business... be your own boss... or are you? Below is a list of places offering free information that will assist you on your path to starting a business. Consult phone books and web sites for local information. Remember to ask about any mailing lists, classes they offer or for additional contacts that would be helpful for you to add to this list. Enjoy this list as a guide as you "plant the seeds" for your new venture and enjoy the networking opportunities.

Federal Agencies

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

  • Web site Small Business Administration
  • Request any free information and an order form for other publications.
  • Web site also has sample Business Plans.

US Department of the Treasury

  • Web site Small Business Programs
  • Tell them what type of corporation you are thinking of becoming, how many employees, etc., so that they can send you other helpful publications.

Census Department Consumer

  • Web site Census Department
  • Your source for social, demographic and economic information.

Consumer Information Center

  • Web site Phone (719) 295-2675.
  • Order a Consumer's Resource Handbook.
  • View their Small Business brochures on line.

State Agencies

  • Secretary of State and State Department of Revenue
  • Rural Business Development Center
  • Service Corps of Retired Executives SCORE SCORE 800 634-0245.
  • Cooperative Extension Service Offices.


  • Business Development Offices
  • Small Business Incubators National site is NBIA
  • Colleges for Small Business Centers, Continuing Ed Classes, Business Seminars, Meetings.


  • Chamber of Commerce (search using your city and county name).
  • Professional Groups - check phone books too.
  • Your Banker, CPA and Lawyer.
  • Local newspapers for organizations to join or volunteer to be a Speaker.

The Internet

Search the WEB using a variety of search engines or directories such as:

Use the WEB to search for former colleagues and others to let them know about your business, are a few sites with phone and e-mail directories.


  • Visiting Bookstores can give you a variety of great ideas<
  • You can also search the web for bookstores. Amazon and Barnes and Noble are two of the many on-line bookstores.


  • Many libraries have at least one free computer for patrons use.
  • Ask the Librarians for information or advice.
  • Tell them about your business. Remember, people ask them for advice too!
  • Check bulletin boards for information or to place your business card or brochure on it.


If you do not tell the people know you're looking for information or referrals, then they'll never know.... ya know!!!

Family Members

Let everyone in your family know you're starting a business... and watch all the free advice come in!

Other Business Owners

  • Contact other business owners that you know. Do I hear lunch anyone?
  • Ask for advise, referrals, and their business cards.
  • Start a referral book of local business owners.
  • Don't forget to contact owners who do the same work as you do but who work in a different state/region/county. After all, they might be more apt to share their secrets of success with you!!
  • For encouragement, to keep focused, to bounce ideas off of, etc. etc. hire a coach! Initial consultations are usually free!

Updated November 2013

© 1999-2000 Maria Marsala, Life & Business Coach

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