Small Business resource guide CONNECTICUT EDITION 2020
START GROW EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS
Connecticut Edition 2020
Local Business Assistance 8 National Success Story Jerado and Joyce Reynolds know their local landscape for entrepreneurship support. 11 Local SBA Resource Partners 13 Your Advocates 14 How to Start a Business 18 Workforce Recruitment 19 Find an EIN 20 Entrepreneurial Resources 21 10 Steps to Start Your Business 22 Opportunities for Veterans 24 Write Your Business Plan
26 National Success Story Jennifer and Jeff Herbert’s
meadery has expanded into a multimillion dollar enterprise thanks to SBA assistance.
29 SBA Lenders 32 Financing 101 33 Need Financing? 34 Go Global with
International Trade 36 R&D Opportunities for High Growth Startups 38 National Success Story
Cheeseburger Baby owner Stephanie Vitori persevered through a financial storm and a natural disaster.
42 Surety Bonds
44 National Success Story Jennifer Rahn steers the course for Admiral Engineering, succeeding as a small business subcontractor. 47 Government Contracting 48 SBA Certification Programs 49 Woman-Owned Small Business Certification
ON THE COVER Jerado Reynolds, courtesy of Shana Sureck Photography
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION A MESSAGE FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR
I t is my honor to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, leading a dedicated team of talented individuals across America who are focused on helping entrepreneurs start, grow, and expand their small businesses. The SBA is here to support the prosperity and longevity of our nation’s small businesses with timely and innovative resources to help them thrive in today’s economy. America’s entrepreneurs are innovators, risk-takers, and the catalyst for employment opportunities within their communities, and they are what makes our economy so strong and dynamic. As we enter a new decade of possibilities, small businesses have a remarkable opportunity to continue building upon the success we’ve seen in our economy over the last three years. As the voice for America’s 30 million small businesses, I am eager to advocate on entrepreneurs’ behalf as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Whether it’s seeking access to capital, government contracting opportunities, business mentoring, or assistance with disaster recovery, the SBA is ready and determined to help our customers succeed. The SBA remains committed to continuing our support of America’s entrepreneurs and making an even bigger impact in communities across the country. In particular, the SBA is focused on elevating female entrepreneurs and our military veterans, expanding access to SBA resources
among entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities, and continuing to prioritize disaster relief. Within this resource guide, you will learn more about the tremendous tools the SBA provides small businesses through our 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners, such as our Small Business Development Centers, our SCORE mentoring network, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Featured in this guide are some of the remarkable success stories of entrepreneurs who partnered with the SBA to take their businesses to the next level. The SBA encourages you to also utilize these resources to help strengthen and meet your business goals. Sincerely,
Jovita Carranza SBA Administrator
WE MAKE SMALL BUSINESS OUR BUSINESS. START • GROW • EXPAND • RECOVER
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The SBA’s participation in this publication is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of the contractor or any advertiser or other participant appearing here. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondis- criminatory basis. Directory listings do not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.
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SBA Connecticut District Office 280 Trumbull St., second floor Hartford, CT 06103 (860) 240-4700 sba.gov/ct @SBA_Connecticut Bridgeport Office Brien McMahon Federal Building 915 Lafayette Blvd., room 214 Bridgeport, CT 06604 (203) 335-0427
District Director Letter W
Deputy District Director Julio Casiano (860) 240-4896 email@example.com Assistant District Director for Economic Development Moraima Gutierrez (860) 240-4654 firstname.lastname@example.org Bridgeport Senior Area Manager/ Veterans Affairs Officer Frank Alvarado (203) 335-0427 or (860) 240-4650 email@example.com Lender Relations Specialists
elcome to the 2020 edition of the U.S. Small Business Administration Connecticutʼs Small Business Resource Guide. The SBA helps make the American dream of small business ownership a reality. We are the only
federal agency dedicated to helping our 30 million small businesses start, grow, expand, or recover after a disaster. Connecticut is home to nearly 350,000 small businesses, and you could join their ranks. Looking to grow or expand your small business? The SBA Connecticut District Office is here to help you at every stage of business development. To get started, visit an SBA office or one of our SBA Resource Partners. Starting on pg. 9 you will find listings for free or low-cost business advisers, which includes Small Business Development Centers, SCORE mentors, Women’s Business Centers, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center. Interested in small business financing? Find out if SBA-backed financing is right for you by consulting with an SBA specialist at one of our partner lending institutions, listed in the green Funding Programs section. This guide also details SBA disaster assistance loans and SBA-backed loans exclusively for small business exporting. If you are interested in getting started in government contracting, read about SBA certifications and our business development programs. SBA programs and services help you better compete in the public marketplace. Weʼre also helping create economic possibility in low-income communities. The SBA works with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs to increase investments in Opportunity Zones located in our district, often expanding from Historically Underutilized Business Zones. Opportunity Zones provide a tax break in which investors can use capital gains to support long-term economic development. Stay up to date on SBA events near you and get valuable local business information by following us @SBA_Connecticut. Register for email updates at sba.gov/updates . Use our Small Business Resource Guide to power your dream of starting, growing, or expanding your small business in Connecticut.
William Tierney (860) 240-4894 firstname.lastname@example.org John Xu (860) 240-4672 email@example.com Economic Development Specialists Jessica Rivera (860) 240-4638 firstname.lastname@example.org Tanisha Baptiste (860) 240-4671 email@example.com
The SBA Connecticut District Office
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Made to Last Joyce and Jerado Reynolds used SBA support to succeed. Written by Micaela Morrissette How We Did It
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE 5 Tips for Success Find a great business mentor.
eynolds Welding & Fabrication has grown steadily, building a loyal customer base, since Jerado Reynolds founded
the company in 2005. “At first the company was just Jerado,” recalls his wife and co-owner, Joyce Reynolds. “Then it was him and me part time.” During the day she worked as a nurse and spent her evenings doing all the company’s paperwork. The Reynolds sank everything they earned into the business—money, time, and energy. She remembers with pride helping Jerado weld a stair railing at a local school. Her son later attended that same school, and she watched her child and others using the rail, benefiting from the hard work the couple did together. It was then Joyce decided as much as she loved her day job, she wanted to devote herself full time to the family business in Windsor, Connecticut. She wanted to work side-by-side with her husband, fully focused on administration and business growth. As they both hoped, word of mouth spread; clients made referrals. Joyce was soon overwhelmed with paperwork. They brought on two employees—doubling up in the busy seasons. They were able to maintain four full-time employees by 2009. After this, Joyce says, they saw that “things were not moving.” She wanted to scale up. Challenge The company wasn’t growing in part because it wasn’t certified with the state department of transportation or prequalified with the Connecticut State Department of Administrative Services, Joyce says. She decided to tackle the certification problem full time, leaving her nursing career. This was the change she'd been wanting to make, but since her background was in health care, Joyce didn’t feel fluent in the languages of construction or business. Joyce wanted to learn, and she had incentive: they needed the certifications to bid on bigger jobs. “Never be afraid to ask questions”, she says. Joyce needed to find people with answers. Solution She and Jerado connected with the University of Hartford Entrepreneurial Center &Women’s Business Center, an
To find your local SBA office and resource partners in your area, visit sba.gov/localresources .
Have a healthy view of competition. We’re not always competing.
We’re a competitor, but if a similar business has extra work, they’ll send it to us and vice versa. That’s the relationship to have.
SBA Resource Partner, where “from day one it was, Eureka! Everyone wanted to see us win.” Women entrepreneurs receive essential business counseling and training from this national network of community-based centers. Most helpful was the detailed personal attention available through free one-on-one business counseling. Joyce also learned about workshops offered by providers like the Metropolitan District, a Connecticut nonprofit municipal corporation offering water and sewer services. At a meet- and-greet, Joyce understood howmuch the SBA could help her business. An SBA professional walked Joyce through the extensive paperwork and, crucially, helped her register the company in the System for Award Management (sam.gov), positioning the company for new federal contracts. “Resources like the Entrepreneurial Center and the SBA will train you from bottom to top”, Joyce says. “They have finance classes that open your eyes regarding taxes. You'll learn how to register your business. They’ll help with a contract or your website or accountability statements. Everything!” Before the SBA, Reynolds Welding attempted the DOT certification on five separate occasions, always falling short because the process was so complicated. Joyce secured the certification with SBA guidance on the first attempt. Benefit Reynolds Welding now employs more than 15 workers, constructing stairs, rails, structural beams, and columns throughout the region. Jerado is working
Record everything you do. Navigating business relationships in this age means keeping an email record of everything you do. Leave a clear paper trail.
Sacrifice to ensure quality. We don’t cut corners. Sometimes you have to lose money to do quality work— it’s rough, but nothing is more important.
Seek SBA assistance to see if you qualify for business certifications. We used to look for jobs. Now that we’re on the SBA Subcontracting Network database, SubNet, and sam.gov , we have a continuous flow of contractors reaching out to us. on two bridges—a lifelong dream. Joyce continues to move forward, getting Reynolds qualified for the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, which provides free business development education to small businesses so they can better compete in the public sector. “When I came on full time, I set a goal for what I would like for the company, and I’ve achieved 80% of that”, Joyce says. When she secures 8(a) certification for Reynolds, she’ll have hit all her objectives. Then, she admits, she’ll probably come up with some new ones.
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
SBA Resource Partners No matter your industry, location, or experience, if you have a dream, the SBA is here to help you achieve it. Our SBA Resource Partners offer mentoring, counseling, and training to help you startup and thrive at all stages of the business life cycle. These independent organizations operating across the United States and U.S. territories are funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants.
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
950 Small Business Development Centers + 20 Veterans Business Outreach Centers + 100 Women’s Business Centers + 300 SCORE chapters +
Achieve your dream of business ownership and remain competitive in an ever-changing global economy with assistance from your local SBDC. Access free counseling and free or low- cost training on topics like regulatory compliance, technology development, and international trade. Find an SBDC adviser at sba.gov/sbdc .
Join the ranks of other business owners who have experienced higher revenues and increased growth thanks to SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors. Experienced executives share real-world knowledge to fit your busy schedule. SCOREmentors are available for free as often as you need, in person, via email or over video chat. Find amentor at sba.gov/score .
WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTERS
Women entrepreneurs receive essential business counseling and training from this national network of community-based centers. Each center tailors its services to help you navigate the challenges women often face when starting or growing a business. To learn about SBA resources for women visit sba.gov/women .
VETERANS BUSINESS OUTREACH CENTERS
Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . Receive procurement guidance to better compete for government contracts. VBOCs also serve active duty service members, National Guard or Reserve members, veterans of any era, and military spouses.
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
SBA’s Resource Partners are independent organizations funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants. Our Local SBA Resource Partners
Greater Hartford Chapter 280 Trumbull St., second floor, Hartford (860) 519-5851 greaterhartford.score.org Other meeting locations: East Hartford Public Library 840 Main St. (860) 290-4331 Enfield Asnuntuck Community College 170 Elm St. (860) 253-3162 Farmington Public Library 6 Monteith Drive, route 4 (860) 673-6791 x204 Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce 2400 Main St. (860) 659-3587 Manchester Chamber of Commerce 20 Hartford Road (860) 646-2223 New Britain Chamber of Commerce 185 Main St., suite 423 (860) 229-1665 Rocky Hill Library 33 Church St. (860) 258-7621 Simsbury Library 725 Hopmeadow St. (860) 658-7663 South Windsor Chamber of Commerce 22 Morgan Farms Drive #6 (860) 644-9442 Vernon Tolland County Chamber of Commerce 30 Lafayette Square (860) 872-0587 West Hartford Chamber of Commerce 948 Farmington Ave. (860) 521-2300 Willimantic Chamber of CommerceWindhamRegion Inc. 1010 Main St. (860) 423-6389 x12
Small Business Development Center 222 Pitkin St. East Hartford (877) 723-2828 firstname.lastname@example.org ctsbdc.com SCORE Contact your local SCORE office first for an appointment. Fairfield County Chapter 111 East Ave., suite 317, Norwalk (203) 831-0065 fairfieldcounty.score.org Other meeting locations: Fairfield Public Library 1080 Old Post Road (203) 831-0065 Greenwich Library 101 W. Putnam Ave. (203) 831-0065 Bridgeport Housatonic Community College Beacon Hall, room 337 900 Lafayette Blvd. (203) 445-9814 Shelton Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce 10 Progress Drive (203) 925-4981
Women’s Business Centers University of Hartford Entrepreneurial Center and Women’s Business Center hartford.edu Project Director Milena Erwin 222 Pitkin St., East Hartford 260 Girard Ave., Hartford (860) 768-5681 or (860) 768-5667 email@example.com Women’s Business Development Council ctwbdc.org Stamford Serving southwest CT Project Director JoAnn Gulbin 184 Bedford St., suite 201 (203) 353-1750 firstname.lastname@example.org Derby/Naugatuck Valley Serving southcentral CT Project Director Kenyetta Banks 412 Roosevelt Drive (203) 751-9550 email@example.com New London Serving southeastern CT Project Director Laura Stetler 300 State St., suite 419 (860) 574–9246 firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Western CT Chapter Danbury City Hall 155 Deer Hill Ave. (203) 794-1404 westernconnecticut.score.org Other meeting locations: Danbury Innovation Center 158 Main St. (203) 794-1404 New Milford Library 24 Main St. (860) 355-1191 x207 Newtown Municipal Center
Other meeting locations: Guilford Police Station Community Room 400 Church St., Route 77 (203) 453-9677 Madison Liberty Bank 859 Boston Post Road, Route 1 (860) 388-9508 Middletown Middlesex United Way 100 Riverview Center, suite 230 (203) 388-9508 Mystic Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce 62 Germanville Ave. (860) 388-9508 Public Library of New London 63 Huntington St. (860) 388-9508 Norwich Dime Bank 290 Salem Turnpike (860) 388-9508 Waterford Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce 914 Hartford Turnpike (860) 701-9113
Windsor Chamber of Commerce 261 Broad St. (860) 688-5165 Greater New Haven Chapter 110 Washington Ave., third floor, North Haven (203) 865-7645 newhaven.score.org Other meeting locations: Branford Shoreline Chamber of Commerce 764 E. Main St. (203) 488-5500 Cheshire Chamber of Commerce 195 S. Main St. (203) 272-2345 Hamden Memorial Library 2901 Dixwell Ave. Meriden Midstate Chamber of Commerce 546 S Broad St., suite 2c (203) 235-7901 Milford Chamber of Commerce 5 Broad St. (203) 878-0681 New Haven Gateway Community College 20 Church St., room #S105 (203) 865-7645 New Haven Public Library 133 Elm St. (203) 946-8130 Wallingford Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce 50 N. Main St. (203) 269-9891 Northwest CT Chapter Northwest Chamber of Commerce 333 Kennedy Drive, suite R101, Torrington (860) 482-6586 northwestconnecticut.score.org Other meeting location: Bristol Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce 440 N. Main St. (860) 584-4718 Southeastern CT Chapter Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce 1 Main St.
3 Primrose St. (203) 794-1404 Ridgefield Library 472 Main St. (203) 794-1404 Waterbury Silas Bronson Library
267 Grand St. (203) 574-8225
O'Connor Belting, a Delaware family-owned business, expanded with the help of an SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loan.
Veterans Business Outreach Center Veteran entrepreneurs or small business owners can receive business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . This is also the place to receive procurement guidance, which can help your business better compete for government contracts. Director Marci Capaldi 132 George M. Cohan Blvd.
Providence, RI (401) 427-6536 email@example.com vbocnewengland.org
(860) 388-9508 sect.score.org
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Your Advocates The SBA offices of advocacy and ombudsman are independent voices for small business within the federal government.
To report how a proposed federal regulation could unfairly affect you, contact advocacy.sba.gov . To submit a comment about how your business has been hurt by an existing regulation, visit sba.gov/ombudsman/ comments .
Advocacy When you need a voice within the federal government for your interests as a small business owner, SBA advocates are here to assist. They analyze the effects of proposed regulations and consider alternatives that minimize the economic burden on small businesses, governmental jurisdictions, and nonprofits. The office, advocacy.sba.gov , helps with these small business issues: » if your business could be negatively affected by regulations proposed by the government » when you need economic and small business statistics The SBA Office of Advocacy also independently represents small business and advances its concerns before Congress, the White House, and federal agencies.
Ombudsman Entrepreneurs who have an issue with an existing federal regulation or policy receive assistance from the SBA national ombudsman. The ombudsman’s office helps you: » resolve regulatory disputes with federal agencies » reduce unfair penalties and fines » seek remedies when rules are inconsistently applied » recover payment for services done by government contractors Make your voice heard by participating in a Regional Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable or a public hearing hosted by the SBA national ombudsman. These events are posted periodically on the ombudsman website, sba.gov/ombudsman .
To submit a comment or complaint through the online form, visit sba.gov/ ombudsman/comments . Your concerns will be directed to the appropriate federal agency for review. The SBA will collaborate with you and the agency to help resolve the issue.
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Thinking of starting a business? Here are the nuts & bolts. How to Start a Business in Connecticut HOW THE SBA HELPED ME SUCCEED It wasn’t just caffeine fueling Jose Rene Martinez’s entrepreneurial aspirations. With the help of the SBA, Jose has been able to expand his West Hartford coffee brand and openmultiple locations, providing social spaces for creativity and community. His small business qualified for SBA-backed financing throughWebster Bank, allowing him to start up two new artisanal coffee carts at the time that was right for him. SinceWebster was authorized tomake a credit decision for the SBA, J. Rene Coffee Roasters received the loan quickly tomeet immediate needs. Jose now employs 10 people and continues to help other Latino business owners make their own dreams come true
be permitted to conduct business out of your home or engage in industrial activity in a retail district. The Business Startup Tool, concord-sots.ct.gov , will help you to get your business started on the right footing. Name Registration Register your business name with the town clerk where your business is located. If you’re a corporation, also register with the secretary of state, concord-sots.ct.gov Taxes As a business owner, you should know your federal tax responsibilities and make business decisions to comply with certain tax requirements. The IRS Small Business and Self-
The Startup Logistic48\Market Research
View consumer and business data for your area using the Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, https://cbb.census. gov/sbe . Filter your search by business type and location to view data on your potential customers, including consumer spending, and a summary of existing businesses, available as a map and a report. Business License & Zoning Licenses are typically administered by a variety of state and local departments. It is important to consider zoning regulations when choosing a site for your business. Contact the local business license office where you plan to locate your business. You may not
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
An O’Fallon Casting Inc. employee at work in O’Fallon, MO. General Manager Vince Gimeno grew his business thanks to the Small Business Innovation Research Program.
Employed Tax Center, irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses- self-employed , includes information on paying and filing income tax and finding an Employer ID Number. As the IRS continues to implement some of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions, your tax obligations may change. For the latest tax reform updates that affect your bottom line, visit irs.gov/tax-reform . » IRS Tax Assistance Centers Hartford 135 High St. (860) 594-9200 » State Taxes CT Taxpayer Service Center 450 Columbus Blvd., suite 1, Hartford (860) 297-5962 drsbustax.ct.gov Social Security If you have any employees, including officers of a corporation but not the sole proprietor or partners, you must make periodic payments, and/or file quarterly reports about payroll taxes and other mandatory deductions. You can contact the IRS or the Social Security Administration for information, assistance, and
forms, at (800) 772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov/employer . You can file W-2s online or verify job seekers through the Social Security Number Verification Service. Employment Eligibility Verification The Federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify employment eligibility of new employees. The law obligates an employer to process Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service offers information and assistance through uscis.gov/i- 9-central . For forms, see uscis.gov/forms . For the employer hotline call (888) 464-4218 or email Ifirstname.lastname@example.org. E-Verify is the quickest way for employers to determine the employment eligibility of new hires by verifying the Social Security number and employment eligibility information reported on Form I-9. Visit e-verify.gov , call (888) 464-4218 or email email@example.com. Health & Safety All businesses with employees are required to comply with state and federal regulations regarding the protection of employees, visit employer.gov and dol.gov . The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides information on the specific health
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
» Support Enforcement Services 414 Chapel St., New Haven (800) 228-5437 Intellectual Property
and safety standards used by the U.S. Department of Labor. Call (800) 321-6742 or visit osha.gov . » Connecticut Department of Labor 200 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield (860) 263-6000 ctdol.state.ct.us » OSHA 38 Wolcott Hill Road, Wethersfield (860) 263-6900 www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm Employee Insurance Check your state laws to see if you are required to provide unemployment or workers’ compensation insurance for your employees. For health insurance options, call the Small Business Health Options Program at (800) 706-7893 or visit healthcare. gov/small-businesses/employers . Association Health Plans allow small businesses, including self-employed workers, to band together by geography or industry to obtain healthcare coverage as if they were a single large employer. For information, visit dol.gov/general/topic/ association-health-plans . Environmental Regulations State assistance is available for small businesses that must comply with environmental regulations under the Clean Air Act. State Small Business Environmental Assistance programs provide free and confidential assistance to help small business owners understand and comply with environmental regulations and permitting requirements. These state programs can help businesses reduce emissions at the source, often reducing regulatory burden and saving you money. To learn more about these free services visit nationalsbeap.org/states/list . » Environmental Protection Agency Small Business Division epa.gov/resources-small-businesses Accessibility & ADA Compliance For assistance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, call the ADA center at (800) 949-4232 or the Department of Justice at (800) 514-0301. Direct questions about accessible design and the ADA standards to the U.S. Access Board at (800) 872-2253, TTY (800) 993-2822, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit access-board.gov . Child Support Employers are essential to the success of the child support program and collect 75% of support nationwide through payroll deductions. You’re required to report all new and rehired employees to the State Directory of New Hires. If you have employees in two or more states, you may register with the Department of Health and Human Services to report all your employees to one state. Find electronic income withholding orders and the Child Support Portal, which can be used to report information to nearly all child support agencies, at acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/employers . Send questions to email@example.com.
Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are types of intellectual property that serve to protect creations and innovations. For information and resources about U.S. patents and federally registered trademarks consult uspto.gov, call (800) 786-9199 or visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. For inventor entrepreneur resources visit uspto.gov/inventors . There are three types of patents: • Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement. • Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for a manufactured article. • Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one provider from others. Trademarks and service marks can be registered at both the state and federal level. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office only registers federal trademarks and service marks, which may conflict with and supersede state trademarks. Visit uspto.gov/trademarks . » State Trademark Articles of incorporation, trademark registration with the secretary of state 30 Trinity St., Hartford (860) 509-6002 concord-sots.ct.gov Copyrights protect original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic, and certain other intellectual works, such as computer software. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, and systems, although they may protect the way they are expressed. For general information on copyrights, contact: » U.S. Copyright Office U.S. Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building 101 Independence Ave. SE Washington, DC (202) 707-3000 or toll free (877) 476-0778 copyright.gov
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Greater Valley (203) 925-4981 Greenwich (203) 869-3500 Guilford/Shoreline (203) 488-5500 Hamden region (203) 288-6431 Hartford metro (860) 525-4451 Kent
Ridgefield (203) 438-5992 Shoreline (203) 488-5500 Simsbury
Chambers of Commerce Avon (860) 675-4832 Bethel (203) 743-6500 Bloomfield (860) 242-3710 Bridgeport region (203) 335-3800 Bristol (860) 584-4718 Brookfield (203) 775-8282 Burlington (860) 506-7789 Canton (860) 693-0405 Cheshire (203) 272-2345 Clinton
(860) 651-7307 South Windsor (860) 644-9442 Southwestern Connecticut (203) 359-3220 Stamford (203) 359-4761 Suffield
(860) 592-0061 Killingworth (860) 663-1101 Lyme/Old Lyme (860) 434-1605 Madison (203) 245-7394 Manchester (860) 646-2223 Middlesex (860) 347-6924 Midstate (203) 235-7901 Milford (203) 878-0681 Monroe (203) 268-6518 Mystic (860) 572-9578 New Britain (860) 229-1665 New Canaan (203) 966-2004 New Haven (203) 787-6735 Newington (860) 666-2089 North Central Connecticut (860) 741-3838 Norwich (860) 887-1647 Orange (203) 795-3328 Plainville (860) 747-6867 Quinnipiac (203) 269-9891
(860) 668-4848 Tolland County (860) 872-0587 Waterbury (203) 757-0701 West Hartford (860) 521-2300 West Haven (203) 933-1500 Westport/Weston (203) 227-9234 Wethersfield (860) 721-6200 Wilton (203) 762-0567 Windham region (860) 423-6389 Windsor (860) 688-5165 Windsor Locks (860) 623-9319
(860) 669-3889 CT River Valley (860) 659-3587 Darien (203) 655-3600 East Granby
(860) 221-8821 East Windsor (860) 254-5591 Eastern Connecticut (860) 701-9113 Fairfield (203) 255-1011 Farmington (860) 676-8490 Glastonbury (860) 659-3587 Granby (860) 653-5085 Greater Danbury (203) 743-5565 Greater New Britain (860) 229-1665 Greater Norwalk (203) 866-2521 Greater Southington (860) 628-8036
Exporting Assistance Office of International and Domestic
Business Development Department of Economic and Community Development Hartford 450 Columbus Blvd., suite 5
Laura Jaworski (860) 500-2368 firstname.lastname@example.org 505 Hudson St. Aaron Knight (860) 270 8059 email@example.com
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Vocademy in Riverside, vocademy.com , trains underserved populations for vocational careers in manufacturing. Indiana Ruckus Makerspace in Indianapolis, ruckusindy.com , provides coaching and job placement complementing day-to-day job skills training. Massachusetts The Clubhouse-to-Career Pathways to Success program in Roxbury, flagshipclubhouse.org/c2c , places its participants in meaningful employment matching their skill sets. Missouri Rightfully Sewn in Kansas City, rightfullysewn.org , prepares at-risk women and underserved populations for entry level sewing positions, increasing their tailoring and production management skills. New Hampshire Monadnock Art x Tech Makerspace in Peterborough fills the need for qualified welders in construction and industry, visit monadnockartxtech.org . New Jersey New Jersey Institute of Technology Makerspace in Newark connects participants with entry level advanced manufacturing jobs, in addition to an apprenticeship program, visit njitmakerspace.com . New York The Foundry in Buffalo, thefoundrybuffalo.org , operates four makerspaces, metal and wood shops and tech and textile labs, in support of education and entrepreneurship. North Carolina Forge Greensboro connects untapped talent to employment opportunities through pre-apprenticeship programs and accreditation, visit forgegreensboro.org . Oklahoma Fab Lab Tulsa prepares participants with high-value skills to secure careers as operators and technicians in digital fabrication, visit fablabtulsa.org . Pennsylvania NextFab’s Furnishing a Future program in Philadelphia places trained carpenters, visit nextfab.com .
Workshops for Warriors welding student Nikolas Williams trains in the San Diego makerspace, which receives SBA funding for its welding and machining programs. Workshops for Warriors places program graduates into advanced manufacturing careers nationwide.
Workforce Recruitment Find qualified workers at these makerspace initiatives fund d by the SBA. If you are a small business employing skilled laborers, access a new talent pool for recruitment at your local makerspace. How it benefits you These community operated workspaces provide training and resources to better prepare workers for the jobmarket, offering job-specific and soft skills training. Connect with one of these organizations to see if thesemakerspace participants could work for your small business. California Workshops for Warriors, wfw.org , trains, certifies to national standards, and places veterans into advanced manufacturing careers nationwide.
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How Do I Find an EIN?
Not sure whether you need an EIN? Check out this guide from the IRS. Answering yes to any of the questions in the list means you need one for your business.
Do you have employees? ❒ YES ❒ NO
How to apply for an EIN The easiest way to apply for your EIN is online via the IRS EIN Assistant. As soon as your application is complete and validated, you’ll be issued an EIN. There is no charge for this service (beware of internet scams that will try to sell you their EIN application services). You can also apply by mail or fax using Form SS-4, available at irs.gov/formss4 .
Do you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership? ❒ YES ❒ NO
Do you file any of these tax returns: employment, excise, or alcohol, tobacco
and firearms? ❒ YES ❒ NO
Changing your business structure? Get a new EIN
No doubt, there are probably quite a few regulatory and administrative items on your new business checklist, like getting a permit and registering your business name. One of the key requirements for most new businesses (or businesses that are restructuring) is obtaining an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, from the IRS. Here’s what you need to know about EINs and how to go about getting one for your business. What is an EIN? An EIN is a unique nine-digit number that identifies your business for tax purposes. Think of it as the business equivalent of a social security number (although it shouldn’t be used in place of it). As a business owner, you’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, apply for business licenses, and file your tax returns. It’s a good idea to apply for one as soon as you start planning your business. This will ensure there are no delays in getting the appropriate licenses or financing that you need to operate. Who needs an EIN? An EIN is needed by any business that retains employees. However, non employers are also required to obtain one if they operate as a corporation or partnership. Answering yes to any of the questions in the list on the right means you need one for your business.
Do you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien? ❒ YES ❒ NO
As your business grows and matures, you may choose to change its legal or ownership structure. For example, a sole proprietor may decide to incorporate, or a partnership may be taken over by one of the owners to then operate as a sole proprietorship. In instances such as these, your business will need a new EIN. There are other scenarios that require a new EIN, such as bankruptcy, a change in a corporation’s name or location, or reorganization of a corporation. Check out "Do You Need a New EIN" on irs.gov. Using your EIN to make tax deposits If you have employees, you will have been automatically enrolled in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (eftps.gov) when you applied for your EIN. This allows you to make tax deposits, including federal employment and corporate taxes, online or by phone. Lost your EIN? If you lost or misplaced your EIN, you can retrieve it in the following ways: • Reference the original notice issued by the IRS when you received your EIN, or call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. • If you used it to open a bank account or get a license, contact these organizations.
Do you have a Keogh plan? ❒ YES ❒ NO
Are you involved with any of the following types of organizations? • Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns • Estates • Real estate mortgage investment conduits
• Nonprofit organizations • Farmers’ cooperatives • Plan administrators ❒ YES ❒ NO
They should be able to retrieve your number. • Find an old tax return. Your EIN should be on it. written by Caron Beesley , contributor
LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Regional Innovation Clusters Create jobs and grow the economy through an SBA Regional Innovation Cluster. Who should join Small businesses driving innovation in one of these tech industries: • advanced composites • agTech • bioscience • food processing • data sciences
Online Learning Find free short courses and learning tools to start and grow your small business at sba.gov/learning . The SBA’s free Online Learning Center is a great resource for every entrepreneur, especially rural business owners looking for easy access to vital business training. Courses include: • writing your business plan • understanding your customer • buying a business • marketing to win customers
• medical sciences • power and energy • unmanned aerial systems • water tech • wood products
• legal requirements • financing options • disaster recovery
How it works Each industry cluster is based in a geographic region. Your small business must be located in or near that region in order to join the cluster. For example, the AgLaunch Initiative cluster, which focuses on agricultural technology, is located in the Tennessee area. A small agTech business in or near Tennessee will connect with other agTech suppliers, service providers, and related institutions through that innovation cluster. How it benefits you Network with other industry innovators and connect with resources that will help your small business find funding. You’ll also receive guidance on how to better compete for government contracts and other opportunities for growth and expansion. Receive free technical and legal assistance to develop your tech and get it to market for government and industry buyers. Get involved Find an SBA Regional Innovation Cluster near you by visiting sba.gov/localassistance . Select the regional innovation clusters on the drop-down menu.
Native American Workshops Tribal enterprises and business organizations can receive entrepreneurial training at an SBA Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshop. These workshops cover business concepts important for starting, growing, or expanding a small business. RedWind instructors, SBA contractors, identify and help participants avoid common pitfalls. Learn how to prepare a business plan, gain access to capital, and basic book keeping. Request a workshop in your area by visiting nativesmallbusiness.org .
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HOW THE SBA HELPED ME SUCCEED U.S. Navy veteran Roberto Ortiz puts his 40 years of aviation management experience to use as a small business owner in Chesapeake, VA. Bert expanded AVMAC Inc. into the government sector fulfilling aviation and maritime logistical services with the help of his local SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center. VBOCs are the first stop for military community entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, or expand a small business. The VBOC located at Old Dominion University helped Bert obtain government contracting business certifications. With support from his local VBOC, Bert has strategically positioned AVMAC in the federal marketplace to better compete for large-scale government contracts. From AVMAC’s first contract in 2010, this veteran-led company has nearly doubled in revenue and grown to over 400 employees.
AVMAC President/CEO Bert Ortiz, left, and fellow U.S. Navy veteran and electrician Ken Morey manufacturing a power panel bracket.
Opportunities for Veterans
Military community members become more successful entrepreneurs with the help of the SBA.
Who’s eligible? Service members transitioning out of active duty and military spouses. Boots to Business: Reboot, for veterans, National Guard or Reserve members and military spouses, teaches this entrepreneurship curriculum off base in communities. Register for either B2B program at https://sbavets.force.com . For women veterans Receive entrepreneurial training geared toward women veterans, service
members, and spouses through these SBA- funded programs: » Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship in Syracuse, New York
Entrepreneurship training In Boots to Business, explore business ownership and other self-employment opportunities while learning key business concepts. Walk away with an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals, including how to access startup capital using SBA resources. Boots to Business is conducted on all military installations as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.
» LiftFund in San Antonio, Texas For service-disabled veterans Learn how to start and grow a small
business using these SBA-funded programs: » Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities in Syracuse, New York
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» Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma » Veteran Entrepreneurship Jumpstart at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania » Dog Tag Inc., affiliated with Georgetown University in Washington, DC
Financing Employee called to active duty?
You can receive funds that enable your business to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses when an essential employee is called up to active duty in the military reserve. Ask your local SBA specialist or lender about the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Government contracting Veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses that want to better compete in the public market receive training from the Veteran Institute for Procurement, nationalvip.org . VIP Start Enter the federal market and become ready for procurement. VIP Grow Strategize to expand and operate within the federal marketplace. VIP International Enter or expand your federal and commercial contracting opportunities overseas. Get certified Learn about the service-disabled veteran- owned small business certification program on page 49. Need assistance? Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, sba.gov/vboc . For veterans business information visit sba.gov/veterans .
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Write your Business Plan
Your business plan is the foundation of your business. Learn how to write a business plan with the help of an SBA Resource Partner. TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT
When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan template. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Executive Summary Briefly summarize your company and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing. Company Description Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific as to audience and location. List out the consumers, organizations, or businesses your company plans to serve. Explain the competitive advantages you have that will make your business successful. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths. Market Analysis Demonstrate a solid understanding of your industry outlook and tar- get market. This is where it pays to partner with an experienced busi- ness counselor fromyour local Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Women's Business Center, or Veterans Business Outreach Center—all these SBA Resource Partners provide free or low-cost business assistance. Competitive research will showwhat other busi- nesses are doing and their strengths. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now's the time to answer these questions. Organization and Management
Business plans help you run your business. A good business plan guides you throughmanaging your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you—or investing in your company—is a smart investment. Brain storm with a business counselor (visit one of our SBA Resource Partners detailed on page 10) and write a traditional business plan , which uses a standard structure and detailed sections. Once you've got it all down, you can then condense it to a lean startup business plan, which typically contains key points on only one page.
Explain how your com- pany will be structured and who will run it. Describe the legal structure of your busi- ness. Statewhether you have or intend to incor- porate your business as a C or an S corporation, forma general or limited partnership, or if you're a sole proprietor or limited liability company.
Want to see an example of a business plan? View examples of business plans at sba.gov/business-guide/plan/ write-your-business- plan-template
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LEAN STARTUP PLAN FORMAT Write a lean startup plan if requested from an investor, or if your business is relatively simple or you plan to regularly change and refine as you go. Lean startup plans use more visual organization tools and only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualiz- ing your company's fundamental facts. Your business counselor can help you edit down into the Business Model Canvas, used here—the most well known style, or another lean startup template. Key Partnerships Note the other businesses you’ll work with--suppliers, manufactur- ers, subcontractors, and similar strategic partners. Key Activities List the ways your business will gain a competitive advantage. Will you sell direct to consumers or use technology to tap into the sharing economy? Key Resources List resources you’ll leverage to create value for your customer. Your most important assets include staff, capital, or intellectual property. Leverage business resources that might be available to women, veterans, Native Americans, and HUBZone–certified businesses. Value Proposition Make a clear and compelling statement about the unique value your company brings to the market. Customer Relationships Describe how customers will interact with your business. Think through the customer experience from start to finish. Is it auto- mated or personal? In person or online? Customer Segments Name your target market. Your business won’t be for everybody; it’s important to have a clear sense of who you serve. Channels List the most important ways you’ll talk to your customers. Cost Structure Will your company focus on reducing cost or maximizing value? Define your strategy, then list the most significant costs you’ll face. Revenue Streams Explain how your company makes money: direct sales, member- ships fees, selling advertising space? If your company has multiple revenue streams, list them all.
Use an organizational chart to show the hierarchy. Explain how each person’s experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including CVs of key members. Service or Product Line Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how it ben- efits your customers and the product lifecycle. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you're doing research and development for your service or product, explain it. Marketing and Sales Your marketing strategy should evolve and change to fit your needs in each context. Describe how you'll attract and retain customers. Show how a sale will actually happen. You'll refer to this section later when you make financial projections, so be thorough. Funding Request If you're asking for funding, outline your funding requirements. Specify whether you want debt or equity and the terms you'd like. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and how the investment will be used. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Explain how ❒ Executive summary ❒ Company description ❒Market analysis ❒ Organization and management ❒ Service or product line ❒Marketing and sales ❒ Funding request ❒ Financial projections ❒ Appendix TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PLAN CHECKLIST
you'll pay off the debt. Financial Projections
Supplement your funding request with a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Show how your business will be a financial success. If your business is already established, include income state- ments, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. List collateral you could put against a loan. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly—or even monthly —projections. Make sure to clearly explain your projections and match them to your funding requests. Use visual organization tools--graphs and charts—to tell your business's financial story. Appendix Here you'll attach supporting documents or other requested materials. Common items to include are credit histories, CVs, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts.
LEAN STARTUP PLAN CHECKLIST
❒ Key partnerships ❒ Key activities ❒ Key resources ❒ Value proposition ❒ Customer relationships
❒ Customer segments ❒ Channels ❒ Cost structure ❒ Revenue streams
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