Federal/National

U.S. Small Business Administration’s “How to Write a Business Plan” Guide
Explains the purpose and describes the premise of a proper business plan. Touches on ten major concepts you should make sure your plan encoumpases.  

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Business Plan Template
An overlay of the correct process needed to develop an effective and informative business plan. A recommended plan of action for any small business owner.

BPlans
An effective small business planning resource that can also assist you in funding, starting and managing your enterprise.

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center (IRS)
A list of all the major forms and and information videos/sites to help small business owners understand the tax system along with other important government regulations.

Business Entity Comparison Table
Helps educate small business owners and entrepreneurs on the business formation choices available, the incorporation process itself and the requirements corporations and LLC’s face.

B Corps
An organization that holds its members to rigorous environmental, performance and accountability standards. The group of corporations work to promote the local good in addition to fostering a profitable business.

Small Business Administration's Workshops
A site with information on the SBA Workshops that are being offered near you. These workshops are provided for no or very low cost and are a great source of advice for both startups and developed small businesses alike.

Community Economic Development Fund
An SBA supported organization focused on providing financial assistance to both startups and established businesses looking for flexible financial options.

Community Capital Fund
Offers funding to existing small businesses, community-based organizations and startups to cover working capital needs, rehabilitate commercial real estate or pay for the purchase of machinery, equipment, or to fund new construction.

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Loan Programs
A list of the available SBA loan programs that are offered to a variety of businesses. Some are irrespective of business type, size, and can even be proved to homeowners. Make sure to look into this listing even if you are not a small business.

Small Business Resources
A guide for small businesses operating in Connecticut. Specifically tailored to our laws and  our business environment. Make sure to consult this resource to learn about the options available to you through the SBA as a small business owner in this state.

US Small Business Administration Grants
A listing of the grants the SBA offers to eligible applicants. Although very selective, these plans can be hugely beneficial to a newly founded companies, since the funding does not require repayment.  

Kickstarter
An online funding platform for creative small businesses focused on such sectors as film, music, art, theater, games, comics, design, and photography.

Indiegogo
An online funding source for small businesses focused on a variety of sectors, such as film, music, art, charity, gaming, and theater.

Fundable
An online crowdfunding platform built specifically to meet the needs of growing small businesses.

CircleUp
An online crowdfunding platform that limits the pool of funders and projects to consumer products based companies. Focused on angel investors providing the needed financial support.

GoFundMe
A San Diego-based company that has quickly risen to become the World’s #1 fundraising site for personal causes and life-events. With a huge pool of funds and supply of donors, the site has raised over $1 Billion for a diverse array of causes.

US SBA Guide to Home-Based Businesses
Offers an informative overview that covers the steps needed to legally open and operate a home based business.

ADA Guide for Small Businesses
An abbreviated guide, specifically designed for the use of small businesses to help them understand and abide by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

US Department of Justice Small Business Guide to the 2010 ADA Update
Clarifies issues with ADA requirements which have arisen over the past 20 years and explains new requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design.

Federal and State Anti-Discrimination Laws
A list of federal and state Anti-Discrimination Laws. These laws criminalize discrimination against people on the basis of religion, race/color, gender, ancestry/national origin, sexual orientation, and physical/mental disability. Violations of these laws are considered both a federal and state offense unless otherwise noted.

US SBA Guide to Hiring Your First Employee
Defines the correct process to hiring a new employee. Tailored specifically for small businesses, this guide will help explain all the required legal steps required by the state and federal government

Posting Job Openings
A search engine that helps you to search for job sites, newspapers, associations and company career pages in your area.

US SBA Green Business Guide
Caring for the environment is a global responsibility, and you, a small business owner, can help make a difference. Help protect our ecosystem and serve your customers who value your environmental efforts. Check out the above Green Business Guide, curated by the US Small Business Administration, to see how you can make a positive impact environmentally. Learn about green marketing, green business practices, environmental grants & loans, and more!

US EPA Guide to Greening Your Small Business
Along with the US SBA, the US Environmental Protection Agency has resources available to help you operate your business more environmentally-friendly. Read their Smart Steps to Sustainability 2.0 to learn everything you need to know about environmental compliance to sustainability and beyond.

US Ready.gov Business Continuity Plan
Do you know how you’ll get your business back up and running after a natural disaster? Plan your road to reopening in advance using the Ready.gov Business Continuity Plan.

American Red Cross: Prepare Your Workplace
The American Red Cross offers service training for your employees so you know that they are knowledgeable of what they need to do in any emergency situation. They also provide information on how to use an AED and how to save a co-worker’s life.

Prepare My Business
Helps prepare your business for the threat of natural disasters, sudden power outages, and hacker disruptions. We highly advise you establish some kind of plan to cope with these hazards as these incidents could be detrimental to any startup company.

Winter Storms and Your Business
Addresses the perils a winter storm can pose to your enterprise and outlines what steps should be taken to prevent irrevocable damage from befalling your company.

Severe Thunderstorms and Your Business
Targeted to the threats and recommended coping methods presented by thunderstorms.

Floods and Your Business
Helpful before, during and after tips for businesses anticipating or currently dealing with the damages caused by flooding.

Disaster Assistance and Your Business
Money or direct assistance to pay for uninsured property  that has been damaged or destroyed for individuals, families and businesses. This assistance is not intended to restore your damaged property to its condition before the disaster and will vary in size depending on the severity of the event.

US SBA Disaster Loans
A low-interest disaster loan available to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. Can be used to repair or replace damaged real estate, personal property, business assets, inventory and machinery/equipment in the event of a declared disaster.

US SBA When to Hire a Lawyer
Advice for when a professional lawyer may need to be consulted and when the legal task at hand is something you can do yourself.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Represents the CPA profession nationally, establishing rules and standards and serving as an advocate before legislative bodies, public interest groups and other professional organizations. Develops standards for audits of private companies and other services by CPAs and enforces standard ethica.

The Professional Association of Small Business Accountants
Connects small business owners with talented, trusted accounting and tax professionals in your area. Represents Certified Public Accountants, Public Accountants, and Enrolled Agents who are specially trained to provide accounting services to small businesses.

Taxpayer Advocate Service
Ensures that every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights when dealing with the IRS. Offers free help with IRS problems that can seem daunting when approached on your own.

NOLO: How to Save a Troubled Business
Advice for how to save a struggling small business. Highlights helpful tips such as how to, properly examine cash flow, effectively cut costs, create a business survival plan and redo your financial spreadsheets.

The Basics of Advertising
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a step-by-step blueprint to help set up your business’s advertising plan.

How to Get Good Search Engine Rankings
This site provides tips on how to achieve a higher SEO for your website. Includes information on competitive phrasing and what different search engines look for in their search rankings.

The Beginner's Guide to Creating a Website
This guide provides step-by-step instruction on how to create your own website. This guide includes many links to other helpful articles on a variety of related topics, ranging from “How to Choose a Web Host” to “How to Accept Credit Cards on Your Website”.

How to Keep Your Workers Engaged    
Here are some tips from Entrepreneur magazine about keeping your workers engaged.

Square
Our society continues to move towards cashless transactions. Don’t be stuck on the wrong side of history! Square is a small tool that you can plug into your phone or tablet that allows you to accept credit/debit cards. Starting soon, you will also be able to use Square in order to accept NFC transactions like Apple Pay. Using Square you can make buying your product/service easier for your customers.

Emergency Preparedness for Businesses
Refer to the City of Stamford website for more resources.

Becoming a Network Master
By the end of this seven-lesson course, you’ll be able to network like the best of them! This course is free for all (but an account must be made). Learn everything from getting over your networking fears to following up effectively.

Benefits of Networking
Whether you’re in school or in the workplace, networking is one way to broaden your professional horizons. It goes beyond the exchange of business cards and small talk with complete strangers. These articles will show you how to widen your network and make full use of your relationships.

Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry
A step-by-step approach from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to emergency planning, response, and recovery for companies of all sizes.

Networking Categories
This guide will teach you about the different categories within your network of contacts, how best to utilize some of the newest features on LinkedIn and lastly why face-to-face networking also known as in-person offline networking is still the best.

Social Media for Networking
As a student, you are probably using social media already. Most students have a Facebook page, and more and more are using Twitter and other sites to connect. As you begin building a professional network, it's time to take a step back and think about social media and how you use it as a networking technique.

How to Network Effectively
No one will ever know you or your business exists unless you network. There are certain things you have to do when you begin to network your business.

Managing a Business
Explore the topics below to find information and guidance that will help you manage and grow your business effectively.

NOLO: How to Save a Troubled Business
Advice for how to save a struggling small business. Highlights helpful tips such as how to, properly examine cash flow, effectively cut costs, create a business survival plan and redo your financial spreadsheets.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Represents the CPA profession nationally, establishing rules and standards and serving as an advocate before legislative bodies, public interest groups and other professional organizations. Develops standards for audits of private companies and other services by CPAs and enforces standard ethica.

The Professional Association of Small Business Accountants
Connects small business owners with talented, trusted accounting and tax professionals in your area. Represents Certified Public Accountants, Public Accountants, and Enrolled Agents who are specially trained to provide accounting services to small businesses.

Taxpayer Advocate Service
Ensures that every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights when dealing with the IRS. Offers free help with IRS problems that can seem daunting when approached on your own.

Bookkeeping Basics for Small Business
Proper bookkeeping practices are important to the operation and survival of any business. Without them, your business is susceptible to not only cash flow issues, but potential legal problems as well. To help business owners have a better understanding of smart bookkeeping practices, we've compiled a quick guide on the basics.

US SBA When to Hire a Lawyer
Advice for when a professional lawyer may need to be consulted and when the legal task at hand is something you can do yourself.

Protect Your Business
Get legal protection from our provider law firms to help you run your business confidently for a low monthly fee.