Step by step
Define the Business Idea
The Entrepreneurship Hub offers a 5-week Jumpstart program that helps entrepreneurs develop their raw ideas into a well-developed, fully vetted and validated business plan. The Entrepreneurship Hub's Maker’s Space gives entrepreneurs a unique opportunity for business simulation and to create prototypes so they can “Fail Fast Fail Cheap” and optimize their idea for consumers, investors and manufacturers.
Perform Market Research and Competitive Analysis
To run a successful business it is critical to have a thorough understanding of your market. Small Business Center Network (SBCN) helps you understand: Who are my Customers? Who are my Competitors? What are the trends within the industry? SBCN can help you with your Marketing Plan.
The Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) has an experienced team of marketing analysts to help your business grow through better data and analysis. SBTDC can help you with your Marketing Plan. SBTDC has put together a Marketing Plan worksheet to guide you through the writing and organization of an effective marketing planAccordionTab/Accordion Items
Check out upcoming events and webinars offered by Entrepreneurship Hub that include topics like Kickstart your Business in 4 weeks, Time Management for Small Business Owners, How to Finance your Small Business, Marketing your Business with Social Media, Basics of Bookkeeping.
Identify Legal Considerations
Some businesses may be subject to several legal considerations while others may not. Review the following legal considerations for your business.AccordionTab/Accordion Items
North Carolina has no single generic business license that will ensure compliance with all requirements. Some businesses may be subject to several state requirements while others may not be subject to any. For questions about which license or permit your business needs, call EDPNC Small Business Advisors at 1-800-228-8443.
This resource from the Secretary of State's office provides the most popular types of business entities formed in North Carolina. Find out more about the structure, formation and tax requirements for Business Corporations, Nonprofits, LLCs, Partnerships and Professional Entities.
EDPNC Small Business Advisors is a free service for anyone seeking to start a small business in North Carolina. We’re here to answer your questions, and help you navigate topics like regulatory requirements, licensing stipulations, small-business training, continuing education, choosing a business structure, which forms to fill, funding opportunities and more.
North Carolina Department of Revenue provides tutorial videos on how to complete the most common sales & use tax forms and how to register for a sales & use account.
How you can apply for Sales & Use Tax - Watch a Video on how you can apply for Sales & Use Tax with NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR).
State privilege license taxes are imposed for the privilege of carrying on the business, exercising the privilege or doing the act named in Article 2, Schedule B of the Revenue Laws of North Carolina. These privilege license taxes are in addition to any regulatory or qualification requirements to engage in the practice of a profession, business or trade.
NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR) online business registration allows you to electronically register for an account ID number for income tax withholding, sales and use tax, and other taxes and Service Charge instead of submitting Form NC-BR.
Watch a Video on how you can apply for Income Tax Withholding with NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR).
You can apply for and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS website.
NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) lists all rules and regulations for Air Quality, Coastal Management, Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, Mining, Marine Fisheries, Waste Management, Water Resources.
Do Environmental Regulations Apply to your business? Contact the Small Business Advisors at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) helpline.
SBTDC has put together a list of websites that provide more information about franchises and franchising opportunities. For additional information, feasibility studies, or detailed market research and analysis, contact your regional SBTDC office.
SBCN has put together a list of websites to assist you more information about franchises and franchising opportunities. For additional information, feasibility studies, or detailed market research and analysis, contact SBCN counselors.
Advisors at the Entrepreneurship Hub can work with you to determine if your intellectual property is protectable.
Arrange for Business Financing
How much money will it take to start your small business? Calculate the startup costs for your small business so you can request funding, attract investors, and estimate when you’ll turn a profit.AccordionTab/Accordion Items
Small Business Center Network (SBCN) provides some very good resources for you to review as you start determining how you might want to finance your business.
The Small Business & Technology Development Center SBTDC’s Capital Opportunities for Small Businesses provides information about financial resources available to small businesses in North Carolina.
Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) provides counseling assistance to growth companies seeking equity capital, offers educational programs for both qualified investors and growth company entrepreneurs, works with angel and venture capital funds, and serves as a statewide resource and connection to private equity investment and funding opportunities.
Federal funding opportunity to support research and development projects through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. SBTDC can help you navigate these grant programs.
Write a Business Plan
A Business Plan is essential and critical for owning and operating a successful and profitable business. SBCN has put together guides on how to write a Business Plan. Developing your own business plan will enable you to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) that exist for your business success. Small Business Center Network (SBCN) can help you with this.AccordionTab/Accordion Items
SBTDC has put together a list of websites, templates and tools to help you write and develop your business plan.
Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) counselors can help you with your Business Plan. If you are considering starting a business, but not sure where to begin, reach out to SBTDC counselors to guide you through the process.
Start my Business
Ready to move forward? Visit Start my Business for step-by-step guidance.