Thinking of starting a small business? The UH SBDC Network can help shape your ideas and dreams into a practicable plan. We’ve taken thousands of new businesses from simple ideas to successful companies, so tap into our key services to join their ranks.
Get Start-up Business Advice
Get feedback on your idea. We can also help you with all of your small business needs, throughout the life cycle of your business. Contact your local SBDC to schedule a no-cost, confidential, one-on-one business advising session. We can help you in the following areas:
Attend a Workshop
Find a workshop in your area. Our start-up workshops will cover the essentials to successful business ownership. Learn about target market, budgeting, financing, the documentation you need to make your business official and more. All in-person workshops are at a low cost, and are offered throughout southeast Texas.
How do I know I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
Before you quit your day job or print up business cards, ask yourself these questions: Am I a risk taker? Am I good at making decisions? Do I understand basic financial and marketing principles? Do I have any experience in the business I want to start? Can I support myself and my family while I get things started? If you answer ‘no’ to any of the questions, you may want to consider another career path. If you can answer ‘yes’ to most of the questions, then it may be time to get started. For a comprehensive look at what it takes, attend Starting Your Business, the first in UH SBDC’s regularly scheduled Start Smart, Grow Smart workshop series. All workshop attendees receive a copy of small business expert and syndicated columnist Rhonda Abrams’ Six-Week Start-Up.
What business should I choose?
It’s a plus if you have both business and industry experience. Having worked in the industry you choose for your business gives you insight and know-how that can up your chances of success. Add passion to the mix, and you are on your way to a profitable business.
What are the steps to starting a business?
Do I need a Federal Identification Number?
That depends on the legal structure you choose for your business. If you decide you’ll operate as a sole proprietorship and use your name for the business, you can use your social security number as the business identification number. Using a different name and/or hiring employees requires obtaining an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. Find Form SS-4, the EIN application, atwww.irs.gov/formss4, or apply online.
What about business insurance?Safeguard your investment and minimize the financial risks associated with events such as a natural disaster, lawsuit, or data breach with a well-planned insurance program. The key is to know your specific risks and the types of insurance that will mitigate those risks. A current popular option is a package Business Owner’s Policy that covers General Liability, Property and Business Income Insurance. Visit the SBA’s website or speak to your insurance agent to learn what other types of coverage would be best for your particular business.