On the Road to Starting Your Business? Let Us Be Your Guide.

On the Road to Start Business
With Small Business Saturday (November 26, 2016) right around the corner, we wanted to take the time to highlight the free resources available to those looking to start their own business in Pennsylvania. We value our small businesses, and are committed to fostering a business environment where your services and products can grow and thrive.

It is not uncommon for DCED’s Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop to begin the day with a phone call from a frustrated, confused, desperate, budding entrepreneur trying to understand how to start a business in Pennsylvania. “What’s the difference between fictitious name and an LLC? How do I write a business plan? Do I need to have both an Employer Identification Number and a Pennsylvania Tax Identification Number? Who should I call first to start my business?”

Entrepreneurs who don’t know where to go, what to do, or how to do it, can — and often do — begin with a call to our Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop. It is a part of our role to walk Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurs through whatever barriers may be in their way.

Entrepreneurs that don’t know where to go, what to do, or how to do it, can, and often do, begin with a call to me and the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop. It is a part of our role to walk the Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurs through whatever barriers may be in their way.

Many of the calls and emails we receive are from entrepreneurs and new business owners who don’t know where or to whom they should turn for assistance. They are individuals that already have full-time jobs and families, and, more often than not, do not have the financial flexibility or the spare time to consult with an attorney or a Certified Public Accountant. Additionally, when free time does present itself — after the dishes are washed and the kids are in bed — there is no one available to offer assistance late in the evening.

We hear it time and time again: is there a tool or a resource available for me to use on my own time to help me through this process? The answer to that question is yes. The Department of Community and Economic Development publishes a comprehensive business assistance reference called the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Growing a Business. This guide serves as a “map” to navigate the road to starting a business in Pennsylvania. It offers information and checklists on topics ranging from business planning and choosing a site for your business, to developing an international market and government contracting. In addition, the guide includes a chapter dedicated to small business resources and a directory of state and federal agencies that will be important to contact throughout the planning process. The best part about the Entrepreneur’s Guide is, it’s free!

Making the decision to start a business is a leap of faith. Things can be even more daunting if you aren’t sure about how to make your leap a successful one. Don’t worry! You’re not alone. Take a deep breath and know that there is a tool out there that can help. You can view or download a copy of the Entrepreneur’s Guide on our website. You should bookmark the site and check back periodically for updates.

It’s important to take advantage of the information that the guide puts at your fingertips. Connect with your local officials, your local Chamber of Commerce, and other local business owners. Educate yourself about the resources available to your business at the local, state, and federal level. Another great resource is our dedicated website for small businesses in PA which can be found at http://pasmallbiz.dced.pa.gov. Gather as much information as possible. It is this information that builds the road to starting your business, and the Entrepreneur’s Guide can help you get to your destination.