Starting Your Own Business

Find out how to start your own business and avoid fraud.

Start a Business

Starting your own business is an exciting opportunity, but it can be challenging. To help guide you through the process, these resources cover the important aspects of starting a business:


This resource combines business-related information from government agencies into a one-stop platform for businesses. It focuses on three areas:

  • Wizards - The Start a Business wizard walks you through the process and connects you to important information. It also provides other resources for starting a business, including help with writing a business plan, as well as registering and running a business. You can also explore other wizards, including how to access financing for your business.
  • Events - Explore a variety of events related to starting a business, including seminars, trade events, and webcasts.
  • Business Assistance Centers - Locate business assistance centers and request an appointment.


To start your own business, you will need proper insurance coverage to make sure you are protected. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help you:

You can also get business advice from experienced executives on insurance and other topics through SCORE, a non-profit resource partner of the SBA.


The IRS provides federal tax information for people starting a business, as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions. Find out the steps you should follow in the checklist for starting a business

Each state has additional requirements to start and operate a business. For links to information regarding state-level requirements for starting a business, refer to the IRS State Government Websites directory.


When starting a business, you may decide to hire some help. The SBA has information on hiring your first employee that explains how to get the hiring process started and make sure you comply with key federal and state regulations.

Hiring Foreign Nationals

By law, you must only employ individuals who have permission to work in the U.S. The online E-verify system allows companies to determine the eligibility of potential employees. Find out the employment eligibility of your employees by registering with E-Verify. If you have questions, contact the appropriate E-Verify program support line.

Companies are required to get certified and meet certain conditions for hiring foreign workers. Worksite enforcement investigations are performed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to protect national security and to look for employers who violate employment laws or engage in abuse or exploitation of workers.

Consumer Protection Law

The FTC's Business Center can help your business understand its rights and responsibilities in protecting consumers. It covers several important areas:

  • Advertising and Marketing - Under the law, any claims in advertisements made by a business must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair, and must be evidence-based.
  • Credit and Finance - Businesses that extend credit to consumers, are in the business of offering loans, or help companies that do, have compliance responsibilities.
  • Privacy and Security - Businesses must protect sensitive data and be clear about their information-sharing practices.
  • Selected Industries - Stay up to date with the rules and laws of various industries.

Resources for Military Veterans

These programs and services offer support to veterans starting a business:

  • Register your business with the Vets First Verification Program to be eligible for special opportunities to conduct business with the government.
  • The Office of Veterans Business Development helps maximize the availability, applicability and usability of all administration small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their Dependents or Survivors.

Resources for Minorities

A variety of programs and services are available for minority business owners from the Minority Business Development Agency.

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Self-Employed Resources

What Does Self-Employed Mean?

  • You handle a trade or business as a sole proprietor or independent contractor.
  • You are a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business.
  • You are otherwise in business for yourself, including a part-time business.

As an individual conducting your own business, these resources can help guide you in the small business world:

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Work From Home

Home-Based Business

If you want to start your own home-based business, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a guide for home-based businesses. This guide includes start-up resources, tax information, and information about buying a home-based franchise.

Home Office Deduction

If you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office tax deduction.

Work-at-Home Scams

Learn what to watch out for to avoid work-at-home scams. To file a complaint about a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Federal Government Telework Guidelines

If you are looking for information on teleworking in the federal government, visit

Note: The federal government never charges a fee for information about, or applications for, government jobs. You can search and apply for federal government jobs for free on

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Last Updated: December 09, 2016

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