Starting Up

Have you dreamed of being your own boss for many years, but don't know where to start? Do you want to know more about owning a business and find yourself asking questions like:

  • How do I turn my idea into a successful business?
  • What kind of forms and licenses do I need to get started?
  • Where can I find financing and loans?
  • What is a business plan an how do I prepare one?

The SBDC Can Help

For nearly 30 years, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have provided consulting and training designed to teach prospective and new entrepreneurs the basics of starting and successfully operating a business. The SBDC helps hundreds of new businesses start every year. Studies show that 80% of businesses started with assistance from the SBDC are still in business 8 years after their start.

With the help of the Pennsylvania SBDCs, your dream of owning a business can become a reality.

Online Tutorial for Starting a Business

Approximately 70% of new businesses fail within seven years. But your chances improve the more you educate yourself. Knowing the risks and planning for challenges is key to business survival.

The Pennsylvania SBDC offers a series of on-demand webinars that  covers essential start-up topics -- available to you 24 hours a day -- called the First Step: Starting a Business webinar series.

First Step Events

All of the Pennsylvania SBDCs offer First Step workshops to help entrepreneurs begin the process of successful business ownership – evaluating business ideas, developing a business plan, and exploring financing options. First Step events are offered at low or no cost on a regular basis across the state. And all are free to veterans.

The first step to starting a successful new venture is to attend an SBDC First Step workshop where you will learn:

  • What unique lifestyle requirements are involved in owning a business
  • How to assess the feasibility of your business idea
  • Differences between business organization structures
  • How to develop a business plan
  • How to obtain financing
  • How to market your product or service
  • The applications and licenses needed to start your company

Find information about upcoming First Step events by viewing our events listings or by contacting your local SBDC.

The Next Step

The next step to starting your new business is to take advantage of the SBDCs one-on-one consulting and information services. After attending a First Step event, you will be able to meet confidentially with your local SBDC consultant at no-cost.

Your consultant will help you with all of the issues you learned about in your First Step workshop, tailoring their advice to your business idea and needs.

More Resources

You probably have many questions. Be sure to check out our FAQ page on starting a business.

The Entrepreneur’s Guide: Starting and Growing a Business in Pennsylvania is a state publication that provides practical tips and helpful information on all aspects of business ownership. To request a hard copy, contact the Center for Entrepreneurial Assistance at (800) 280-3801.

Here are some other resources you may find helpful: