Start a Business

Are you considering starting a business, but aren’t sure where to begin? Do you have questions like: Where do I get funding?, How do I write a business plan?, and Are any licenses or permits needed? If so, the SBTDC has several tools to help you start your business.

  • The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) can assist with navigating permits and licenses.
  • Is your idea innovative and new? Consider “Taking the Leap”.
Taking the Leap logo

Taking the Leap is a four week accelerated cohort designed to give you the foundation to launch your business with momentum!

Learn about different aspects of starting a business, including identifying potential markets, writing a business plan, running the finances of a business and marketing a business.

Work with mentors and peers in fun breakout activities designed to help strengthen your business ideas and prepare you for success. Taking the Leap is a state-wide program.

Learn More and Apply

SBTDC Business Launch

The Business Launch initiative is a specialized service of the SBTDC that helps entrepreneurs to evaluate an idea, form the idea into a business model, and launch the viable idea into a new North Carolina business. SBTDC established this initiative in 2019 to help early stage innovators, particularly those around university ecosystems, move forward with forming a business and to keep our state on the forefront of tech business creation. Sign-up for our newsletter.


SBTDC Business Start-Up Guide

This free downloadable publication has it all. Assess yourself to see if you have what it takes to be a business owner. Learn how to write a business plan people will read cover to cover. Find the legal structure best suited for you. Check out our list of state and federal resources, including local and state licenses/permits. Download the business start-up guide.

Trying to write a business plan?

Besides our Business Start-Up Guide there are excellent websites with information on how to write an impressive business plan.

How to fund your business?

Did you know most businesses are started primarily with owner financing? If that is not enough money to get your business going, our Capital Opportunities for Small Business guide is the most comprehensive financing resource describing all the funding options available to North Carolina companies and startups. This continuously updated 135-page guide also has contact information to learn more about each funding opportunity.

Confused about business grants?

You are not alone. Click here for answers about grants and other frequently asked questions.

How to investigate industry information?

There are many places on the internet to get demographic data, target market analysis, competitor information, industry data and more. We have found the best websites so you can get the information you need faster. See a list of all SBTDC Resources.

Seminars & Workshops

Starting Your Business Series

Our 3-module series is designed for individuals who are thinking about or have begun the process of starting a business. Each session is approximately 30 minutes long. View the videos.

Online Resources

We have been helping people like you start businesses for 24 years. Based our experiences we put together a list of frequently asked questions and useful websites to further assist you in starting your business.

Business Counseling Services

We strongly recommend that you prepare a rough draft of your business plan in advance of meeting with us. Prior to our first meeting we will ask you to send us your business plan so we can review it before the meeting. This makes our time together as productive as possible.

To request your first meeting with one of our business counselors, please complete our Online Request for Counseling form. Or you can call the SBTDC office closest to you. Our counseling overview will give you a detailed description of our business counseling services.

Specialized Resources for Technology Start-Ups

Besides the resources listed above, we have several resources designed specifically this type of start-up.

Wondering about protecting and commercializing your invention or other new product? The SBTDC’s Intellectual Property Guide is for the independent inventor or small company with little knowledge of how to develop ideas into licensable patents or commercial products. In this Guide, we answer the most common questions and provide guidance on commercializing an invention.

Interested in technology related funding? In addition to the Capital Opportunities Report (particularly Chapter 6 on Equity Funding), the SBIR/STTR program may be able to help you start your company.

Interested in technology related business counseling? To request your first meeting with one of our technology business counselors, please complete our online Request for Counseling form. Our technology counseling capabilities will give you a detailed description of our technology business counseling services. Or you can call the SBTDC office closest to you.