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Free registration is required to access this guide to the funding criteria of over 4,000 sources for business loans, venture capital, equipment leasing, and commercial real estate financing.

Biz Stats

This is the leading online source for small business statistics, including financial ratios, benchmarks, and information as specific as the safest and riskiest types of small businesses.


Owned and operated by Palo Alto Software, Inc. as a free resource to help entrepreneurs plan better businesses, the site contains guidelines for writing business marketing, Web strategy, and advertising plans; it also contains the largest single collection of free (and some for-fee) sample business plans.

CalGOLD (California Business Permits)

The site provides detailed information on the business permit, license, and registration requirements from all levels of government; the information is specific to the type of business and its location in California.

California Business - starting a business step by step

This guide to starting a business in California is maintained by the Secretary of State.


Maintained by Entrepreneur Magazine to support new business ideas and growing companies, the site contains tips, articles, and online resources on everything for people starting a small business. It is also available in Spanish as Soy Entrepreneur.

Idea Cafe

This site, developed by successful entrepreneurs and authors of guides on forming and running a business, contains a wealth of information on starting a small business in an entertaining, step-by-step manner.

Patent Analytics Specialists

Guidance and helpful tips on how to market and patent new products.

The Riley Guide: Steps in Starting Your Own Business 

The Riley Guide, by Margaret F. Dikel, is a resource for all things employment related. This site deals with small business concerns, and Dikel speaks from experience. 

Startup Journal

An online resource updated daily by The Wall Street Journal, this site contains practical tools, links to reliable resources, timely news, and information on current business opportunities.

Start-up Kits

These kits offer how-to guides, start-up cost estimates, research tips, and links to associations and franchises for over 40 types of businesses.