« »

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Resources for starting a business in Missouri

State resources offer business help
The SBTDC offers businesses assistance
By Leonard Garces

Starting a business anywhere has its fair share of obstacles before you get up and running. Missouri is no different, and any aspiring entrepreneur can use some guidance when it comes to maneuvering their way through all of these obstacles. So, if you’re in the process of starting a business in Missouri, or you’re just beginning to consider the possibility, here are some resources that will come in handy through your journey.

The major organizations you need to know

No matter which state you’re in, you’ll likely be able to find the information you need from these resources, though they may differ from state to state so it’s worth taking the time to read through any particulars to make sure your business is in compliance with all local regulations:
  • Missouri Secretary of State – Check out the SoS to find all your necessary legal forms, entity registration, information on entities, business name availability and links to other valuable government organizations within the state.
  • SBTDC (Small Business & Technology Development Centers) – The SBTDC is an organization growing in prominence in many states (with increasing sponsors and corporate partnerships as well) and offers valuable services to small businesses. The SBTDC not only provides information like license and registration checklists, they also provide services including seminars and training for entrepreneurs throughout the development process for a small business. Still contemplating whether your business is a viable idea or not? The have resources for that as well.
  • Missouri Department of Revenue – If you’re a retailer or a wholesaler, you’ll need to get your business signed up here.

Some non-traditional sources of information you may find valuable

  • The Library – Okay, maybe this is the most traditional source of information for some of us, but many entrepreneurs and younger people gloss over the library in favor of more high tech research tools. The Kansas City Library in particular offers services provided by H&R Block and can be contacted by phone or via email on their website. On top of that, the library offers a variety of courses on technology and business that can be invaluable for small business owners. Regardless of where you are in Missouri, check with the local library to see what resources they offer for small businesses.
  • The University of Missouri – Like many state institutions, the University of Missouri also has programs aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship in their home state. MU has extension locations throughout the state, so use the dropdown menu to identify the location nearest to you. They not only offer a variety of news, publications and links valuable for business owners, they also offer an inexpensive CD-Rom that supplies a number of checklists for small business owners covering loans, licenses, permits, and tax instructions.
  • The web – If you’re in a major metro area like Kansas City or St. Louis resources will likely present themselves to you. However, if you’re in a more remote area or a smaller town like Arnold City just hop on a search engine like Google and Bing and try some searches like [arnold city, mo small business resources] and you’ll find all kinds of local resources like the chamber of commerce and the Missouri DNR’s Small Business Assistance Program. If you don’t find results for your small town, try some variations on the location like your county or region.
Nothing comes easy as an entrepreneur, but having some guidance from the get-go can be invaluable, and these links should get you started down the right path.

About the author: Leonard Garces is an experienced entrepreneur who has started several successful service companies. Currently he works as a contributing writer for Modern Litho and several other Missouri small businesses.

Image license: Kevin Dooley, CC BY 2.0