See below for helpful information, resources and news to assist you and your business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What should I do first in preparing to open my business?
If you feel that you have an entrepreneurial mindset and a valid business idea, contact us (GMB and Associates), or contact your local Small Business Center (SBC) at your local Community College. GMBA has an experienced team that can assist you, or contact SBC for guidance. There are 58 SBC's across North Carolina that offer business support.
2. How do I know if I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
Ask yourself a few questions such as: Am I willing to take risks? Do I make sound decisions in a timely fashion? Am I a leader? Do I possess knowledge and expertise in the area I desire to focus my business? Am I an organized and financially responsible individual? Do I have the support of my family and friends? These are important questions to answer. For a closer look at your skills, take the Self-Guided Business Assessment located on the SBCN site.
3. Are grants available to help me start my business? Can I get one of these grants?
Generally speaking there are very few, if any, grants available for business startup. Some non-profit agencies are eligible for grants, and many of these grants also require matching funds (either in-kind or cash contributions).
There are a few grants for businesses in the fields of high technology, growth, and innovation. You may search for such grant information on the Business Link North Carolina site.
4. What licenses and permits might I need to start my business?
Requirements vary from state to state. Each county and local municipality may also have different requirements.
If you have employees you will need a Federal Employer’s Identification Number (EIN). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can also provide you with a “Going Into Business” tax kit.
If you are buying products for resale, then you will be required to have a Sales and Use Tax Number. This is obtained through the NC Dept. of Revenue.
If you are planning to Incorporate or form a LLC or LLP business structure, then you will file these forms and make annual reports through the NC Dept. of the Secretary of State.
If you are forming a sole proprietorship or general partnership, then you will need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the local county Register of Deeds in the county where you business will operate.
Other local requirements may exist such as a city privilege (business) license. Many towns also have zoning requirements and local sign ordinances that you need to adhere to.
Contact your local SBC to find out what requirements exist in your area. The local SBC can provide you with contact information, if needed. Also note that GMB and Associates can help you through the process in starting your business.
For online information visit Business Link North Carolina.
5. Where do I get startup capital or how do I get a business loan?
Most banks will provide debt financing for existing and startup businesses, although banks vary in their lending practices. Some banks will offer business startup loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA). A well prepared Business Plan is required for consideration by any lending agency or organization. You will also need collateral, a down payment (or equity investment) in your business, a good credit score, history of your personal financial worth, proof of ability to repay the loan, sound management abilities, and knowledge of your business or industry.
6. If I do not need to apply for a loan will I still need to write a Business Plan?
Most definitely... a Business Plan is an absolute must for any business whether startup or existing. Such a plan is a guide for mapping your business, its successes and failures. It serves as a benchmark for all that you do.
Business Plan templates are available on the site, and you may wish to take a look at these prior to scheduling an appointment with your local SBC. They will not write the plan for you but will assist you with locating resources to create your plan and also advise you on the feasibility of information included in your plan. Your local SBC will help assess your Business Plan as you prepare for your entrepreneurial venture.
7. What form of Business / Legal Structure should I use for my business?
There are many reasons to use the various forms of Business / Legal structures available in North Carolina. It is important to consult with a professional accountant and attorney in making this determination. Consider all the possibilities before making a final decision. Your local SBC can assist you with information in this process.
8. Who will guide me through the process in starting my business and Business Plan?
SBC and SBA offer many training courses, workshops and seminars to aid you in business success.
COVID-19 Helpful Tip:
COVID-19 has thrown the economy into a tailspin. Many people have been laid off, furloughed, or are working fewer hours. And as wages dry up, bills can pile up. Debt can be tricky – especially when you have more month than money. Here are some ideas about how to manage your debts and start regaining your financial footing.
BLACK BUSINESSES MATTER
The re-energized Black Lives Matter movement has created a new awakening among many people around the world, creating an environment where White and Black people have been able to discuss racism more comfortably. Large corporations and philanthropists are now boldly speaking out against widely accepted and concealed rampant discriminatory practices as well as the relentless economic disenfranchisement that has persisted, declaring their support for a more equitable America. Even so, widespread racial bias continue as Black entrepreneurs flounder in an economic tsunami. Notably, Black businesses were nearly completely shut out of the hundreds of millions set aside for the PPP. Based on the Small Business Administration's data, for loans of $150,000 or less, only 1.9% of the funds went to Black-owned businesses while 83% went to White-owned businesses.
GMB and Associates (GMBA) is the right place to gain operational and technical assistance for your business or organization. Our team also has the expertise to help you navigate the process, as well as access needed capital (e.g. grants, loans, investors) whether you are a startup; already existing small business or non-profit organization. Contact us to schedule a meeting to discuss your needs. Click-on "Contact Us" below to request a free Small Business Cashflow Worksheet.
Our scope of work includes, but not limited to:
Business Planning & Coaching.
Graphic & Website Design
Project / Program Management
Strategic Plan Development
Business Lines of Credit
Business Financial Services