The Library offers a variety of resources to assist business owners including research resources, online learning, a blog, workshops, technology training and links to helpful websites.
Additional Business Resources
- SCORE Fox Valley – The Fox Valley Chapter of SCORE offers free business mentoring. You can make an appointment with them directly. You can also search their website for helpful information including templates for people looking to start and develop a business. Click on Browse the Library on the SCORE website for information, or type templates in the SEARCH bar to find useful templates to help you start a business and other activities.
- Starting Your Business in Illinois Handbook – Resource guide for small businesses in Illinois (published by U.S. Small Business Administration).
- Illinois Small Business Development Center (College of DuPage) – discover valuable workshops and seminars along with online training that can guide you as you turn your great idea into a great business. Connect to the COD Business Development Center Facebook for updates.
- Small Business Development Center (Waubonsee Community College) – Small business owners can find needed informational coaching with free one-on-one help as well as numerous low-cost or free events and workshops. Find out more on the Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College Facebook page.
- Entrepreneur & Business Center (Joliet Junior College) – The Entrepreneur & Business Center (EBC) has a professional team of business advisors that can provide you with the best advice – whether you have questions about how to create a business plan, how to secure financing or anything in-between.
Wealthy private investors are sometimes interested in funding a new business venture that has the potential for significant profit and tend to work through a formal network of investors.
Organizations are available to help you get your business started and contribute to your economic success:
- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development has options for financing, grants and additional resources.
- Plainfield Shorewood Area Chamber of Commerce
- SCORE Fox Valley Chapter - foxvalley.score.org or by phone at (630) 692-1162
- Will County Workforce Network
Free Funding/Grants: You have to admit “free” funds sound great. The chances of getting “free” money are slim at best when looking to the government. Possible funding may be available from:
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: Small Business Assistance
- Fundera: Small Business Grants: 105 Ways to Get Free Money for Your Business
- NerdWallet: Small-Business Grants for Minorities: 9 Opportunities
Banks: Local banks may be willing to work with you for a commercial loan but you need to be able to show a solid business plan and prove you can pay back the money from the bank.
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development has options for financing, grants and additional resources. www.illinois.gov/DCEO/Pages/default.aspx
Small Business Administration does not give loans but they do give support to your bank loan request. There are also free online courses that can help get your business off the ground. Take a look at www.sba.gov for useful information.
Village of Plainfield Economic Development: www.plainfieldil.gov/business/economic-development
Will County Center for Economic Development: willcountyced.com
It’s time to hire. Now what? What are the required steps you need to take when hiring?
Don’t allow anyone to steal your intellectual property. Be sure to register them with federal agencies.
Information about patents and trademarks can be found at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Copyright protection information can be found at the US Copyright Office.
Before registering as a business, you need to decide on legal ownership structure. You will also need to file with the state.
Check here for naming your business: Illinois Secretary of State - Corporate Name Availability Inquiry Form
- Sole Proprietorship and General Partnership
- Limited Partnership
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Liability Partnership
- "C" Corporation
- "S" Corporation
Here, you can find out about the various structures, what your responsibilities as an owner are and what you will need to do next, including where to register your business, how to get an EIN (Employer Identification Number), and where you can go for help. (Note: you need to know your business structure before applying for an EIN.)
You can find out about business licenses here. You will need to see what licenses you are required to have. Zoning and building, environmental concerns, health and safety concerns will need to be addressed.
A not-for-profit is a way to start a business and give back to the community, too.
You will need to register your business name. Be sure to check to make sure your name is available – or if it is already actively in use.
Find out more about taxes and insurance in the State of Illinois.
- Illinois Department of Revenue
- MyTax Illinois
- NOLO - Illinois State Business Income Tax
- State of Illinois - File Business Taxes
You might want to get property damage, liability and business interruption insurance coverage. Is there specialty insurance your business may need? Be sure you are protected.
Your business plan is the foundation and framework for your business: a blueprint for success. Lenders, possible investors and others will be interested in seeing your plan. A clear business plan can make a difference in the success of your business.
A business plan is often about 20 pages long and has your Executive Summary, Business Description, Management, Market Analysis and Strategy, Customers and Competition, Operations and Financial Analysis.
Here is a useful guide:
The Library has access to several online databases that will be helpful for business research, including: