Category Archives: Startups

Ask SCORE: What are the first steps in starting a nonprofit?

There are many steps between the initial idea stage and an operating 501 (c) (3) organization and the process will usually span a period of a year or more.

After you come up with an idea for a service or a program that can best be developed on a not-for-profit basis, it is critical to find other individuals who share your vision for this idea. These individuals must be willing to share the work involved in getting your idea off the ground and serve as your starting board of directors.

It is also important that your board offer financial support, as the level of board support is a question that other funding sources will often ask. It is helpful if board members with specific skills can be recruited; e.g. an accountant and/or a lawyer as well as people experienced in the field of service you hope to provide.  Continue reading

Every business deserves planning.

Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of dismissing the value of planning for your business. Every well-run business needs to manage strategy, tactics, milestones, metrics and essential business numbers.

Do it right, and planning is easy to do, great for managing and developing accountability.

Remember these two key points:

  1. Good planning doesn’t require a big, formal, traditional business plan document. A lean business plan is much easier than a traditional plan. It just consists of bullet-point lists and tables. You can do it yourself.
  2. What really makes the difference is keeping the plan live. It doesn’t take more than an hour or two per month. The planning process means you track results, review, and revise often enough to keep your plan fresh.

Continue reading

5 Key Financial Tips When Starting a Business from Home

By Marco Carbajo

Did you know more than 52% of all small businesses in the U.S. are home based?

According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, making up 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses.

If you are considering or are in the process of starting a business from home, it’s an exciting and important undertaking. And as with any venture, it’s crucial to take the right steps to set yourself up for success.

Part of making sure you follow the necessary steps when starting a business from home can set the foundation needed to be successful. Here are five key financial tips to follow when starting a business from home.  Continue reading

Are you a military Veteran and thinking about owning your own business?

Here are some tools that will make things a little easier.

The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is designed to save you time! BusinessUSA makes it easier for small businesses to access Federal services, regardless of its source. VA OSDBU quickly connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant ‘best-practices’ and information. Collectively, VEP offers direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship.

Start a Business

Start a Business
This interactive tool connects you to the right resources specific to your small business objective. Navigate through relevant topics to access information on starting a business.
Learn how to start a business »

Access Financing

Access Financing
Use this customized wizard to identify financing resources to support the start-up, development, or growth of your small business.
Learn about financial resources »

Grow Your Business

Grow Your Business
Find out how to successfully expand your small business. Explore dedicated subjects with valuable information and resources to help you grow your company.
Learn how to grow your business »

Find Opportunities

Find Opportunities
Become familiar with Federal government contracting programs. Answer a few quick questions in this wizard to find Federal opportunities that align with your small business.
Find Federal government contracting programs » Continue reading

Simple Steps for Starting Your Business

Free Workbook and Online Workshop Series

Simple Steps for Starting Your BusinessMake a smart start on your business idea with the Simple Steps for Starting Your Business series by SCORE mentors, sponsored by Canon, U.S.A.

Watch the online workshop modules and download the free guide to get practical information and exercises that will help you determine whether starting a small business is right for you.

Take the Online Course

Download the Guide (here)


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Ask SCORE: How do I get a business license?

Kitsap County does not require business licenses but the cities of Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and Bremerton each have business license requirements.

NOTE: Businesses NOT physically located in the city, but still doing work there, are required to obtain a license for the city. Business should check to make sure their use is compliant with land use and zoning.

All business must apply for a Master Business License from the Washington State Department of Licensing, which registers the business with the state departments of Revenue, Licensing, Labor and Industries, Employment Security, Secretary of State, and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

A new corporation locating in the State of Washington must file for Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State‘s office, which will issue a UBI (Unified Business Identifier) number.

To make sense of it all, we suggest that you visit our state’s Business Licensing Wizard. It asks a few questions that gives you a personalized list of licensing agencies based on your type of business.