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INFORMATIONAL MATERIAL







TENNESSEE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

CLEVELAND STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

3535 ADKISSON DRIVE, CLEVELAND, TN 37312

TECHNOLOGY BUILDING, ROOM 126

PHONE: 423.478.6247 FAX: 423.47
8
.
6251

WWW.TSBDC.ORG


Formulating &
Evaluating Your Business Concept:

What business are you in?


Researchi ng the fol l owi ng web si tes coul d prove hel pful:



http://www.sba.gov



http://www.tool ki t.com



http://www.tn.gov



http://www.tech2020.org


Ask yoursel f….



What busi ness am I i n?



What are my goal s and objecti ves? Can I reach them?




What products and servi ces wi l l I offer?



What are the needs my products and servi ces meet?




Who are my target customers?



What are the characteri sti cs of my “i deal ” customer?




What benefi ts wi l l my customers get from my products and servi ces?



What needs do my products and/or servi ces ful fi
l l?



What makes my products and servi ces uni que to my customers?



What wi l l the customer pay for my products and servi ces?




How bi g i s my trade area?



How wi l l I reach, recrui t, and retai n my customers?



How much demand i s there for my products and s
ervi ces?



Am I capabl e of del i veri ng the servi ce? Produci ng the product?



How much of the market can I capture?




Where wi l l I l ocate my busi ness?


So you must do a l ot of research…


Vi si t the Busi ness Resource Center of the TSBDC for reference
materi al, gui des, and assi stance on researchi ng your market and
busi ness


Consi der the fol l owi ng ways to research your market:



Intervi ew potenti al customers



Observe your competi tors



Vi si t competi tors that operate outsi de your target area and be observant!



Tal k to exi sti ng or previ ous busi ness owners



Tal k to trade buyers or suppl i ers



Read trade publ i cati ons



Vi si t websi tes of competi tors



SITES FOR SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

US Smal l Busi ness Admi ni stration



http://www.sba.
gov

TN Smal l Busi ness Devel opment Centers


http://www.tsbdc.org

Smal l Busi ness Devel opment Centers


http://sbdcnet.org

Smal l Busi ness Legal Gui de



http://smal l busi ness.findlaw.com

Low cost corporate/LLC fi l i ngs onl i ne


http://mycorporati on.com

SBA fi nanci ng your busi ness/loans



http://www.sba.gov/fi nanci ng

Federal grant resources




http://www.sba.gov/expandi ng/grants.html

Entrepreneur Magazi ne’s Smal l Bus. Onl i ne


http://www.entrepreneurmag.com

Inc. Magazi ne’s Smal l Busi ness onl i ne


http://www.i nc.com

Busi ness Week onl i ne




http://www.busi nessweek.com/smal l bi z

Busi ness pl ans by
Busi ness Pl an Pro


http://www.bpl ans.com


DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION


US Census





http://www.census.gov

Easi Demographi cs




http://
www.easi demographi cs.com

Mapti tude Demographi cs




http://www.cal i per.com

New Strategi st Demographi c Books



http://www.newstrategi st.com


IRS INFORMATION


Internal Revenue

Servi ce Smal l Busi ness


http://www.i rs.gov/smal l bi z

Internal Revenue Servi ce Si te Index



http://www.i rs.gov/si temap

IRS Forms/Publ i cations




http://www.i rs.gov/formspubs


FOR PATENT AND TRADEMARK


US Patents and Trade Marks Offi ce



http://www.uspto.gov

Trademark Center




http://www.tmcenter.com

US

Copyri ght Offi ce




http://www.l oc.gov/copyri ght


FOR OTHER REQUIREMENTS

AND INFORMATION


US
Ci ti zenshi p and
Immi grati on

Servi ces


http://www.usci s.gov

Busi ness forms





http://fi ndforms.com

“Lectri c Law


l egal forms and hel p



http://www.l ectl aw.com

C
orporati on

i nformati on




http://www.mycorporati on.com

Mobi l e credi t card processi ng



http://squareup.com













SBA WEBSITES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

http://www.sba.gov



SBA LOAN PROGRAMS



http://www.sba.gov/financing




FEDERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS


8(a) Business Development Program



http://www.sba.gov/8abd/

HUBZone






https://eweb1.sba.gov/hubzone/internet

SUB
-
Net






http://web.sba.gov/subnet

Central Contractor Registration



https://
www.bpn.gov/ccr/

Small Business Investment Com. (SBIC)


http://www.sba.gov/content/sbic
-
program
-
0

New Markets Venture Capital Com. (NVMCC)

http://www.sba.gov/about
-
sba
-
info/11384

USDA Loan

and Grant

Program
s



http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/bprogs.htm



WEBSITES FOR DOING BUSINESS IN TENNESSEE:

http://tn.gov


Tennessee Smal l Busi ness Devel opment Centers


http://www.tsbdc.org

Cl evel and State

Smal l Bus. Dev. Center



http://www.cl evel andstatecc.edu/sbdc/

Economi c Communi ty Devel opment



http://www.state.tn.us/ecd

SBDC Internati onal Trade Center




http://websi te.i exporti mport.c
om/

TN Smal l
B
usi ness Informati on Gui de



http://www.state.tn.us/ecd/res_gui de.htm

TN Secretary of State





http://www.tn.gov/sos

TN Busi ness Name Search





http://tnbear.tn.gov/ECommerce/NameAvai l abi l i ty.aspx

TN Fee Schedul e for Corporati ons, LLC and Partnershi ps

http://www.
state.tn.us/sos/forms/corpfeeschedul es.pdf

TN Dept. of Revenue Sal es and Use Tax Gui de


http://www.state.tn.us/revenue/taxgui des/sal esanduse.pdf

TN Trademarks Informati on




http://state.tn.us/sos/bus_svc/trademarks.htm

TN Di vi si on of Regul atory Boards




http://tn.gov/commerce/boards/i ndex.shtml

TN Dept. of Labor and

Workforce Devel opment


http://www.state.tn.us/l abor
-
wfd

TN Dept of Labor and Workforce Dev. Empl oyer Servi ces

http://www.state.tn.us/l abor
-
wfd/mai nempl oyer.html

TN Workers Compensati on




http://www.state.tn.us/l abor
-
wfd/wcomp.html

TN Unempl oyment Servi ces




http://www.stat
e.tn.us/l abor
-
wfd/esdi v.html

TN Worker’s Comp., Unempl oyment Insurance Forms

http://www.state.tn.us/l abor
-
wfd/mai nforms.html

TN
N
ew Hi re Reporti ng





http://www.tnnewhi re.com

UT Center for Industri al Servi ces and the Tennessee

Manufacturers Extensi on Program




http://www.ci s.tennessee.edu/




FORMING YOUR ORGANIZATION

WHAT LEGAL FORM IS BEST FOR ME?


One of

the first executive decisions you’ll make for your new business is deciding what type of business
organization is best for you. Listed from the simplest to the more sophisticated, the four types are:


SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP

is a business with one owner and the most common. A business organized as a sole
proprietorship is not separate from its owner, but merely a different name with which the owner represents
him/herself to the public. The owner is the business and the busine
ss is the owner. They’re inseparable.


Thus, a sole proprietorship is known as a pass
-
through entity. This means that all income and expenses pass
through to and are filed as part of the owner’s personal tax return. If there is a business loss, the owner w
ill
enjoy a deduction to offset personal income. However, if the business makes a profit, the owner is responsible
for any taxes due.


With few legal requirements, sole proprietorships are easy to form and operate. They can also be more
affordable since no

legal documents need to be filed in most cases. Basically all one has to do to form a sole
proprietorship is get a business license and begin operations.


Although the sole proprietorship does have the advantage of simplicity, the negatives can steer
entrepreneurs
away from this form of business organization.


The disadvantages of a sole proprietorship stem from its very nature


the business and the business owner
are inseparable. This leads to three potential problems.


First, owners can lose some lu
crative tax
-
free fringe benefits because they cannot participate in company
funded employee benefit plans like medical insurance and retirement plans. Second, whoever sues the
business actually sues the owner. The owner’s personal exposure is unlimited. Fi
nally, the business owner is
personally liable for the debts of the company, and unfortunately, personal assets can be taken to pay
company obligations.


PARTNERSHIP

is similar to a sole proprietorship but has two or more owners and is not a separate legal

entity
from its owners. Unlike the sole proprietorship however, the partnership can hold property and incur debt in
its name.


In general, the partnership shares the same advantages and disadvantages as the sole proprietorship.
However, the partnership ha
s an additional drawback. A partner can be held liable for the acts of the other
partners, increasing personal liability.


Tax treatment of the partnership is also slightly different. Although it is a pass
-
through entity and does not pay
its own income tax
, the partnership does file an informational tax return with the IRS. The pro
-
rata share of its
income and expenses are shown on each partner’s personal return. Taxes due are paid by the partners.

CORPORATIONS

were conceived to solve the typical problems o
f the partnership. Incorporating allows a
group of entrepreneurs to act as one, much the way a partnership does, with one important advantage. Since
the corporation is a separate legal entity capable of being sued, it can protect its owners by absorbing th
e
liability if something goes wrong. In recent years, the corporation has developed as a a tax reduction and
planning tool.


A corporation is essentially an “artificial person” created and operated with the permission of the state where
it is incorporated.

It is a person like you but only on paper. A corporation is brought to life when a person, the
incorporator, files a form with a state known as the articles of incorporation. The owner of a corporation is
known as a shareholder.


Since a corporation is a
separate legal entity, the corporation actually owns and operates the business on
behalf of the shareholder, under the shareholder’s total control. This separation provides a legal distinction
between the owner and the business and provides three important

benefits.


First, it allows you, the owner, to hire yourself as an employee (typically as the president) and then participate
in company funded employee benefit plans like medical insurance and retirement plans. Second, since you
and your company are now
two separate legal entities, lawsuits can be brought against your company instead
of you personally. Third, when debt is incurred in the company name, a separate legal entity, you are not
personally liable and your assets cannot be taken to settle company
obligations.


S CORPORATIONS

are the same as any other business corporation with one important difference


the IRS
allows it to be taxed like a partnership, a pass
-
through entity.


When business corporations are created, they are all regular “C” corporati
ons. This special filing status is
elected by filing the IRS Form 2553. Many people begin corporate life as an S corporation when there are
losses to offset their “paycheck” income and then revert to Corporation status when the corporation begins to
make t
axable profits. It is important to remember that being an S corporation is a tax matter only.


LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES

are the newest form of business organization. Available in 49 states, it is a
hybrid entity that blends favorable aspects of the corp
oration and partnership. The LLC features pass through
taxation of the partnership and limited liability of the corporation. You may choose to see it like this


the LLC
is a partnership that offers the limited liability protection of a corporation. Or con
versely, it is a corporation
that is taxed like a partnership. Yes, it is much like an S corporation without the shareholder limitation.


The limited liability company is a promising type of business entity, but it does haqve a couple of
disadvantages. Fir
st, its newness means that law regarding the LLC is still evolving and some issues regarding
its operation remain unsettled. Also, if the LLC is taxed as a partnership, business owners will lose some
company
-
funded benefits.




SELF
-
ASSESSMENT: DO YOU HAVE

THE RIGHT STUFF?


The following websites may prove helpful

in your self
-
evaluation:

http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/startup/areyouready.html

http://web.sba.gov/sbtn/sbat/index.cfm?Tool=4


Ask yourself these important questions!


How will my business affect my family?


How much of my personal resources am I willing to risk?


Do I have the physical stamina to run a

business?

Do I have the emotional stamina to run a business?

Is my drive strong enough to maintain my motivation?

Am I a self
-
starter?


What are my objectives? My

goals? Are they attainable? (Identify 5)

How will I know I have attained my goals?


What ski
lls and experience do I bring to the business?

How well do I plan and organize?

How good am I at decision
-
making?

Do I get along with different people/personalities?

Am I a good listener? Do I listen to “respond” or to “identify” needs?


What customer need

will my product or service fill?

Do I understand the relationship between product cost, price, and value?

Do I understand the various operations needed to conduct my business?


Why do I think I will be successful in my business?

What is my exit strategy?


Whom do I want on my advisory board and why?


Compile the following:

Credit report:
http://www.myfico.com

Ask yourself: Do I need to improve my credit rating and how?

Tax filings for the last 3
-
4 years

Current/updated

resum
é

List of assets and value/documentation

List of liabilities/documentation

Start
-
up Costs


These are one
-
time expenses that are incurred prior to opening your business. List them by categories. These
costs may include: remodeling and decorating, int
erior and exterior signage; fixtures; telephone installation;
rent deposit; licenses and permits; legal, financial and other professional fees; advertising and promotion;
office supplies; training; etc.




ITEM

COST

Personnel (prior to opening)


Remodeling and Decorating


Interior and Exterior Signs


Installation of Fixtures and Equipment


Telephone Installation


Rent Deposits


Utility Deposits


Licenses


Permits


Professional Fees


Advertising and Promotions


Office Supplies (initial)


Other Supplies (initial)


Training


Legal/Professional


Insurance


Other


Other


TOTAL








BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE


There are no hard
-
and
-
fast format requirements for a business plan. The length and the content will vary
depending on the
complexity of the business and the market. The following is a typical format that is effective
for both startup and expanding businesses.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Key elements of the business plan in one or two
pages



Brief descriptions of the
business and the
market



Brief description of the management team
& related experience



Summary of financial projections



Amount of investment requested, the form
and how the proceeds will be used


COMPANY AND INDUSTRY DESCRIPTION



The concept


what is the
product and/or
service



Principals and the roles they will play



Legal form of business



Short
-
term and long
-
term goals



History of the industry



Number and kinds of firms in the industry



Major influences, government regulation,
etc.


MARKETING



Description of m
arket


size, growth rate



Description of the segments to be pursued



Who makes the buying decision and on
what basis


price, service, features, etc.



Comparison of important aspects of the
product with the principal competitors


price, service, features, e
tc.



What are the key competitive advantages?



Marketing schedule


who is to do what by
when and the projected cost



Results expected and contingency plans



PRODUCTION



Facilities and equipment required



Capacity and output targets



Sources of raw material and

supplies



Labor requirements


skills, numbers,
unions



Outsourcing or subcontracting
considerations



Quality control and customer service



Packaging and shipping


PERSONNEL



Individuals responsible for finance,
marketing, production and management



Who is
accountable to whom



Anticipated needs for additional personnel



Personnel policies


FINANCE



Include underlying assumptions, i.e.:
continuation of trends, competitors’
responses, technolog
ic

changes, customer
needs, etc.

A. Funding Request



Desired financing


sources of funds/uses of
funds



Future financing

B. Past & Current Financial Statements



Profit & Loss



Balance sheet



Cash flow



Personal Financial Statement





COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICES


Bradley Co
unty

County Clerk:
Donna Simpson

155 Ocoee St., Room 101 (Courthouse)

Cleveland, TN 37311

Phone: (423) 728
-
7226

Fax: (423) 478
-
8845

Hours of Operation: M
-
Th, 8:30 a.m.
-

4:30 p.m.; Fri., 8:30 a.m.
-

5 p.m.


McMinn County

County Clerk:
Evonne Hoback

5 South Hill St., Suite A

Athens, TN 37303

Phone: (423) 745
-
4440

Fax: (423) 744
-
1657

Hours of Operation: M
-
F, 8:30 a.m.
-

4 p.m.; Sat., 8:30 a.m.
-

noon


Meigs County

County Clerk:
Janie Myers

17214 State Highway 58 N.

Decatur, TN 37322

Phone: (423) 334
-
5747

Hours of Operation: M
-
Tu & Th
-
F, 8:30 a.m.
-

4:30 p.m. (Closed Wed.); Sat., 8:30 a.m.
-

noon


Monroe County

County Clerk:
Larry Sloan

103 College St.

Madisonville, TN 37354

Phone: (423) 442
-
2220

Fax: (423) 442
-
9542

Hours of Operation: M
-
Tu & Th
-
F, 8:30 a.m.
-

4:30 p.m.; Wed. & Sat., 8:30 a.m.
-

noon


Polk County

County Clerk:
Angie Sanford

P.O. Box 158

6239 Hwy 411, Office #102

Benton, TN 37307

Phone: (423) 338
-
4526

Fax: (423) 338
-
4551

Hours of Operation: M
-
F, 8:30 a.m.
-

4:30 p.m.