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Iowa Small Business Development Centers

Workshop Calendar
Online Resources
About Us

Starting a Business

Our professional advisors offer counseling at no cost, access to subject matter experts, other resources, and answers to your questions.

Counseling is designed to fit your needs. You can find your local counselor by contacting the service center nearest you. Click here to go to our list of service centers. If you’re still not sure, feel free to contact our State Center and we’ll help you find the service center that serves your region.

We offer a variety of affordable training classes. Our Smart Start classes are designed for those considering going into business or who have just started their business but need more information to be successful. Go to our workshop calendar to view all of our upcoming workshops.

Many entrepreneurs have common questions and you should go to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page before you contact a counselor or request assistance. The answer you seek may already be listed.

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Virtual Advisor is an introduction to many topics important to new businesses. The Iowa SBDC version of Virtual Advisor is sponsored by U. S. Bank. It requires Adobe Flash Player to operate properly. If you have never owned or operated a business before, we recommend you view Virtual Advisor in its entirety. There are both English and Spanish links. Please note that these training workshops require Adobe Flash Player and will not open on Apple products such as iPhones and iPads.

Virtual Advisor Link

Virtual Advisor en Español

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Below are some more resources for entrepreneurs who are considering starting a business or who have been in business only a short time. There is a separate section for links to assistance specifically designed for Veterans. For actual templates or forms used by our regional service centers, please go to the Forms and Templates section below. Any opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed on these linked documents, publications and websites are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Iowa SBDC.

Business Planning You Can Do
The Facts About Starting a Business
Iowa MicroLoan Program Brochure
Acquiring a Small Business Loan
Iowa Procurement Services Brochure
How to Write a Marketing Plan
Business Feasibility
Financing E-Businesses
Contents of a Good Business Plan
8 Things Remarkably Successful People Do
IRS Publication 583 – Starting a Business
and Keeping Records
IRS Publication 334 – Tax Guide for Small
IRS Publication 4591 – Small Business Federal
Tax Responsibilities
IRS Recommended Reading for Small Businesses

Online Subscription Sites

IRS E-news for Small Businesses
Social Security Administration – W2 News Email Updates
SBA Email Updates
SCORE E-newsletters
US Dept of Labor Email Updates
Intuit Small Business Blog

SBDC Forms and Templates

Iowa Western SBDC_Business Plan Template 2013
Iowa Western SBDC_Business Startup Checklist 2013
Iowa Western SBDC_Local Small Business Guide to Being Found Online 2013
Iowa Western SBDC_Small Business Startup Guide-Iowa 2013
ISU SBDC_Guide to Writing a Practical Business Plan 2013
Kirkwood SBDC_Business Plan Summary Template 2013
Kirkwood SBDC_Cashflow Projection Worksheet 2013
Mid Iowa SBDC_Developing a Business Plan
Mid Iowa SBDC_Sample Cash Flow 2014
North Central Iowa SBDC_Smart Start Packet/Small Business Guide
Southeastern SBDC_Business Plan Template 2013
Southeastern SBDC_Business Plan Sample 2013
UNI SBDC_Business Plan Guide for Start-up Business Owners 2013
UNI SBDC_Cash Flow Template 2013

Veteran Links

Boots to Business Program
Home Base Iowa Program
VetBiz Resource Center
SBA Office of Veterans Business Development
Veteran-Owned Businesses
Veterans Resource Center
Yellow Ribbon Education Enhancement Program
Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Joining Forces Initiative
Veterans Business Outreach Center
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities
Operation Endure & Grow
Veteran Women Enterprise Program
National Veteran-Owned Business Association
Veterans Employment & Training Service
Veterans Business Network

Useful General Links

U.S. Small Business Administration
SBA’s Small Business Learning Center
America’s SBDC Biz Blog
Determine if Your Business is a Small Business
SBA’s Size Standards Tool
Business Owner’s Toolkit
Iowa Area Development Group
Quicken Home and Business
USDA Rural Development Briefing Room
IEDA Resources to Grow Your Business
HUD Small Business Resource Guide
US DOL Small Business Resource Center
Entrepreneur Small Business Resource Center
Wall Street Journal Business Page
Small Business Playbook
30 Terrific Tools for Small Businesses
SBA Business Resource Guides
Business USA
What is a Small Business?
Different Iowa Business Structures
Iowa Secretary of State

ROI Calculator on Accounting Software

Business Planning

Be sure to review the business plan templates in the left column under Forms and Templates.

SBDCNet Business Plans
Business Model Generation
Business Model Fiddle
Business Model Generation – Canvas

Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

We have several links for entrepreneurs with disabilities on our Growing a Business page.


vFinance Venture Capital/Angel Investors
Credit Card Review Guide
Iowa Revolving Loan Funds
NestMint Equity Seed Fund

Insurance / Affordable Care Act

Check out this free webinar and more on our Videos & Podcasts page.

Changes Impacting Small Employers and the SHOP Opportunity
Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace for Small Employers
Notice of Coverage Options under the Affordable Care Act (from US Dept of Labor 09/11/13)


Iowa Inventors Group
National Congress of Inventor Organizations
Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

Marketing Marketing Strategies
Duct Tape Marketing
Free Marketing Resources – Marketing Strategies
HubSpot Marketing Hub
Small Town Marketing & Advertising Info
Creating the Right Business Card
Creating a Great Business Card
7 Ways to Make Your Business Card Your Best Marketing Tool
Social Media Tool Kit


Small Business Tax Credit Calculator
Tax Implications in Starting a Business


Internet Technology Resources – SmartBiz
Info on Social Media – Socialnomics
Social Media Tool Kit

Young Entrepreneurs

SBA Young Entrepreneur Resources
NCI SBDC Youth Entrepreneur Academy 2012
Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement of Central Iowa
Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa
Junior Achievement of the Siouxland
Young Professionals of Ames
ISU Youth Marketplace Program
Iowa State Entrepreneur Club
Young Professionals Connection of Greater Des Moines
Network of Young Professionals of Quad Cities
Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship
Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program
Young Entrepreneur Council
An MBA Student’s Guide to Entrepreneurship

IRS “Starting a Business” Links

Includes links to basic federal tax information for
people starting a business, as well as information
to assist in making basic business decisions.

A-Z Index for Business
Is It a Business or a Hobby?
Choosing A Business Structure
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Business Taxes
When do I Start my Tax Year?
Checklist for Starting a Business
Types of Retirement Plans
Industries/Professions Tax Centers
State Government Websites
Other Government Small Business Resources
Businesses with Employees
Ten Tips to Help You Choose a Tax Preparer
Points to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Tax Preparer

Documents, Forms, & Templates
Starting a Business
Growing a Business
Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery
Business Succession
Videos & Podcasts
Free Online Business Training
Have a Question?
DOT Contractors & Subcontractors


Funded in part through a
cooperative agreement with the
U.S. Small Business Administration.

An outreach program of the Iowa State University College of Business.

© 2014 Iowa Small Business Development Centers | Credits: Development | Login

Workshop Calendar
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