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Startup resources

If you're interested in starting a business, check out these key sites.

By Anne Field

(Fortune Small Business) -- The links below can help you in your quest to launch a successful business.

Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur?

10 cool colleges for entrepreneurs: These universities offer some of the most innovative programs for fledgling business owners, FSB explains.

SBA's Small-Business Planner: The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a ton of tools to discover if you've got what it takes.

Advice from SCORE: The nonprofit, which labels itself "counselors to America's small business," offers a probing questionnaire for would-be entrepreneurs.

Wikipedia's definition: Review the online consensus on just what is an entrepreneur.

Pinpoint an opportunity

National Federation of Independent Business: The nonprofit advocacy organization, which represents small and independent businesses, offers seven lessons for business innovators.

SBA's Ideas, Inventions and Innovations: More big thinking on ideas, inventions and innovations courtesy of the SBA.

Business 2.0's 20 Smart Companies to Start Now: Howard Schultz, Steve Case, Vinod Khosla, and other major investors share their best startup ideas.

Make sure it's viable

SCORE's advice on analyzing the market: You think your concept's great, but will others? The nonprofit offers tips.

Write a business plan

An overview from the SBA: Sure writing it on a napkin can create the spark, but if you want loans or need to grow, a business plan is key.

Resources from SCORE: The nonprofit offers an overview as well as business plan templates.

Setting up a structure

An overview from the SBA:What's the best form of small business for your concept?

Business 2.0's How to Build a Bulletproof Startup: Here's a 16-step guide to help you do it right.

NFIB's Business Structure 101: The four options are described.


An overview from the SBA: The basics on raising capital.

NFIB's Financing Alternatives When Starting a Business: Most startups don't have the option of bank financing, here are some alternatives.

Business 2.0's 5 Ways to Start a Company (Without Quitting Your Day Job): It's sensitive ground, but if you're itching to break out of the cubicle you may not have to leave to explore the entrepreneurial waters.

Next: Ultimate Small-Business Resource Guide: 6 steps to creating a super startup Top of page

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