If you think you have a great business idea, it’s time to take the first crucial step toward starting your business. Before you hang out your shingle or print your business cards, we suggest you take some time to plan how you are going to execute that great idea.

The best way to ensure your business’ success is to develop a detailed plan to take your product or service to market. This task may sound like daunting, but there are local DCSmallBizHelp providers available to support you.

Your business plan will map out the next steps you need to start and grow your business, including the key areas below:

Regulations (licensing, permits, etc.)

Financial planning (including identifying resources for start-up capital)


Product or service pricing

Financial projections

Business operations, staffing and management


You are ready to make your first sale. We can help you register your business, navigate local regulations and laws, hire the right employees, secure the right location, and find professional service providers.

You will need to register your business. DCSmallBizHelp can provide you with information on all the legal structures (i.e., sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability corporation-LLC, etc.), so that you can choose the one best suited for you.

DCSmallBizHelp providers will guide you through local regulations to ensure you obtain all the licenses and permits required by your business type. We will also help you understand all the local and federal tax and employment regulations and laws with which you will need to comply.

We can help you think through your staffing plan and connect you with resources that can help you find the right employees to support the launch of your business.

DCSmallBizHelp providers can refer you to resources that will help you select your business location in District. We have partnerships with commercial real estate and other professional service providers in fields including legal, accounting, and insurance who can advise you in this critical start-up phase.

In the start-up phase, DCSmallBizHelp providers can support you in:

Registering your business

Business site selection

Obtaining licenses, permits, and any other legal credentials necessary to start your business

Connection to professional service providers

Marketing (including website developments)

Hiring assistance


You have an established business and are ready to take it to the next level. You may be thinking about adding a new location, offering a new product or service, expanding your market, diversifying your sources of revenue, adding new staff members to meet production demands, or becoming a government contractor.

There are lots of factors to consider when growing your businesses! DCSmallBizHelp can support you as you map out and deliver on this next phase of your business’ life.

Some specific areas of support from DCSmallBizHelp providers include:

Access to financing from traditional banks, area Community Development Financial Institutions and DCSmallBizLoans.com

Government contract certifications

Access to government grant opportunities

Assistance in accessing government contracts (local, federal)

Marketing (traditional, social media, and other promotional approaches)

Hiring assistance