This short video describes how and why to write a business plan, using SBA's free tool at www.sba.gov/business-plan.

Databases (Library card is required to access the databases outside the library.)

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Presents sample plans taken from businesses in the manufacturing, retail and service industries which serve as examples of how to approach, structure and compose business plans.
  • General OneFile (Gale)
    Full-text articles from magazines, journal and scholarly publications about all aspects of starting up and running a small business.
  • Legal Information Reference Center
    Legal Forms for Starting & Running a Small Business from NOLO Press on all aspects of starting and running a business including printable legal forms by state.
  • ReferenceUSA
    Information on over 10 million US businesses. A good resource for compiling and downloading lists of businesses based on a variety of criteria. 

 (Library card is required to register to the online courses.)

  • Start Your Own Small Business
    Gale Courses offers a wide range of interactive courses that can be taken entirely over the Internet. All courses are free and led by expert instructors. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month. (5 free courses per calendar year)

Web Resources

  • Business Plan: A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s resources will provide you with all the information you need to present the route your company plans to take to  This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.
  • Business Law: You don’t have to be a lawyer to open and run a small business. Find out how to handle day-to-day legal issues that could affect your small business with legal resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • IRS: Tax information for small businesses and the self-employed.
  • SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business: Free one-on-one counseling sessions with successful business people, both retired and active.
  • Startup Digest: The personalized insider newsletter for all things startup around the world.
  • Up Global: A non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities.

Business Permits and Licenses

  • CalGOLD: This website assists you in finding appropriate permit information for your business. It also provides contact information for the various agencies that administer & issue these permits.
  • SBA.gov: To run your business legally, there are certain federal and state licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the requirements for your small business.