Startup Basics

You know entrepreneurship is for you. But what are the steps to starting a business -- and what's the best business to start? We've got answers to all your questions, including how to find great small business ideas, choose a name and write a business plan, in our startup basics library.

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Startup Basics

You know entrepreneurship is for you. But what are the steps to starting a business -- and what's the best business to start? We've got answers to all your questions, including how to find great small business ideas, choose a name and write a business plan, in our startup basics library.

April Chen (right) and a team member at her pop-up in Boston.

For Young Entrepreneurs, Starting a Business Is a Juggle

April Chen, a recent graduate of Babson College, looks back on balancing a startup business with student life.

LLC or Corporation - which way should you go? Deborah Sweeney of breaks down the differences. (Credit: Bruce Mars, StockSnap)

What’s the Difference Between LLC and Corporation?

Deborah Sweeney of answers a frequent question from small business owners, about the type of business they should form.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, the founder of Policygenius, was fearless in building her insurance startup

This Founder Didn’t Let Rejection or Sexism Stop Her From Building a $130 Million Insurance Startup

In a conversation at Policygenius’s new office, CEO Jennifer Fitzgerald talks about her entrepreneurial journey — and why she’s built an insurance platform only a millennial could love.

For small business owners, forming an LLC is an important step. (Credit: Mimi Thian on Unsplash)

Everything You Need to Know About Forming an LLC

Deborah Sweeney of provides a step-by-step tutorial for business owners on how to start an LLC, or limited liability company.

No, I’m Not Just a Freelancer. I’m Running a Business

Author Stephanie Krikorian on how artists, writers, actors and designers can shake the “unemployed” reputation and get respect (and legal protection).

Social entrepreneurs can use the same “lean startup” techniques for innovation that are used in Silicon Valley. (Credit: Ben White on Unsplash)

Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs Want to Solve Big Problems. Here’s How They Can Do It.

Ann Mei Chang, author of Lean Impact, says those looking to start a nonprofit or social enterprise should fall in love with the problem.

Two-thirds of funeral directors are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Credit: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

What’s the Best Small Business to Start, If You’re Just 1 Person? The Answer May Surprise You

If you’re interested in becoming a solo entrepreneur, check out this list of highest-earning business ideas.

Solo entrepreneurs need to think about self-employed retirement plans and health insurance, on top of running a business. (Credit: Upsplash)

A Simple Guide to Self-Employed Retirement Plans and Insurance

Myles Ma of Policygenius explains how to build your own benefits package, including health insurance for small business owners.

If You’re Tired of Working From Starbucks, You Might Want to Try This Elegant Alternative Workplace

That favorite restaurant, where you’ve enjoyed dinner? It might just be the best place to do your remote work.

How to Come Up With an Off-The-Charts Brilliant Business Name

Follow these three steps to avoid hard-to-pronounce or silly names…like “Safetynuts,” says Jennifer Fitzgerald of Policygenius.

The Muse co-founder and CEO Kathryn Minshew (pictured), and WayUp co-founder and CEO Liz Wessel talk with PolicyGenius about the challenges, opportunities, and excitement of being a female CEO in the tech startup world. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

3 Women in Tech Spill Sure-Fire Tips for Startup Success

The female founders of The Muse, WayUp and Policygenius share their best advice, including: “It takes grit to be great.”

You may have lots of questions about what terms like "doing business as (DBA)" mean. Deborah Sweeney has answers. (Credit: PXHere)

1 Acronym That Every New Business Owner Should Know

Here’s a hint: You’ll likely need this before opening a bank account.

Participants of Techstars Austin, one of the business accelerator's 40 offerings, listen in on important startup lessons. (Credit: Rodney Martinez, Techstars Facebook page.)

Techstars Is On the Hunt for Brilliant Startups With 1 Key Trait. Do You Have It?

The Boulder, Colo.-based tech accelerator looks for all-star teams when deciding who to accept into its 40 international business programs.

Writing a business plan? Follow these tips from MyCorporation CEO Deborah Sweeney. (Credit: Starc Starc, StockSnap)

Relax, a Business Plan Isn’t That Hard. Here’s How to Write One in 7 Steps

It’s the cornerstone of your business — and you’ll likely need one when you seek financing.

18 Startup Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

18 Startup Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

The team at Funders and Founders has illustrated — literally — the slip-ups that could cost you your business.

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Other Resources

Writing a Business Plan

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers advice on writing business plans and templates to guide you.

Bplans has hundreds of sample business plans, broken down by industry, along with tips on how to write your own.

SCORE, a non-profit association dedicated to helping small businesses, has business-plan templates of various types available for download.

Startup Accelerators for Women

Astia is a global not-for-profit organization that supports women as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses. The startup accelerator offers access to capital and assistance in developing the executive leadership of women.

EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is a national competition and executive education program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs.

Project Entrepreneur is an accelerator for women entrepreneurs offered by the Rent the Runway Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the popular clothing rental company.

Springboard Enterprises is a global virtual accelerator where entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts meet to build women-led businesses.

Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab from Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership is a yearlong residency program for women entrepreneurs.

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