When you’re about to start a business in Alabama, you shouldn’t jump in head first with your idea. Instead, you should think about what you can do to have a leg up on the competition. While thousands of businesses in Alabama open each year, the chances that majority of these businesses will succeed long term is very slim (according to statistics).
Although there is no surefire guarantee for starting a successful business, knowing that you have solid resources that make your life easier will give you some leverage as compared to not being a savvy entrepreneur.
That said, in addition to your commitment and passion to succeed as an Alabama entrepreneur, here is a collection of the top Alabama-based resources to kickstart your business.
The Alabama District office of the SBA provides a comprehensive list of business assistance and guides to help you start a small business. In keeping with the mission of the SBA, the Alabama District office provides valuable materials on how to start and manage a business, information on loans and grants for business financing, the basics of contracting, and local events and assistance to help you get started. Aside from this, the Alabama District Office also grants you access to business templates and tools for free.
As a government agency that concerns with aspects of the state’s economic state and development, the Alabama Chamber of Commerce is an information hub for resources related to business, business networking opportunities, and other important business-related information that is useful for entrepreneurs.
Whether you want to start a business, grow it, or find the perfect funding for it, you can rely on the Alabama Small Business Development Center to provide you with the right resources and tools. With seasoned advisors and business counselors, the Alabama SBDC provides an opportunity for startup entrepreneurs to start their business on the right footing even without extensive business background or experience.
The MBDA Business Center collaborates with minority business enterprises for financing and contract opportunities. It also strives to generate and retain jobs through these opportunities. The MBDA Business Center provides consulting services and diversified business programs to its clients to help them achieve their goals.
Mobile SCORE is a subsidiary of SCORE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free business counseling, mentoring and training to small businesses. With Mobile SCORE, a one-on-one business counseling is possible with the confidentiality that you enjoy in a private consulting firm without the huge fee.
With the biggest aim to assist the women of Alabama start their business and make it progress to create economic growth within the state, the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama serves as the premier resource of all business-related information. With full access to these resources and a solid mentoring support, the Women’s Business Center can achieve its goals and develop the small business industry in North Alabama.
With a comprehensive guide on how to form a business in Alabama, the Small Business Community – Alabama has all the necessary resources you need to successfully start. From trainings and assistance, local government resources, licenses and tax registrations to complying with environment regulations, everything’s on here for your easy access.
The Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network aims to connect entrepreneurs to the resources they need to become successful. From computers and other peripheral equipment to strong training, and a vast online resource to help achieve these goals, all these will be provided by the Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network.
The Alabama International Trade Center is a partnership program in collaboration with the US Small Business Administration and the University of Alabama to help promote the export financing program of the SBA in the state of Alabama. The AITC also gives entrepreneurs access to hundreds of free online resource materials that range from how-to guides, training videos, export counseling, website internationalization and more.
What’s more important than a wealth of business-related resource than the Alabama Secretary of State? The Alabama Secretary of State’s office/website should be your number one go-to regardless the kind of business you are starting or the nature of your operations. The SOS’s office is the perfect resource to get started since this is where all rules and regulations come from when it comes to the establishment of your business.
The Auburn Technical Assistance Center features a process improvement assistance program that assists entrepreneurs with improving and growing their business. It is the aim of the ATAC to improve and boost businesses’ efficiency and competitiveness by way of various consulting services, trainings, educational services and outreach programs.
It is the goal of the Office of Small Business Advocacy to give all the help you need to become a successful business and be able to sustain that success in the long run. With staff and employees willing to assist with any of your business concerns, you can be sure to have all the help to run a business.
When it comes to starting a business in Alabama, there may be some licenses and permits you need to get from the Department of Environmental Management in relation to the nature of your business and its operations. Should this be the case, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management can provide you with valuable resources to do so.
Three goals define the existence of the Alabama Microenterprise Network. First, to help microenterprise providers expand and build their resources. Second, give entrepreneurs access to micro-lending opportunities and business assistance. And last, to advocate the public’s awareness of the microenterprise development impact within the state. Check it out!
When you want to start a business in Alabama, this guide will walk you through the essential steps. With simple, easy-to-follow steps, you will be shown with all the important things to do to get started. An Alabama Startup Toolkit is also added to give you an advantage when starting your business.
Forming an LLC in Alabama is has many steps, but it can certainly be done easily if you follow the instructions based on state guidelines. Startup Savant’s ‘How to Form an LLC in Alabama’ guide will walk you through the fundamental steps of forming an Alabama LLC in the simplest way, so you can bring your great idea to life as soon as possible.
A DBA registration is necessary should you want to operate your business under a name aside from the business name you have registered. In fact, you can easily use an assumed/fictitious name as soon as you file an Alabama DBA. You can do this by following this simple guide complete with the necessary details on how to go about each step.
Making a well-informed decision when it comes to the financing capital of your startup requires a thorough understanding of the funding options available. To get you started on making a well-informed decision, our resources on ‘How to Finance a Business in Alabama’ presents five topmost finance options for your consideration. Each option will be briefly discussed and will include a link where you can find an in-depth discussion of that particular financing option.
An Alabama Registered Agent is required when incorporating any kind of business in the state. As a startup entrepreneur, use this guide so you can pick a Registered Agent in Alabama that has the qualifications and competency to handle your business’ legal documents.
One of the structures of which you can incorporate your business in is a Corporation. To form a Corporation, you can follow the steps outlined in our ‘How to Form a Corporation in Alabama’ guide. With a simple and concise step-by-step guide based on state guidelines, you can bring your Corporation to life without any paperwork confusion.
Incorporating is a fairly basic process when you’re starting a business, and using this guide will make the task even much simpler. In addition to the steps of incorporation, viable resources with proven efficiency are also listed in this guide so you can have a few options to save on incorporation expenses while maximizing much needed time for other tasks in the startup process.
With the commitment to provide total assistance to small businesses, SCORE features a lineup of assistance programs and resources encompassing all stages of the startup process to get you started. SCORE offers free business counseling with volunteer mentors all across the country, all certified professionals in their field of expertise. Business workshops and online trainings provided for free or at a very cheap fee are also provided by SCORE. Online access to tools, templates, and guides are also provided by SCORE.
Startup Savant is an online business magazine guide that provides a plethora of business-related information from forming businesses with different structures, to support guides on every facet of the business, and even life hacks and inspirational stories to gear you for business success.
The SBA was created for the explicit purpose of the providing all-around support and assistance to small businesses in the US. The SBA has provided all kinds of assistance to small businesses across the country, from loans and loan guarantees, contracts, business mentoring, business events and workshops, online courses and how-to guides, the SBA has always taken care of small businesses across the country through its district offices.
An inspirational blog, Wealthy Gorilla strives to empower you to do great things and live on your own terms. It strives to inspire and motivate individuals to become better versions of themselves through self-development stories, motivational articles, and inspiring stories from people from all walks of life who have become successful.
America’s SBDC is the country’s most comprehensive business assistance network for small enterprises. It is the primary goal of the SBDC to assist new entrepreneurs realize their dreams of owning a business and to help existing businesses stay competitive and relevant in the industry. No-cost one-on-one mentoring and low-cost workshops and trainings are regularly provided by the SBDC through its local center and affiliates. This is an excellent resource.
Start, run, and grow your small business with the help of Entrepreneur.com. The leading online magazine when it comes to anything and everything related to business insights, Entrepreneur.com not just features stories about business, but it also brings you some of the latest news on business trends and updates.
AllBusiness is another online magazine that features tons of business resources that it has been recognized as one of the world’s largest repository of information and tools for small business access. AllBusiness brings together practical advice and real-world expertise from business experts who have an in-depth understanding of business knowledge and processes. How-to articles, special reports, and weekly business coverage on the latest business trends and updates are also featured in AllBusiness.
The Alabama Grantstar provides small business entrepreneurs with the option of getting funding grants from the federal government, non-profit organizations, companies, private individuals and even communities. The Alabama Grantstar also presents a list of available grants within the state including its program funding costs, the name of the organization giving grant and the contact person.
WomensNet helps you find the necessary capital for your small business through various resources. From business loans to grants to other means of funding, WomensNet provides all-out support so you can find the right one for your business. In addition to that, WomensNet also gives additional resources to get started on owning a business. Links vital to guide you on various grant sources are also available at WomensNet.
The WBCNA features an Access to Capital section where you can learn all that is needed to find alternative means of business financing. Aside from bank financing, this section of the WBCNA features a wealth of information on how to finance your business as well. A local lenders list that supports the aim of WBCNA is also included in this section for your reference.
The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was created for the explicit purpose of increasing credit availability for small business enterprises. For this purpose, the SSBCI provides startup entrepreneurs with all information they need regarding this federal program. PDF guides, detailed description of the program, and other important information is provided.
The Alabama Credit Union helps fund your small business and its needs during startup and operations including building and property acquisitions, business vehicles, financing of commercial property, equipment purchases, and more. The Alabama Credit Union also offers a host of other business services that can help you as a new startup.
If you’re looking to have your business financed through government funding programs, the ‘Access Financing’ tool from BusinessUSA is an indispensable resource you should look into. By following a few simple steps, you can then be easily guided on the best loan programs and grants suitable for your particular business requirements.
The Crowdfund at University of Alabama Birmingham is a crowdfunding platform that can be the perfect meeting ground for small business entrepreneurs and investors. From here, you can have the opportunity to crowd source the money you need to raise to start your dream business.
The Alabama Angel Investors is the perfect place to go if you need business financing through an angel investor. This resource provides you with a list of available angel investors in the state of Alabama and the number of investments made by that particular angel investor.
The Central Alabama Angel Network is an angel networking organization that seeks to provide that much needed capital investment for small business enterprises. With highly successful professionals as their members, they seek to empower motivated aspiring entrepreneurs by providing them with the necessary growth capital needed.
The Auburn Angel Network is an angel networking platform for entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital to start a business in Auburn. Through this angel investing platform, entrepreneurs who show dedication and commitment to starting a successful business can have the chance to do so through the capital they provide.
LiftFund is a Birmingham-based non-profit organization that is committed to help small business owners have a chance at fulfilling their dreams of owning a business by providing access to small business loans. Small business loans up to $500,000 are available and for startups, a maximum of $50,000 can be provided. Business and financial training for both startups and small businesses are also available.
Southern Development Council, Inc. believes in helping the community of Alabama by creating businesses one at a time and generating job opportunities. Through business loan financing for building construction, equipment acquisition, and more, the Southern Development Council, Inc. works with both startup and expanding businesses.
As a startup incubator, the Alabama Business Incubation Network does not only provide loan programs and assistance to startup companies, but it also offers other services such as office space, in-house distributed administrative and secretarial services, and professional business coaching, workshops and seminars.
Crowdfund Connect is an excellent crowdfunding platform in Alabama for entrepreneurs and investors. Aside from being a good crowdfunding platform that provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to start their business, Crowdfund Connect also provides insights as to the most frequently asked questions about using a crowdfunding platform to finance a business.
Alabama Ignite is the perfect gateway movement to inspire entrepreneurship in Alabama by providing you with the necessary resources to get started. It is the aim of Alabama Ignite to help startup entrepreneurs start off on the right footing and become a fully functional business. While some resources and podcasts are available for access, there are also those available only through the membership program.
A part of the program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Alabama Launchpad has helped a number of businesses grow and thrive in the state. To funding resources, business workshops and conferences, the Alabama Launchpad has lined up a steady stream of business assistance services to help Alabama startups.
With the mission to boost the startup ecosystem in North Alabama, Rocket Hatch provides the resources that every small business can take advantage of. Rocket Hatch is a non-profit organization that has paved the way for a collaborative and open startup community that provides assistance in different tasks involved in forming a business.
The perfect co working space in Opelika, Alabama, The Round House provides a conducive working environment to kick off your startup. With flexible membership programs, you can select the best plan that best fits your schedule. So whether you’re only dropping by The Round House for a few days in a single week or you plan install a desk space for a month, there is always something that fits your plans and your startup.
Investor Day gets together both entrepreneurs and investors to connect them and foster an opportunity to grow startups and start new businesses. A host of activities are lined up including speed hatching. In speed hatching, entrepreneurs have the chance to meet investors from various industries and present their startups.
The Northeast Alabama Entrepreneurial Center is a startup incubator that assists startup service companies as well as light manufacturing enterprises with turnkey office space and business coaching. It is the goal of NAEC to provide these resources to boost the progress of home grown companies. NAEC is situated in Calhoun County, Alabama and serves the surrounding areas as well.
Located in the quaint campus of the Auburn Research Park, Auburn University, the Auburn Business Incubator assists startups and early-stage companies by linking them to a vast network of resources from university sources. It is the goal of this non-profit incubator company to improve, support, and start small businesses and boost economic growth in the process.
The Innovation Depot gives startups a competitive advantage through its lineup of business assistance programs and services as a startup incubator. From funding startups, attracting customers, to growing a business, the Innovation Depot has in-house business experts that can provide startup entrepreneurs with the right training.
The Business Innovation Center’s goal is pretty simple – to assist in the launching of small businesses. They do this by providing a fully functioning, competent, and effective office space. With various outreach programs, the Business Innovation Center is opening its doors to entrepreneurs within the Mobile County area to take part in these programs.
The EDGE Entrepreneurship Center’s mission is to provide support emerging businesses with various entrepreneurial skills in a maturing environment so that they can grow and progress in the local community. With this mission in place, the EDGE provides not just the requisite incubation space and virtual and co-working space but also catering to one-on-one counseling and mentoring from business experts.
REV Birmingham fosters business growth through assisting small business owners move their business plan to a real working concept until it becomes a business reality. With REV Birmingham’s Growth and Innovation Team, small business entrepreneurs are oriented and trained on how to define and accomplish their business goals.
The Huntsville Hub is indeed the ideal for your startup business. With our premier office location, you can set up your business conveniently. With a state-of-the-art facility complete with all the amenities, all you have to do now is to focus on your business. They have meeting rooms, dedicated offices, plus pro working services as well.
The Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs’ Bama Technology Incubator is geared towards the development and progress of high-tech businesses. With this goal, this startup incubator administers various programs so that entrepreneurs can operate their business successfully.
The Enterprise Business Incubator provides a host of services to further the development and growth of startup businesses in Enterprise, Alabama. This incubator has successfully graduated a number of manufacturing firms and are now solidly established in their local communities. Aside from affordable office space, business-related seminars, counseling, and tons of resource materials are also provided by the Enterprise Business Incubator.
When you seek professional counseling as you start an Alabama business, one of the best sources for it is the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama. With a team of competent and professional business experts, one-on-one personalized business mentoring are offered on a regular basis. With expertise ranging from marketing and sales to general management to negotiation skills, the WBCNA is a one-stop counseling expert.
Action Coach’s Dave Lakin a certified business coach with a good number of years of experience under his wing. He offers professional mentoring and coaching services to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Huntsville, Alabama and its neighboring areas. His primary goal is to ensure that you get the most of your business and the business itself is set up in a way that fosters success.
iPEC Coach has an extensive database of expert coaches that offer consulting services in various aspects of your daily life. One of these coaching options is business coaching. iPEC Coach has professional business experts that can provide you with information and valuable insights as to how to go about with your business.
With more than a decade’s worth of experience when it comes to representing Alabama clients when it comes to their business interests, the McCartha Law Firm provides you with a variety of services when it comes to business tax matters and other startup issues. It is McCartha Law Firm’s strong belief that helping people should always come first so you’re guaranteed to get the best service from the firm.
If you are in need of professional lawyers for your Montgomery small business, the Anderson Law Firm should be your choice. Whether you need to retain an Alabama small business lawyer or you need legal advice on business formation and reorganization, ongoing legal services for small business requirements or a smooth business transition, The Anderson Law Firm can help you with all that.
The law firm of Satterwhite, Druhan, Gaillard & Tyler Attorneys promises to be there for you right from the start. If you’re gearing up your business to a great start, you can retain the services of this law firm. They have a proven track record of helping small businesses start operations smoothly. In fact, they also offer legal assistance when it comes to business commercial transactions, contracts, litigations, and more.
Trudy Phillips Consulting Service truly provides small business entrepreneurs with client-focused counseling and coaching so you can start and grow into a successful venture. Trudy helps with your entrepreneurial plan and makes sure to assist you if there are areas of the business formation process that you are unclear about.
Nectar Bridge Business Consulting is committed to helping you build a business where you are running it instead of the business running you. They help you build a strategic plan where your business’ direction can be developed. With more than 2 decades of consultancy experience, Nectar Bridge helps you in aspects of project management, technology development, sales and marketing, and more.
Offering a more personalized approach to handling clients’ needs in terms of legal business requirements, Stephen E. Clements has established long lasting relationships with his clients because he believes in providing the best service only. With more than 30 years of experience in business litigation, Stephen offers a full range of legal services and probate administration.
The Leo Law Firm has a team of lawyers who are highly skilled in business law. With this, you are guaranteed to responsive service and dedicated service to your needs. This is because the Leo Law Firm makes your business theirs as well. With expertise in business formation, employment law, lending and fiancé and more, you can be sure that the Leo Law Firm will see through your business from start to finish.
The first order of things to complete when you’re starting a business in Alabama is to get going on that business plan. Writing a business plan places a clear set of goals that your business should achieve along with the necessary steps to accomplish them.
The list of pros as to why you need to write a business plan is endless. If you haven’t written a plan yet, maybe it’s time you get started on one now with the help of a business plan software like LivePlan or a free template online.
There are many legal aspects for compliance when you start a business in Alabama. One of these is legally incorporating your business. An alternative route to personally taking care of this task is using an online incorporation service provider. There are many services available. MyCorporation and CorpNet are two popular options.
A website is a powerful tool to get your business’ message clearly across to your audience, but more than that, it is also an indispensable tool to get new customers.
Building a business website does not necessarily require technical expertise or even thousands of dollars because an assortment of user-friendly website-building tools are available. Two great options are Bluehost and Rainmaker. Bluehost is the more affordable option while Rainmaker is the more comprehensive and premium option.
An accounting software is an essential tool that is vital in keeping your business’ accounting and bookkeeping in order. Compared to manually managing all aspects of your finances, an accounting software features a plethora of modules that is indispensable for producing accurate financial reports and documents.
Start the various stages of starting your business with the best resources out there. Although these resources are not mandatory, the opportunity to starting an Alabama small business using these will be worth your while.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of these resources is it gives you the chance to equally divide your time between tasks and responsibilities, giving you a better grasp not only at starting your business successfully, but also making sure that it’s on the right path to progress.
At the end of the day, these startup resources are just the beginning. When you’ve started your business, maintain the successful pace you have followed and keep on learning, acquiring, and picking up new business skills to counter distractions, stay afloat despite competition, and adapt to changing trends. If you can do this, you’re on your way to becoming a successful business owner. Create a plan – and stick to it.