Want to Start a Business in Delaware?

Capitol building in Delaware.

This page is dedicated to the best resources for starting a business in Delaware.

Learn more about how to start a business in Delaware.

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Business Resources in Delaware

Find the best resources to help create your informal business structure (sole proprietorship or partnership), corporation (S corp or C corp), limited liability company (single-member LLC or multi-member LLC), or how to file a DBA in Delaware.

Use the following business resources in Delaware to learn how to choose the best LLC services, file the Certificate of Formation, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and decide whether you should be your own registered agent or if you should hire a third-party registered agent service.

Becoming an Entrepreneur in Delaware

Just Starting Out

Every Delaware business starts out with a great idea. To get inspiration, you can try our business idea generator that can suggest businesses for you based on your interests and lifestyle.

Once you've found the perfect idea, it's time to create a game plan for your business. This step helps lay a solid foundation for the future of your company. You can move on to planning out your business with our business plan generator or simply browse our selection of startup ideas. We also have several helpful guides for planning out your business:

Coming Up With a Name

One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is coming up with a name and then seeing if it is available in Delaware. We have several naming tools and guides to help you get started with finding the perfect name for your Delaware startup, small business, nonprofit or corporation.

Different Types of Business Formation

A business structure refers to how a business is legally organized. The type of business structure you choose to form your business with can affect how your company is regulated, taxed, and more. Because of this, choosing the best structure for your business is an important decision to make. Below are guides on the different business structures you can choose to form your company so you can learn how to form a business that works best for you.

Forming Your Delaware Business

Now that you’ve created a business plan, found a name and chose your Delaware business structure, it's time to form your business. This process might seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. And if you want to save time and have someone else handle the paperwork, you can use one of our recommended services, like ZenBusiness, which will help to form your company for you or you can form it yourself using our helpful guides and tools.

LLC Checklist

This Delaware Checklist for Starting an LLC covers the necessary steps you need to take when you create your LLC.

Formation Necessities

Here are the required documents and forms you may need to help you get your business up and running in Delaware.

Highly Recommended Services for Your Business

Depending on the type of business structure your choose and how large your business is, you may also want to consider using the following services for your Delaware startup:

Registered Agent

A Delaware registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives legal papers on behalf of your company. These documents include official correspondence like legal summons and state filing notices.

Delaware requires every business to nominate a registered agent when forming a small business. Your registered agent must be a Delaware resident or a corporation authorized to conduct business in that Delaware.

We also recommend hiring a professional registered agent service to provide you with peace of mind and help you stay compliant with the law.

DBA

Filing a “doing business as” (DBA) name, also known as a trade name, is an easy process that is achieved by registering a DBA with the State of Delaware.

Branding

You can probably think of a dozen different companies in Delaware whose brands play an important role in your daily or professional life. Maybe you only buy certain brands or prefer to buy your groceries at one supermarket chain over another. Your dedication to these companies is primarily a result of one thing: their branding. Our branding guides and tools will go over the importance of branding your small business and provide some tips for getting started.

Financing Your Delaware Business

Small business finance is the raising and managing of funds to finance and operate a new small business. This includes banking, small business accounting, building business credit, and raising funds for your business.

When planning your Delaware business, you should determine what types of business funding options your company will need and when. Whether you are starting a low-cost business or starting a high-growth startup, knowing when to get funding and what kind of funding you need is important.

Setting Up a Bank Account

Opening a business checking account is one of the first things you will need to do as a new business. Business banking is a fundamental asset protection requirement for every business and, depending on your needs, may include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and merchant accounts.

Every new and small business needs a business bank account to pay their business insurance, take care of payroll, collect money, and enroll with a merchant account to accept credit card payments.

Check out our guide on the Best Banks for Small Business for help finding a banking account for your business.

Getting a Business Credit Card

Small business credit cards are designed for professional use and provide a line of credit to small businesses while helping to maintain personal asset protection. It is crucial for small businesses to have a small business credit card.

Our guides will help you understand the importance of having a small business credit card and provide the steps for finding and applying for the best credit card for your business.

Finding Small Business Loans

Getting a small business loan is done by applying with a business lender, typically your bank or another lending institution, with the right documentation and your business plan.

A business loan can help to resolve cash flow problems, leverage growth opportunities, and even increase the value of a business. Making sure to plan for a loan ahead of time is extremely important, as is knowing the documentation needed by your lender when you do apply.

Small Business Financing for Female Entrepreneurs

Grants, loans, government contracts, investors, scholarships, advisors, tutorials — there are plenty of financial resources for female entrepreneurs and women leaders, and we’ll help you discover the best ones for you and your business.

Maintaining Your Small Business

Congratulations! Fewer than 14% of Americans have realized the dream of business ownership. To keep your Delaware business running, make sure you keep up with required government filings and maintain a clear record of all earnings and expenses.

Make Sure Your Business is Compliant

When you start a small business, you’ll need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to stay compliant.

Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping

Having a business accountant will help you take advantage of tax benefits and potentially save you and your Delaware business a lot of money in taxes each year.

Finding a business accountant as soon as you start your business will ensure that you have the best advice from the very beginning.

Recommended: Hiring an accountant can save your company thousands of dollars in taxes each year. Get a free tax consultation with 1-800Accountant.

Set Up a Business Phone

Getting a business phone number is important for many businesses. Having a phone number for your customers to contact you with can go a long way in ensuring that your business is viewed as professional, trustworthy, and legitimate. 

There are also different business phone services and answering services that can ensure that you are able to answer more than one call simultaneously and that all of your customers feel heard. Check out our different phone tools and guides to help your Delaware business set up phone services.

Build a Business Website

With growing technology, more and more businesses are going online. We believe all companies need a website regardless of their industry or size to keep up with the times. 

So, how do you build a website? Luckily, technology has recently caught up with the massive demand for tools to simplify website creation. It’s never been easier to build your own website without the need for any web designer experience.

Our tools and guides provide an overview of the steps to build a website for your Delaware business as well as suggestions for which tools to use based on your business type and knowledge level.

Business Resources for Women

Starting your own business is no small feat; thankfully, there are many valuable resources dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs start and succeed. From woman-owned business certification to grants for female entrepreneurs, we’ll help you discover the women's business resources that will help you get the most out of your entrepreneurial journey.

Delaware Business Resources

Delaware SCORE

You can create a free account with this business resource and seek free mentoring and coaching. SCORE will also provide you with helpful online workshops and a variety of business tools and templates to help you write a business plan and grow your startup.

Delaware Small Business Development Center

DSBDC is an agency under the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships that aims to build and support entrepreneurship throughout Delaware. They conduct one-on-one consultations with clients to further grasp their needs and assist them as they start their business.

Delaware Economic Development Office

DEDO is a government agency that will assist you in starting, relocating, expanding and incorporating a business in Delaware. They also offer consultations and meetings for anybody aspiring to build their business in the state of Delaware. Some of their specific services include business evaluation, guidance, support, and resources.

SBA

Small Business Alliance is the affiliate program of the Delaware State Chamber. Its main goal is to improve Delaware’s business industry by nurturing the growth and success of small businesses. It serves businesses with less than 150 employees, safeguarding their sustainability in Delaware’s dynamic economy. The program has the primary mission to provide programs, services and networking opportunities that will help Delaware’s small businesses.

Delaware Small Business Chamber

The Delaware Small Business Chamber is an organization that aims to assist small to mid-sized business owners to start and maintain their business in the state of Delaware and other neighboring areas. Depending on the categories where you need help, the Delaware Small Business Chamber can provide you with resources and assistance in areas such as accounting, advertising, business coaching, social media consulting, web design and development, and many others.

SBA Delaware District Office

The US Small Business Administration, Delaware District Office is one of the major provider of free services to anyone who wants to build a business in the state of Delaware. They will help you with the entire process of building your startup, from starting and managing it to looking for loans and grants and contracting. They also have a learning center where you can access hundreds of useful business resources; not to forget, they offer local assistance as well.

Delaware Small Business Grants

Delaware Small Business Grants is a website that helps you start and grow your small business through several grants which are applicable for women, minorities, and veterans. Some grants under this program worth mentioning are the grants to Delaware residents, businesses, nonprofits, and state agencies for alternatively fueled vehicles, grants to Delaware businesses and municipalities for job creation and brownfields redevelopment and grants to Delaware businesses to defray the cost of skilled workforce training.

Delaware Grant Programs

Delaware Grant Programs under the Delaware Economic Development Office is a great place to look for small business funding. Under this program, there are grants which include the Delaware Strategic Fund (DSF), Delaware Technical Innovation Program (DTIP), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR) Grant Application, Federal Research and Development Matching Grant Program and the Brownfield Assistance Program.

Delaware Community Development Corporation

DCDC is a non-profit organization that lends small business owners long-term funding with low-interest rates and reduced down payments. The organization has been helping small business owners since 1978, enabling them to purchase land, build new buildings, renovate existing ones and buy tools and machineries. DCDC partners with your local bank who will provide 50% of the funding, while the organization shoulders the remaining 40%. The 10% will be raised by you.

Delaware County Economic Development

The Delaware County Economic Development’s competent staff are more than willing to assist you in looking for funding and capital for your Delaware small business. You have the opportunity to avail of the following financial resources: financing options for businesses relocating in Delaware, loans that are within $5,000 to $400,000, with loan term of 5 to 15 years, emergency financing needs, rebuilding of financing plan and federal funding sources.

State Small Business Credit Initiative Program

SSBCI is a loan participation program administered by the Delaware Economic Development Office. The loan program is possible with the partnership of an individual lender and DEDO. It attracts lenders to invest money at a lower cost, enabling small businesses to gain private funding.

1313 innovation

1313 innovation prides itself on a collaborative and interactive environment, that fosters connections to the business community and business leaders. It aims to change Wilmington into an innovative city through strategic alliance and education.

Start It Up Delaware

A program that offers project-based training, monthly events and office space. Supported by a $250,000 state grant to help quality startups grow and expand and develop a sustainable entrepreneurial environment in the state of Delaware.

Delaware Consulting

One of the top consulting firms in Delaware, Delaware Consulting ensures operational excellence and business success even in a challenging economic climate. With a team of seasoned business experts, Delaware Consulting will make sure that your small business grows and expands even with the current economy.

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