5 Helpful Government Websites for Small Business Owners

By Rieva Lesonsky

One key to success for small business owners is to accept help whenever it’s offered, whether it’s guidance about applying for a small business loan or advice on small business marketing. The federal government is a great resource for entrepreneurs, offering everything from useful websites to free business counseling. If you need help (and what small business owner doesn’t?) check out these informative websites:

BusinessUSA: Whether you’re starting out, growing your business, looking to export or need help with hiring, Business.USA.gov is a great place to start. Part of the Obama Administration’s effort to consolidate data and make it easier for small businesses to get the information they need, the website is a one-stop platform offering information about federal programs from 14 different government agencies. Don’t see what you need? BusinessUSA wants feedback on what they can do to make the site better, so let them know what you’re looking for.

  • If you’re contemplating hiring foreign workers, you’ll need to pay a visit to the USCIS website to learn the correct steps and what’s involved in the process. Helpful guides are available for download on such topics as “How do I hire a foreign national for short-term employment?” and “How do I sponsor an employee for permanent residence?” You can also find Employment Eligibility Verification forms and new instructions on how to use E-Verify.

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center:  The Internal Revenue Service maybe be getting bad press right now, but the agency offers a lot of help to small business owners. The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center has more than just tax information (although tax information is incredibly important from the time you start your business). Learn about how to get an Employer ID Number (EIN), the rules for hiring an independent contractor, the Affordable Care Act and more.

  • For the latest in small business news from the White House, check the Small Business section of Whitehouse.gov. The site lists press releases and news on small business from other government websites, plus general information useful to entrepreneurs such as the small business hiring tax credit, how to eliminate capital gains and more. You also get access to the President’s weekly address on video.

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