Small Business on

Historically, GrantWatch, Inc. (,,, and have exclusively addressed small business on MWBEzone’s blog. But at GrantWatch, there is an entire category dedicated to small businesses, as well.

We receive many inquiries from people who want to start a new business. As a paid MemberPlus+, on, perform a keyword search for the phrase "start-up." These would be the grants relevant to start-up organizations.

So, what are the first three things you need to know before beginning a small business?

  1. Determine your business idea
  2. Decide your business’ legal structure
  3. Choose a name for your business

First, write a business plan! Within the business plan, you will answer lots of questions. These may include:

  • Who will run the company?
  • What does the company do?
  • How may the company fare in today’s market?
  • What services or products do you plan to offer?
  • How will you market yourself?
  • Where will you go for funding?
  • How do you project your business will progress?

Having a thoroughly thought-out business plan will help you write the grant proposal, which may ask you to include narratives about your business ideals and direction. After you’ve worked out your business idea, move on to deciding your business’s legal structure.

You will ask yourself the following:

  • How many owners are there?
  • What risks are associated with starting your own business?
  • How do you want your business to be taxed?
  • Will your business benefit from selling stock?
  • What’s the best ownership structure?
  • Do you need to talk to a lawyer?

Next is the fun part. Think of a name for your business! This is not as easy as it may seem. You need to research possible names to make sure they are not already in use. For example, check if the domain name is available online. Check business names with your county clerk’s office. If you want to be a corporation or LLC, check with the Secretary of State or corporate filing office. And, eliminate previously trademarked names.

Now you know the first 3 things to work on before beginning a small business. Remember, before applying for a small business grant, have your business plan ready. To search for small business grants, search or