How Soon Can You Start Applying for Business Grants?

Are you interested in applying for grant funding for your business? With more than 1,000 grants currently available for small businesses on, it is an enticing prospect to consider. But what are the basics you will need to qualify and how soon can you start applying for business grants?

First, let’s establish where you are on the recipient scale below:


This is an individual who usually has incorporated status, such as an LLC, or is a nonprofit leader. An entrepreneur will possess an IRS Federal Tax Identification Number (Tax ID or EIN). Additionally, entrepreneurs will also use private funding, such as personal savings, loans, and funds from family and friends.
> All grants available for entrepreneurs are available here.


A startup may be set up as a business structure, or it may not. Furthermore, a startup has usually been in operation for less than two years. Unlike an existing business, startups rely on venture capitalists, seed funding, crowdfunding and investments.
> Startup grants that are currently available are available here.

New Business

Typically, a new business has been operation for less than two years, which means it is likely that a tax-return has not yet been filed. In addition, the annual profit may not yet exceed $10,000.
> You may find that you are not eligible for most grants at this stage. However, you can still search through the small business grants category. Just be sure to carefully read the eligibility details. In addition, we recommend looking at entrepreneur grants as an alternative.

Established Business

On the other hand, an established business is typically a registered business structure (such as an LLC, “S corp” or “C corp”). In addition, it has to have been in operation for more than two years, meaning it can provide federal tax returns filings for at least the past two years. Furthermore, there are usually more than five employees – but fewer than 500 – and the business has generated some kind of profit.
> Small business (for-profit) grants accepting applications are available here.


Ideally, your business should be at least six-months old before applying for grants listed on Once you have registered your business, you will need to focus on employing staff, generating profit, and creating programs that help to benefit the community. However, keep in mind that grants are typically not for debt, overhead expenses, staff wages, or general operating costs.

About GrantWatch

With close to 8,000 grants currently available, is the leading grant listing directoryAdditionally, upgrade to a MemberPlus+ plan to view the full details of current grants, including eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page, and to see the great value with the top 20 GrantWatch features, click here.

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