In addition to our own SBDC services and those across the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship, we connect entrepreneurs to many resources at the federal, state and local levels. If you need help navigating your options or getting started, contact us.
U.S. Small Business Administration Loans
Start or expand your business with loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. The SBA delivers services to people through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, including the Wisconsin SBDC Network.
WBD Finance Corporation is a private, not-for-profit corporation created in 1981 to assist Wisconsin businesses to gain access to capital, create jobs and promote community development. Working with partners, WBD tailors financing packages to meet customer needs.
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
Focused on women, minorities and people of lower wealth, WWBIC assists individuals who are interested in starting, strengthening or expanding businesses by providing direct lending, quality business and financial capability education and one-on-one technical assistance.
SEC Small Business Capital Raising Tool
The Securities & Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation recently launched a new tool for small business. It’s an interactive capital raising navigator tool. If you are trying to raise equity capital, this is a great resource.
Grow Your Business Through Exporting
Developed by international trade experts and economists, Export.gov provides trusted market intelligence, practical advice and business tools to help U.S. companies expand in global markets.
U.S. Customs Basic Importing & Exporting
U.S. Customs and Border Protection works to reduce costs for industry and enforce trade laws against counterfeit, unsafe, and fraudulently entered goods. CBP is committed to American economic prosperity, public health and safety.
Madison International Trade Association
MITA is a Madison-based organization whose mission is to foster understanding of the issues, practices, information, legislation and trends that affect and influence all aspects of international trade.
Northern Wisconsin International Trade Association
Northern Wisconsin International Trade Association (NWITA) is a non-profit membership organization committed to expanding the knowledge, interest, and activity in international trade in the region.
Law and Entrepreneurship
UW-Madison Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic
The Law & Entrepreneurship (L&E) Clinic provides free legal services to nascent entrepreneurs and early stage companies through the work of law students supervised by faculty and private sector attorneys.
Related: Check out the Entrepreneurial How-To Video Series produced with the Wisconsin SBDC.
Marquette Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic
This clinical program at Marquette University Law School serves entrepreneurs creating new businesses in southeastern Wisconsin, with a focus on clients who can’t afford qualified legal counsel.
SBA Emergency Preparedness Resources and Information
Smart planning can help you keep your business running if disaster strikes. You’ll want to take the right steps to prevent and prepare for disaster, and know where to get aid if disaster strikes.
Marketing & Research
Small Business Administration Online
A wealth of information for businesses.
Sperling’s Best Places
Great website for learning community information and comparative city analysis.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
Extensive information about business in the state of Wisconsin.
U.S. Department of Labor
Valuable information on consumer spending, inflation (includes a calculator) and many other topics.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Primary source for consumer spending and consumer prices. Combined with Census data, this information can help estimate potential sales.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Offers searchable indexes on patents, legal material, patent resources, trademark and copyright issues and much more.
U.S. Census Bureau
Detailed local census data by state, county, city, village, township, census tract, zip code and congressional district.
Better Business Bureau Online
The Better Business Bureau provides instant access to business and consumer alerts as well as helpful resources. You can even file a complaint online.
Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership
WMEP provides technical expertise and hands-on implementation assistance to small and midsize manufacturing firms on strategic reposition, lean services, business process excellence, and lean supplier alignment. Call (920) 366-7532.
U.S. Census Bureau American Fact Finder
The Census Bureau self-service tool is designed to deliver a variety of population, economic, geographic and housing information about the United States to individuals, educators, businesses, governments and organizations.
Internal Revenue Service
Get federal tax information and forms faster and easier by using the IRS site.
DNR Environmental Small Business Assistance Program
Look here to determine your environmental responsibilities in regard to complex federal and state regulations. The program also strives to help small businesses take advantage of the opportunities of sustainable practices.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
NAICS is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.
James J. Hill Business Research Library
Private non-profit business reference library, located in Saint Paul, MN. Since 1921, the Hill Library has housed a world-class collection of practical business information resources and is considered one of the most comprehensive business libraries in the country.
Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce
A membership-based business organization supporting veteran-owned and veteran-friendly businesses across Wisconsin. Advocating for Wisconsin’s veteran business community, and promote economic opportunity for military veterans, military families, and veteran-friendly businesses.
Veteran Business Outreach Centers
Providing business development services to men and women who are:
- Active duty service members, including Guard and Reserve
- Family members of the above
Created to assist women-owned businesses, 45% of all businesses in the United States, grow their business.
Western Dairyland’s Women’s Business Center
Specializing in providing services to assist women entrepreneurs.
Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
The Internet’s largest industrial buying and specification guide to find suppliers.
Wisconsin Procurement Institute
WPI guides, trains and provides hands-on help to firms in developing business, upgrading personnel skills and improving process or technical capability to access and compete in the government marketplace.
Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC)
New product and investment incentives and market expansion opportunities for innovative manufacturers, technology businesses and independent inventors.
Permits & Licensing
Business Development and Government Relations
Find out how to get started through data, tax incentives, and workforce development.
Seller’s permits are required of every individual, partnership, corporation, or other organization making retail sales or rentals of tangible personal property or retail sales of taxable services in Wisconsin.
Register a Business
Register you business with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Employee Identification Number (EIN)
The new Web-based tool instantly processes requests and generates Employer Identification Numbers in real time. Simply answer the questions and receive your EIN immediately after the information is validated. You can download and print the EIN confirmation notice.
Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)
As part of the Small Business Association (SBA), the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) assists women achieve their dreams and improve their communities by helping them start and run successful businesses, regardless of social or financial disadvantage, race, ethnicity, or business background. OWBO and the Women’s Business Center Program are integral components of Entrepreneurial Development’s network of training and counseling services.
Business Owner’s Toolkit
Basic business forms, templates and checklists that you can download to your computer and customize to your needs.
Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse (SBDCNET) serves as a resource dedicated to meeting the information needs of SBDC counselors and clients. Services include a database of forms, documents, brochures and promotional materials; secondary market research data; demographic information location; site location analysis; business plans and financial ratio information; basic patent and trademark searches; pertinent business articles, e-commerce, market research, rural business and site location training.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Enables individuals with disabilities severe enough to prevent them from getting from or keeping a job access to appropriate resources and referral services as well as assistance with developing a business plan and some start-up cost funding.
A national non-profit organization which provides older and disadvantaged individuals with opportunities to learn, work and serve others. Call 608.789.5623.
Try out JobNet, a self-service computer aided system that job seekers can easily use to quickly find available job openings. This service lists your job openings, and has unique customized services including, on-site recruiting facilities, tie-in advertising and screening services. There is also rapid, national exposure for your job listing through America’s Job Bank. They can also help you to better understand your labor market. JobNet is Wisconsin’s single-largest source for job applicants. Call Job Center of La Crosse Help Desk at 608.789.5627.
The Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is responsible for ensuring that small businesses are treated fairly and that they have an opportunity to compete and be selected for a fair amount of the Agency’s prime and subcontracting opportunities.