Skip to main content

Resources for small business owners

Entrepreneurs deserve a fair chance at business ownership

We work to help small businesses access the credit they need and deserve by increasing awareness in the small business lending marketplace.

See what we are doing.

The CFPB and other government agencies help ensure equal credit opportunities by enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) which applies to both business and consumer credit. ECOA makes it illegal for a lender to discriminate based on a business owner’s race, sex, religion and other characteristics in any aspect of new and existing business loans.

Learn more about credit discrimination and your rights.

Help for minority-, veteran-, and woman-owned small businesses

The Minority Business Development Agency  (MBDA), SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership  and Veterans Business Outreach Center  (VBOC) provide educational and financial resources to small business owners in these populations.

Support for starting a business

For help preparing your personal finances for entrepreneurship, check out our free resources on planning for life events and large purchases , organizing your finances  and understanding credit reports and scores.

Other great resources include the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Commerce’s websites, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Money Smart for Small Business guide . For general advice and training, check out the Small Business Development Center's website .

Banks and credit unions are important sources of capital. You can find a list of banks through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation  (FDIC) (including minority-owned depository institutions ), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency , and Federal Reserve ’s websites. To learn more about credit unions visit  or use this tool to search for ones in your area . Find a list of certified community development financial institutions, specialized in lending to underserved people and communities .

You can also take advantage of the following information, resources, and organizations that can help you plan and start your small business:

  • Census Data . Find census information on the demographics of your community including population, housing, and the economy.
  • IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center Portal . Find answers to small business tax questions, plus access to forms and publications, a video library, an event calendar and other online tools and products.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA). Get help starting your business. The SBA maintains district offices in all 50 states to provide resources, training, and specialists to help start and grow businesses. Information is also provided on contracting opportunities with the Federal Government.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Money Smart for Small Business . The FDIC’s Money Smart for Small Business portal offers a variety of training modules and other resources for those interested in starting and managing a small business on diverse topics from financial and risk management to tax planning, information on banking services, insurance options, and organizational structures.
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Get advice and training for your small business. There are nearly 1,000 local SBDCs available to provide no-cost business assistance and free and at-cost training to new and existing businesses.
  • Social Security Online . Find information about a variety of social security resources for small businesses and their employees.
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Department . Comprised of 12 different agencies, the Commerce Department promotes job creation and economic growth and works to strengthen America’s position in the global marketplace including the Minority Business Development Agency.
  • U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics . Find information on U.S. working conditions, labor market activity, and price changes in the economy.
  • U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefit Security Administration – Provides small business owners with information they will need to provide employee benefits, such as a 401(k) plan or health insurance, to their employees.
  • U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEACs). Find information about export assistance programs and services. Each U.S. Export Assistance Center is staffed by professionals from the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other public and private organizations that have expert specialists available to work with businesses to realize export opportunities.
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office . Find information on how to apply for U.S. patents and register trademarks.
  • SCORE Association . Get a mentor for your small business. SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. SCORE offers free business training on many subjects.
  • SBA resources for LGBTQ+ owned businesses : The SBA has compiled resources and information to support the LGBTQ+ business community.
  • The Library of Congress resource guide for individuals reentering society : Many justice-involved individuals find that it may be advantageous to start their own businesses. This compilation of guides links to credible resources on the topic of starting a business.

Support for funding a small business

For information on how to fund your new or existing small business, check out the following:

  • GovLoans . Research many types of federal loans for your business and learn how to apply through programs of the Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies.
  • . Explore the official access point for grants administered by government agencies. Start your search for grant opportunities and check “small businesses” in the eligibility box. To read the full eligibility for each grant and apply through, register an account first.
  • Banks are one of small businesses’ most important source of capital. Both large banks and smaller banks (often called “community banks”) lend to small businesses. You can find lists of banks provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation , the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency , and the Federal Reserve .
  • Credit unions are another importance source of small business credit for their members. Find out more about credit unions  and search for credit unions in your local area .
  • The banks and associations of the Farm Credit System  are key providers of financing for small farms and other agricultural businesses across the country. Of special note are offerings of these financial institutions to young, beginning, and small farmers.
  • Mission-based lenders have a particular focus on providing credit to traditionally underserved and low-income communities and individuals.
    • Community Development Financial Institutions  (CDFIs). CDFIs are specialized, mission-driven financial institutions that create economic opportunity for individuals and small businesses, quality affordable housing, and essential community services throughout the United States. View a list of certified CDFIs available at the site in both English and Spanish.
    • Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) often promote the economic viability of minority and under-served communities, and MDIs make a greater percentage of small-business loans to minority borrowers than other financial institutions. The FDIC maintains a list of MDIs nationwide .