Online Grant Directory

When it comes to online research sources for funding, you won't find a more exhaustive resource than the Foundation Directory.


Kabbage is a funding option for small businesses.

Startup Cost Calculator

This is a tool for calculating costs for your startup business.


LiquidSpace is a website designed to provide access to lists of daily and hourly office and meeting space rental based on location. You are able to search for spaces that you can then rent (or use for free) by a daily or hourly rate.

Secretary of State Guides to Business Formation

The Secretary of State has created guides for various business structures such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, nonprofit etc.


LivePlan is an online business planning and management software.

Ohio Business Central

The most frequently used business forms from the Ohio Secretary of State can be completed online. The new system, Ohio Business Central, helps both streamline and simplify the submission process to start a business and to manage required filings throughout a businesses’ lifecycle.

SBA Business Plan Information

This section of the SBA website contains specific information on business plans and how to write them. This can be a great first step when writing your business plan.


GoFundMe is an online crowdfunding website for individuals, non-profit organizations and small businesses. Crowdfunding is a way to acquire funds for a project or business by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people over the internet.


Square allows a small business to accept credit cards on their mobile phone.


Dropbox allows users to install a Dropbox folder on their various computers, phones and tablets. This folder will synchronize between all devices so the user has those documents on all their devices. Folders can also be created and shared with other users of Dropbox.


Carbonite offers data backup for businesses to make sure that crucial information is protected if a computer becomes compromised. is a website that can be used to gain employment data and post available positions for startup companies.

IRS Information on Employee versus Independent Contractor

This page outlines the various aspects to consider when determining if someone is an independent contractor or should, instead, be listed as an employee. There can be negative consequences if they are not properly labeled so it is important that you understand the difference before hiring.

SBA Employee Handbook Template

The SBA provides a free template that covers the basic areas of an employee handbook and can be customized using your company’s specific policies.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides employment data for a wide variety of categories. They include national compensation data, earnings by demographics, and employment projections. If you are planning on hiring employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics website is a great resource to gain important information.


Docstoc offers documents and resources for small businesses and professionals. These include employee applications, business plan templates, employment contracts etc.

Microsoft Word Employment Application Template

Microsoft provides free templates for Word. They include some general employment applications. These can be used as a guide when creating an application for your business for potential employees.

Ohio Revised Code

The Ohio Revised Code includes all legislation filed with the Secretary of State’s office.

Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen

CCLK is a shared kitchen and food business incubator in Cleveland, Ohio. Their goal is to increase the success rate of local food businesses in Northeast Ohio.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact provides professional email marketing support for your small business.

Guerrilla Marketing

‘Guerrilla Marketing’ is a marketing method that relies on low-cost or no-cost techniques to get your company’s message out.

Wall Street Journal - Small Business Marketing

The Wall Street Journal offers content specifically created for small businesses and start-ups.


Launchrock is a website that allows users to collect interest and build an audience before they launch their product.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords is the platform that Google uses to advertise on searches. This platform also allows advertising on other websites that utilize Google Adsense, which allows you to place Google ads on your website as an income source. Google Adwords also has a keyword tool to research the popularity of your keywords. Google Trends and Google Insights are tools that allow you to compare the interest of popular topics by various criteria.

Entrepreneur Magazine is a magazine and online media resource designed to support entrepreneurs in companies of all sizes and sectors with information about marketing, sales, operations, funding sources and many other topics.


License123 is a website that provides license requirements for various business types and industries.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office website contains information on patents and trademarks and allows you to search for patents and trademarks. The site also contains information on intellectual property law.

Google Patent

Google Patent provides an easy way to search existing patents and research patents that have been issued.

City Feet

City Feet is a website that provides commercial properties available based on location. The site offers searching by for-sale and for-lease.

Loop Net

Loop Net is an online resource that provides listings for commercial real estate. It includes various property types and the ability to search for-sale and for-lease locations.


Bizfilings provides legal assistance and do-it-yourself legal forms and processes for small businesses.

Legal Zoom

Legal Zoom is an online resource that provides legal assistance for businesses and individuals. They provide documents and instructions for starting your business, applying for a trademark, and information on commercial real estate leases.

Cleveland Area Community Development Corporations (CDC)

When it comes to community funding, make sure to check with the council person for your city to see if there are Community Development Corporations (CDC) in the area. They may have designated money towards economic development.  Here is a list of several CDC’s in the area. 

Foundation Center

The Foundation Center connects non-profit organizations to resources. It maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grant makers and their grants.


PayPal is a website that allows users to set up accounts with which they can send and receive money. PayPal also has a program called PayPal Here. PayPal Here provides a credit card reader that attaches to smart phones to take mobile payments.

The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)

The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) is a non-profit organization based in Columbus, Ohio, that helps provide funding opportunities and technical assistance to start-ups and existing companies.

Business Loan Funds

Business Loan Funds is a website dedicated to finding loan opportunities for small businesses. The site includes federal and local loan programs.


Indiegogo is an online crowdfunding website that allows individuals to use its platform to raise money. Crowdfunding is a way to acquire funds for a project or business by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people over the internet.


Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Crowdfunding is a way to raise money for a project or business by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people over the internet.


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. SCORE offers many free services and events such as counseling and mentoring and is there to mentor entrepreneurs along the way. Check out to find a local chapter to connect with.

SBA SizeUp Tool

The Small Business Administration SizeUp Tool can help you map and locate your potential customers, suppliers and competitors. It’s a great tool to see what’s happening in your area relative to the type of business you are in.

U.S. Census FactFinder Tool

The US Census FactFinder Tool is a great way to research demographics data for a location. This can be used gain insight into a location or to choose between various locations based on desired criteria.

Business Advisers of Cleveland

Business Advisers of Cleveland provide counseling sessions for those that are starting their own business or have questions on how to run an effective small business. They offer entrepreneurs, owners, and managers an opportunity to receive advice and free, unbiased answers to their business-related questions.

Business Plan Pro

Business Plan Pro is a software program that offers various business plans and business plan templates to assist in creating a plan for your business.

Microsoft Office Business Plan Template

Microsoft Office has several business plan templates. This one was created by SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives).

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

Small Business Development Centers have a unique collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) and provide counseling to small businesses. They provide a wide array of technical assistance for small business owners.

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC)

The regulatory body in Ohio that handles all workers compensation is the Ohio BWC. It will be important to work with the Bureau when establishing your business, especially when having employees.

Ohio Secretary of State

When starting a business, you will need to file your business with the Ohio Secretary of State. They provide a guide to Name Availability which will come in handy when deciding on a name for the business. They also provide documents that outline the exact steps for registering various business structures.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The IRS is a bureau under the Department of the Treasury and will be an important agency when owning a small business. The IRS regulates taxes and enforces the Internal Revenue Code.

The Ohio Business Gateway

The Ohio Business Gateway provides Ohio-specific information for starting a business. The information includes steps for filing with the Secretary of State and a section for industry specific licenses and regulations.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The Small Business Administration is a government agency that supports small businesses in various ways. The SBA assists in acquiring loans, proving information and counseling small business owners.