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Top 10 Questions asked at the SBDC.

Question: What is SBDC and what they do?  
Answer:  New Mexico Small Business Development Center network is partially funded by United States Small Business Administration and New Mexico state legislature to provide FREE Small Business assistance to existing business owners and potential small businesses in the state of New Mexico. There are 20 SBDCs in the state of New Mexico. Please click on the Locations tab to find the local SBDC office in your area.   

Question:  How much are your services? 
Answer:  Our one-on-one counseling services are no-cost. Trainings offered are generally low- or no-cost.

Question:  Where can I get a grant to start my business?  
Answer:  There are not an abundance of grants available to a business operating under a ‘for-profit’ status. Most grants are designated for non-profit organizations with a theme of helping children, elderly, rural area development, agricultural, social issues, or educational purposes. Rarely to almost never will one find grants to start retail or service business.

Long Answer:  There are a few programs that offered legitimate debt-free (grant) money to for-profit businesses. Most have been in the form of a contest sponsored by a company or organization; which requires a business plan. There are organizations, such as New Mexico Department of Vocation Rehabilitation that provide for-profit business grants to disable individuals.  
Another legitimate grant program offered by the government is the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. These are grants for research and development in the areas of defense, space, high-tech, biotech, energy savings, and recycling, to name a few. The competition is highly competitive and the monies are not usually awarded for expenses such as the purchase of inventory, equipment, working capital, real estate, or advertising.  
"Warning"Companies advertising free monies to start a business usual include an enticement to send money or attend a seminar to learn where and how to get debt-free (grant) money. Usually the fee will be $39.95 to the thousands. Once the material is received, it becomes clear that the information is from the Internet or government records outlining technical assistance programs available to businesses; or money available to non-profit organizations providing health services, business advice, community youth activities or other services.  
The bottom line “buyers beware”. There are many scammers out there waiting to pry on innocent people and will take your money. According to the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Business Commission if the grant requires money up front, it usually is a scam. Before sending money or attending seminars that advertises information about grants:
1.    Make sure the company has a phone number that you can call back. Not just leave a message and they will call you.
2.    Check with "Information" to see if that number belongs to the company.
3.    Contact the Better Business Bureau, the police, and the sheriff office where the company is located. Ask about complaints these entities have on the company. 
4.    Check to see if the company has a pattern of complaints or pending litigation with the city attorney or state attorney general.
5.    If you decide to send a payment, try to send it to a physical address instead of a P.O. Box number.
6.    Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for additional tips www.ftc.gov. 
7.    And contact your local Small Business Development Center for assistance.

Question:  How do I license my business?  
Answer:  See our business guide at nmsbdc.org
Long Answer:  
1) Select a legal business structure:  Sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or Corporation. 
2) Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS.gov) if your business requires one.
3) Obtain a state taxpayer identification number (CRS-1) with the State of New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (www.tax.newmexico.gov).
4) If applicable, request approval of business location (zoning) including home-based businesses from city, town, or county planning and zoning office.
5) Get a license to conduct business via a business registration fee from city, town, or county clerk's office.

Question: Where do I begin?   
Answer:  Well the NMSBDC is a good start. At the NMSBDC they will help guide step by step through all processes involved with your business.

Question:  Can you write us a business plan?
Answer:   Typically we do not write a plan for you. However we will guide you through every step in the process. We also have many examples to follow.

Question:  How long will it take me to write the business plan?  
Answer:  The length of time it will take is dependent upon the amount of time you can dedicate to writing the plan on an ongoing basis. Generally the process will take at least several weeks.

Question:  What is a good business to start?  
Answer:  A good business to start would be one that meets an unmet need and fits your personality and experience.