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TOP 10 QUESTIONS ASKED AT THE SBDC.

Question: What is  the NMSBDC and what they do?  
Answer:  The New Mexico Small Business Development Center network is partially funded by United States Small Business Administration and New Mexico state legislature to provide no cost small business assistance to existing business owners and potential small businesses in the state of New Mexico. There are 19 SBDC centers and 7 satellite locations 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 at no-cost. Trainings and workshops are offered generally at low- to 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.  
"WarningCompanies advertising free monies to start a business usually 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 and can even soar up into 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 is “buyer 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 a voice mail option 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:  Find the SBDC in your local area by visiting www.nmsbdc.org or simply call 1-800-281-7232 and let us direct you to the closest center.

Question:  Will the SBDC write a business plan for me?
Answer:   Typically we do not write a plan for you. However, one of our highly skilled and trained business advisors will guide you through every step in the process. 

Question:  How long will it take me to write the business plan?  
Answer:  The length of time it will take is dependent upon the type and reason you are needing a business plan. Contact an SBDC Business Advisor for more guidance and direction. 

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, experience and passion.