scroll to top
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.

Business & Nonprofit

1. Find the Information You Need to Get Started

Before you even write a business plan, you need to identify your potential competition by performing a competitive analysis.Gather demographic information to understand your opportunities for gaining customers with Gale Business: DemographicsNow. The Small Business Association also provides a list of where to find federal business statistics for your market research

2. Work on a Plan

When you've determined there is a need for your services, you will write a business plan. Gale Business: Plan Builder leads you through a step-by-step approach to completing your business plan and finding funding. Starting a nonprofit? Gale Business: Plan Builder can help you learn the elements you need to know to write bylaws, secure funding, and build your organization.

3. Explore How to Get Funding

Search the Library catalog for Small Business -- Finance or Venture Capital to find materials that can teach you how to get the money and resources you need to grow your business or nonprofit.

4. Find Information on Legal Requirements

How will your company be structured? Legal GPS helps entrepreneurs navigate through the complex legal issues that apply to businesses in their first two years, including how to set up an LLC; how to prepare an operating agreement; how to prepare Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation; how to file for an EIN; why registering a trademark is important; and much more. 

"Put it in Writing": Failure to have agreements in writing leads to needless disputes and misunderstanding, as well as failure to provide a remedy. Many contracts must be in writing to be legal and enforceable. Missouri Legal Forms offers basic forms related to Real Estate; Leases; Corporations; Employment; Wills; Sale of Property; and Loans & Financing.

5. Get the Right Training

The Library is ready to support your training needs. Leading online learning company, LinkedIn Learning, offers on-demand video-based classes in Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Business Analysis and Strategy; and Business Software and Tools. Prefer an instructor? Gale Courses offers a wide range of highly interactive, instructor led courses that you can take entirely online in Business; Law and Legal; Technology; and more.

Library Resources

Other Resources

  • Economic Development Council (EDC) of St. Charles County - The EDC offers information on doing business in St. Charles County, free small business counseling, guidance on financing, and the EDC Incubator an all-inclusive co-working space that includes everything your small business needs to be successful.
  • Missouri Department of Economic Development - Take advantage of the state’s targeted resources, talented workforce, and support for innovation, and start growing your business right here in the Show-Me State. 
  • Missouri SBDC - The Missouri Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) help businesses in every stage. From concept to startup, growth to renewal, mature to succession. 
  • - SCORE provides a wide range of services to established and budding business owners alike, including: Mentoring; Webinars and Courses on Demand; In-person events, workshops, and roundtable discussions.
  • U.S. Small Business Association - Free business counseling; SBA-guaranteed business loans; Home & business disaster loans; help finding and winning government contracts.
  • - Learn the steps to start a small business, get financing help from the government, and more.