Here you will find resources that help self-employed individuals start and operate their businesses.
Starting a Business
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- Steps to Starting a Business
Learn essential steps you must take to legally operate a small business.
- How to Become an Independent Contractor
Learn how to legally operate as an independent contractor, including compliance with tax and employment laws.
- Buying Franchises and Other Business Opportunities
Get tips, advice and rules about buying franchises and how to avoid scams.
- Self Employment Assistance for Unemployed Workers
States pay a self-employed allowance, instead of regular unemployment insurance benefits, to help unemployed workers while they are establishing businesses and becoming self-employed. Participants receive weekly allowances while they are getting their businesses off the ground.
Visit your state's small business guide to learn more about startup requirements in your state.
Financing a Business
Federal and state government agencies do not provide grants to self-employed individuals for starting a business. However, there are a number of low-interest loan programs that help individuals obtain startup financing. Visit the Loans and Grants Search Toolto get a full list of grant, loan, and venture capital programs for which you might qualify.
Tax Information for the Self-Employed
- Employer Identification Number
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity.
- Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource
Offers a broad range of state and local tax information including resources for specific industries, professions, self-employed entrepreneurs, employers and small businesses.
- Online Classroom
The Small Business/Self-Employed online classroom has a series of self-directed workshops on a variety of topics for small business owners.
- Self-Employment Tax
The Self-Employment Tax is a social security and Medicare tax for individuals who work for themselves.
- Sole Proprietorships
Provides a listing of tax forms a sole proprietor is to file and additional resources.
Visit your state's tax agency to learn more about state taxes required for self-employed individuals.
- Social Security Information for the Self-Employed
Includes information about how to report your earnings.
- Work Activity Report - Form SSA-820-F4
Social Security benefit claim form for self-employed individuals.
Government Contracting Opportunities
- Small Business Guide to Government Contracting
This guide provides information on programs that help small businesses successfully compete for federal contracting opportunities.