How do I get started?
If you are brand new to owning a business, the best way to get started is to consult some of the startup advice available online, and to make contact with two of the organizations that excel in coaching entrepreneurs: the Small Business Development Center and SCORE. Georgia’s Small Business Development Center provides a Start-Up Basics guide, www.georgiasbdc.org/pdfs/StartupBasics_v1.pdf, which provides an overview to starting your own business. You may also want to begin with a local site, www.snellvillebusinesstoolbox.com, or the federal Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov. You’ll find contact information for the SBDC and SCORE in the General Assistance section of this website.

Is there money available to help my business get started or grow?
Most startup businesses are self-funded (savings, family, friends), and those looking to grow often seek out traditional lending from banks. Also, there are some non-traditional resources available. Please refer to the Financial section of this website for assistance. You can also find more information on the State of Georgia’s website:www.georgia.org (under the Business Resources drop-down menu, click on “Financial Assistance” in the Small Business Resources section). Entrepreneurs often ask about the availability of grants. While grants exist, they tend to be rare and tied either to a particular geography or industry subsector. You can find information about federal grants by visiting www.grants.gov.

Do I need a business plan?
A business plan is highly recommended. For startups, it’s the best way to create a roadmap for the early days of the enterprise. For small businesses looking to grow, a plan will be a must when seeking loans. Consult our General Assistance section for help with business plans.

Where do I get a business license?
For businesses located in unincorporated Gwinnett County, consult the County government. If the business will reside inside city limits, the license will come from the respective city government. The Business License section of this website provides the contact information for all of these offices.

What support does the Chamber provide for startups and small businesses?
The Chamber and its Economic Development department offer a number of support services for small business. Chamber membership features a multitude of programs, events, and more. Contact the Chamber at 770.232.3000 to speak with a representative who can discuss those of greatest benefit to your business. The Economic Development department publishes the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Guide, collaborates with the entities listed in the Guide to optimize the entrepreneurial climate in Gwinnett, posts demographic and socioeconomic reports on this website, and conducts an annual business plan competition (see www.amazingentrepreneurcontest.com).

Didn’t find the answer you need in these FAQs? Email entrepreneurship@gwinnett.com.