Skip to main content

Business Research: Startup Resources: Getting Started

a guide to library resources and online tools for writing a business plan and preparing a business startup

Business Plans: Online Resources

These free online resources will provide you with an introduction to the elements of a business plan and advice on writing one.


Local Business Mentors & Training

Madison County is fortunate to have three small business centers and two chambers of commerce. Each provide resources, training, advice, and contacts.

Women's Business Center of North AlabamaWomen's Business Center of North Alabama - The WBCNA provides one-on-one, personalized business coaching free of charge. They guide their clients through the process of writing a plan and starting a business. They also coach existing business owners on specific issues.

Small Business Development Center / UA Huntsville - The UAHuntsville SBDC serves clients at the UAH campus. Assistance includes direction in the following areas: startup counseling, business managment, coaching, licensing, taxes, business accounting, marekting, feasibility studies, human resources, and developing a business plan. - from the website

Small Business Development Center / Alabama A&M University - The purpose of the Small Business Development Center is to reduce significantly the failure rate of small businesses in seven counties in Northeast Alabama.  The center assists businesses to improve significantly their ability to generate profits; advises potential small business persons regarding the feasibility of a business prior to investing capital; and helps to ensure successful transfer and application of technology in small businesses.

Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County - The Chamber’s Small Business programs are carefully designed to provide assistance, information, networking opportunities and opportunities for growth for woman-owned, small, and home-based businesses. - from the website

North Alabama African American Chamber of Commerce - The NAAACC annually serves over 500 business. The NAAACC serves as a vehicle to enhance African American Businesses and other historically underutilized businesses by identifying business opportunities. providing a resource base, and encouraging members to do business with each other. The NAAACC is affiliated with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Which is headquartered in Washington, DC. - from the website.

Startup Poll

 Why do you want to start a business?

Startup Poll
I'm a born entrepreneur.: 1 votes (11.11%)
I have a great or unique business idea.: 1 votes (11.11%)
The economy is forcing me to create my own living.: 2 votes (22.22%)
I've always dreamed of being my own boss.: 3 votes (33.33%)
I hate my job.: 0 votes (0%)
All of the above!: 2 votes (22.22%)
Total Votes: 9


Check out our catalog to find other books on this or similar subjects.

Local and State Start-Up Resources

STATE OF ALABAMA - Starting a Business - The state provides a list of start-up resources for Alabama business enterprises. Resources include reserving a name, incorporation rules and forms, tax information and forms, and state data sources.

Alabama Secretary of State - Business Services - Business Services administers all business-related responsibilities for the Secretary of State including filing of commercial liens, registering of new businesses, and issuance of trademarks.


Madison County Planning & Economic Development Office - This office provides support for exporters.

Madison County Business License Information - This site provides information about fees, renewals, contact information, and listings for related government bodies and business organizations.


Doing Business with the City of Huntsville - Includes information and forms for applying for various business licenses.

Books and eBooks to Get You Started

Examples of Enterprise Specific Titles

The Library also collects books on starting specific types of business. Below are a few examples of titles in the Reference Collection and in the collections for checkout. When searching for your business idea, try a keyword and "business." For example, search for "craft business" or "travel business." If you don't find a title right for your situation, ask a Reference Librarian for help.

How to Write a Business Plan

In this how-to video from the Small Business Administration, you'll learn the basics of writing a business plan.

Video Producer: Small Business Administration

Video Length: 2:27 minutes