How do I become a client?
First step would be to fill out the request services form and choose the location closest to you. SBDC staff members will contact you with the next steps.
How do I sign up for a workshop?
Our calendar is packed with workshops, seminars, and other events for you! Stay up to date! Please note that each center maintains its own client onboarding process and its own local workshop schedule.
How do I find out which center is closest to me?
Find your center by using our locations page.
Does the SBDC give out loans?
The SBDC is not a bank and does not fund loans; however, if you would like assistance in assessing your funding options, fill out the request services form and choose the location closest to you. SBDC staff members will contact you with the next steps, which can include assistance with your financial projections, finding available loan options for your business through our banking partners or outside grants, and more.
Don’t know what kind of business help is appropriate?
Use our Problem/Solution Chart below. It contains 20 commonly asked business questions to help you find out if you should enroll in an SBDC workshop or see a counselor for one-on-one assistance.
|I need more clients using my services or customers visiting my store. What should I do?||Visit our Calendar of Events page and enroll in a marketing strategies class or speak to an SBDC advisor about creating a marketing strategy for your business.|
|My business runs short each month. I need a business loan. How should I approach this?||First, chat with an SBDC advisor to help determine if you really do need cash or if you can identify ways to increase revenues, lower costs, or improve cash flow strategies.|
|I’m ready to start a business. What do I do to get started?||Consult an SBDC Center and schedule an appointment. Your advisor will address in detail how to obtain a business license, create a business plan, obtain funding, and more. Also, try visiting our resources page, which contains an array of helpful links and organizations that can provide information on starting a business.|
|Puedo reciber asistencia en Español?||Si, tenenemos asesores que le pueden asistir en su idioma. Por favor visite nuestra página de ubicaciones y busque bajo idiomas para averiguar qué idiomas se hablan en nuestros diferentes centros.|
|I have a business idea, but need to bounce it off somebody before I start it. How can I meet with one of your SBDC advisors?||The SBDC can help! Your advisor will likely walk you through recommended research you may consider conducting, and bring to light the initial business costs, location considerations, feasibility, and more. If you are an existing client, make an appointment with your SBDC advisor to review your idea. If you would like to become a client and consult with a SBDC advisor, fill out the Request Services Form.|
|How do I set up my payroll accounts, and what does the state of California require from employers?||Visit our Calendar of Events page and sign up for one of our workshops that outlines the legal, tax, and licensing requirements for small businesses. You’ll find it very helpful! If you need some 1:1 assistance, you can schedule a time to chat with your local SBDC advisor.|
|How do I get a fictitious business name?||First, here’s info on who should file:
Persons doing business for profit under a fictitious name (does not include surname in company name).
The statement must be filed in the county of principal place of business, and may also be filed in other counties as long as the requirements for filing in the county of principal place of business have been met.
Non-profit corporations, organizations, or associations are not required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement.
Second, view the info on how to file in LA County.
Also, consider attending a “Starting Your Small Business” workshop for this and similar information or meeting with an SBDC advisor.
|I need to get a bank loan, but don’t know where to start or what banks to approach.||Most SBDC Centers offer loan application assistance and will consult you at no-cost on what bankers look for from business owners. Your SBDC can also help you create your financial projects, guide you with your business plan, and help you find funding through our banking and grant network. If you are an existing client, feel free to contact your SBDC advisor. If you would like to register to become a client of an SBDC near you, submit a Request Services Form.|
|Should my business be a partnership or a corporation?||Enroll in a business structure workshop or talk to a business advisor about the benefits of each. Consider visiting the business planning section of our resources page for more information.|
|I am about to sign a lease. Can someone review it?||Absolutely! Sign up to see an SBDC advisor; or if you are an existing client, you can call your advisor. We can offer guidance on what to look for in a lease, how to ask for favorable terms, and explain the implications of the commitment.|
|How do I get an EIN (Employer Identification Number)?||Our SBDC advisors can assist you with the IRS website and the online application form. However, for more information on applying for an EIN from the IRS, view more details here.|
|I’m past-due on my payables and not collecting on my receivables. Please help!||Work with an SBDC advisor to determine the cost of your goods or services, examine ways to make your business more efficient to reduce costs, and discuss strategies for improving your cash flow.|
|Someone has asked me for financial statements for my business. Where do I get those?||You should track your business progress financially with an ongoing bookkeeping system. Enroll in a SBDC taxes and record-keeping workshop to help you develop a bookkeeping system, get training in Quick Books, or help you understand how to read your financial statements like a pro!|
|My business is doing fine, but I’m thinking I want to do more with it. What’s the best way to do that?||Our SBDC advisors can certainly help! We can provide you with options, then assist you whether it’s with succession planning, creating a growth plan, or something else. Schedule an appointment with your advisor to consider your options and develop a plan of action, or sign up for an advisor if you do not have one. We also have great partners, like the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, which help admitted small businesses create a growth plan at no cost and can provide practical business education, networking opportunities, access to capital, and more. Ask your advisor about your options!|
|I’d like to find someone to invest in my company. How do I do that?||One of the incredible benefits (at no-cost) of being an SBDC client is the access our clients receive to networks of investors, grant funding opportunities, community loan programs, and more. Call us today to find the SBDC closest to you at 1-866-588-SBDC or visit our locations page to schedule an appointment. An SBDC advisor can help you review your company’s needs, offer assistance with your pitch, connect you with our networks, and more!|
|People keep telling me I should sell to other countries, but I don’t know how to do that. Can the SBDC help me out with that?||The LA SBDC Network is very proud to have an excellent international trade team of advisors throughout our service territory that can help you with everything from export financing, to booking your first international shipment, to importing, finding suppliers and more. Our network also boasts a special partnership with the Southern California District Export Council, which gives our clients access to not only our international trade experts, but also 40 DEC members all specializing in different areas of international trade, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.|
|I’d like to get government contracts. What are the requirements?||Most SBDC Centers offer workshops on certification, SBA 8A process, and information which outlines the basics of government contracting and procurement. Check our Calendar of Events for class listings, visit the federal and state resources section of our site, or schedule an appointment with your local SBDC Center. The LA SBDC has various advisors throughout our tri-county territory that are specialists and can help you prepare and apply for government contracts.|
|I have employees, but am not sure I’m meeting all federal and state requirements. What should I do?||We would highly suggest registering for one of our “becoming an employer” or similar workshops, which discusses requirements and resources on meeting employer requirements. Of course, you can always schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor at your convenience.|