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Smart Business Essentials

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Practical Business Skills

Getting Started

By starting a business, you help form the backbone of the global economy. Each small business may not employ many people, but combined, the small business community is a powerful force.

According to 2017 data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), companies with fewer than 10 employees make up 70 to 95 percent of all global businesses. In the United States alone, the small business community contributes approximately $8.5 trillion to the economy, roughly half of the total $17 trillion gross domestic product (GDP).

Whether you have an inventive product that will help others or want to pursue a tried-and-true business idea, starting a small business is a dream for many. You could have the opportunity to create your own job, build a business and put others to work.

Being successful can take more than a strong desire or work ethic, although those are important. Having a clear understanding of the steps involved in opening, financing, running and marketing a company could help you determine if you’re ready to be a business owner, and whether your idea could be a success.

Is Starting a Business Right for You?
Learn what it takes to start a business: the important first steps and the keys to success that can distinguish profitable businesses. Learn more

Creating a Business Plan
Learn how to turn your idea into a business plan. Your plan will be a roadmap for your business's future and a tool you can use to raise money. Learn more

Creating a Business
Registering or incorporating your business with the government can make your company more official. More importantly, it can offer you tax benefits and legal protections. Learn more

Financial Basics
Understanding business budgeting, saving and financing is critical if you want to run a successful company. Learn more

Disclaimer: No Legal Advice Intended
This site provides general information related to creating and running a business. The content of this site is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or tax advice or opinions. The contents of this site, and the viewing of the information on this site, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal, financial or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this site, and Visa Inc. disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal or tax issue or problem, including those relating to your current or potential business.

The contents of this site have been developed for a U.S. audience.