Explore these online resources for free with your DBRL library card.
Business Information Guide
Starting & Running a Business
Provides more than 500 sample business plans, templates for pitch presentations, etc.
- Mid-Missouri SCORE
This nonprofit organization offers free business counseling to entrepreneurs and templates and tools for starting or growing a business. Low-cost workshops and other services are also available.
- Missouri Business Portal
This government website provides information on business registration, filings, licenses and permits for doing business in Missouri.
- Missouri Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
Assists entrepreneurs with financial management, marketing, technology, and product development and provides a variety of training opportunities on starting or running a business.
- Missouri Small Business Startup Guide
The Missouri Secretary of State’s guide to starting a small business.
- Missouri Women’s Business Center
Provides resources and support for women seeking to start or grow their own businesses. Their offerings include classes, workshops, networking opportunities, individualized business counseling and microlending.
This nonprofit public/private partnership provides business development opportunities in Columbia and Boone County and supports businesses at all stages, including entrepreneurs. Services include business coaching, training, start-up support, networking, work and meeting space, as well as specialized programs for minority-owned businesses and refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides guides on a variety of business-related subjects, links to state and local resources, a database of over 5,000 forms useful for interacting with the U.S. government, etc.
Financing a Business
- Incentives and Financing (Missouri Business Portal)
The financial assistance page of the Missouri Business Portal website provides information on possible sources of financing, grants and tax credits.
- Small Business Administration
Links for various possible sources of financial assistance provided by the SBA.
Local Chambers of Commerce
- Callaway Chamber of Commerce
- Centralia Chamber of Commerce
- Columbia Chamber of Commerce
- Southern Boone Chamber of Commerce
Local Business Associations & Directories
- Columbia’s Downtown Community Improvement District
- Columbia Minority & Women Owned Business Directory
- Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) – Columbia Area
- National Federation of Independent Business
Information about legislation affecting small business, government compliance issues, etc. (Requires membership for access to all resources.)
- International Franchise Association
Free search for basic information on franchise opportunities. (Requires membership for access to all resources.)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Provides basic information about many business questions.
Local & Regional Business Periodicals
- Columbia Business Times
Columbia-based magazine providing information about local businesses, including advice for business owners.
- Kansas City Business Journal
- St. Louis Business Journal
- Thinking Bigger Business
National Business Directories & Corporate Information
- Reference Solutions
Includes 83 million U.S. businesses and 149 million U.S. residents; useful for developing lists of potential customers, competitors and suppliers. Formerly Reference USA.
Business Reference eBook Collection
LOG IN TO THIS RESOURCE. Provides both entrepreneurs and established business owners how-to information on growing and improving their business. Topics include: demographics, consumer patterns, emerging trends, utilizing the media environment, leadership and organizational skills.
Legal Forms Library
LOG IN TO THIS RESOURCE. Search for and download a wide selection of Missouri legal forms by category or title. Provides an attorney directory and a dictionary of legal definitions.
Reference Solutions (formerly Reference USA)
LOG IN TO THIS RESOURCE. Get information on millions of US businesses, searchable by a variety of criteria including business type, employee size, sales figures and geographic location. Formerly Reference USA.
Small Business Reference Center
LOG IN TO THIS RESOURCE. Includes information on starting and operating a business, including accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, taxes, business plans and more.