Whether you’re just starting out or have had your own small business for years, from time to time everyone needs information on some topic. Whether it’s tax law or how to come up with a new marketing plan, it can be hard to find reputable advice on the internet.  These are the sites I’ve found to be most helpful — whether you need information on a specific topic or just want to stay up to date on the latest trends.

sbalogo1. US Small Business Administration – http://www.sba.gov/

The SBA website is a great tool for those just starting their own business and existing owners.  The Small Business Planner is a great area with steps to manage your business from start to finish.  The services and tools areas will help existing businesses in areas such as financial assistance, disaster recovery, online training and current laws and regulations.  The site also contains an area to help you find local resources.  While this site isn’t the easiest to navigate, it does contain a vast amount of information.

SCORE logo2. SCORE – http://www.score.org

SCORE is a great organization that provides free and confidential business advice throughout the entire country.  They have helped over 8.5 million small businesses.  Although this site just launched an online business community, I’d suggest using it to find local, free, face-to-face consultations.

inclogo3. Inc. – http://www.inc.com

 Yes, Inc.com is the website for the Inc. magazine.  It may contain a lot of commercial ads but it also focuses on advice, tools and services for small business owners.  The site is organized very well and the interface is intuitive.   It’s a great way to stay informed on the latest business news. When I need a little motivation, I like to read the success stories.

AMEX OPEN logo4. OPEN Forum – http://www.openforum.com

The OPEN forum is a community site sponsored by American Express designed to help your business grow.  Don’t have an AMEX Card?  You can still participate by using your LinkedIn account.  The content is organized into innovation, lifestyle, managing, marketing, money, technology, and the world.  This isn’t one of the sites I visit the most, but when I do visit I’m often lured into some very thought-provoking discussions.

bgov_logo5. Business.gov – http://www.business.gov

The Business.gov site is the “official business link to the US Government” but it’s also a surprisingly good site.  The site is very easy to navigate and provides a huge amount of information. Like other business website, there’s a community forum area where you can ask questions.  The site also contains contact information for other government agencies.  I’ve found this site to be one of the most helpful resources for business law, covering topics including advertising, online business, finance, privacy and safety.

Know of any other good sites? I’d love to take a look at them — please leave me a comment below.

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