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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(Click on each question for an answer.)

I want to start a small business – where do I begin?

This can certainly be a daunting question. First, make an appointment to receive counseling, free of charge, from your local SBDC. Among other talents, our advisors are adept at helping you write a business plan, the "roadmap" for your venture. If you or your business is in New York, click here to find the SBDC nearest you (if you're in another state or U.S. territory, click here to find a roster of websites for other SBDCs). Assistance from an SBDC is available to anyone interested in beginning a small business for the first time or improving or expanding an existing small business, who cannot afford the services of a private consultant.


I’ve heard of grant money being available to start my business – how can I find out more about it?

There exist several fine websites (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance) on which one can search for available grant monies. Keep in mind, however, that our experience shows that grant money is rarely – if ever – made available to for-profit ventures for purposes of obtaining capital.


If that's the case, then – where is the money?

Keep in mind that the SBDC is not a lending institution. However, each SBDC in New York has cultivated a relationship with their local banking community. While that is no guarantee that your loan will be approved, advisement from an SBDC counselor might better position your company to get the funds you need.

Under certain circumstances, the Small Business Administration will guarantee a percentage of business loans for qualified small businesses. Information regarding their loan programs can be found here.


Where in New York should I call for information on permits and licenses?

You should visit the NYS Business License Center at (518) 453-8130 or http://licensecenter.ny.gov/business-licenses. This website is an interactive website that helps users determine their New York State permit and licensing requirements. 


Where can I obtain low-cost health insurance for my business?

The State of New York has developed the Healthy New York Program. It is a “program designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage to their employees, dependents, and other qualified individuals.” You can also reach this program at 1-866-HEALTHYNY (or 1-866-432-5849).

In addition, several small business organizations feature group health insurance as a benefit of membership.


Where in New York can I register my business as a corporation?

You should visit the site of the Division of Corporations within the New York Department of State. They’ll have answers to your questions.


Where can I obtain a Federal ID number?

Also called a "Federal Tax Number" or "Employer Identification Number," it is granted upon completing IRS Form SS-4. You can obtain this form in Portable Document Format (PDF) at the IRS web site, or by calling 1-800-829-1040.


What assistance is available for veterans?

The SBDC operates the Veterans Business Outreach Program to provide targeted training, counseling, and mentoring to help veterans and their businesses. In New York State, contact John Narciso, Regional Coordinator, toll-free at 1-877-875-VETS (8387) or via e-mail.


Dale Rice, Director
SUNY Canton SBDC
Wicks Hall 023
Canton, NY 13617

Phone: 315-386-7312
FAX: 315-379-3814
sbdc@canton.edu