12 Jan

How to register my business as a sole proprietorship or partnership in NYC

When registering your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership you need to get a business certificate (also called a certificate of assumed name) from the county in which your business will operate from. Getting the business certificate allows you to do a number of things, such as operate under a different name and open up a business bank account to name a few.

Step 1: Get three copies of the appropriate form. For sole proprietorship form x-201. For partnerships Form x-74. You can get these forms on (http://www.blumberg.com)

 Step 2: Complete the forms and get all three of them notarized

 Step 3: Go to your county clerk’s office to register and get your business certificate

 The Cost: It cost approximately $100-$120 for the filing fee for the business certificate.

 Where are the county Clerks Offices?

  • Bronx: 851 Grand Concourse, Room 118 Bronx, NY 10451
  • Queens: 88-11 Sutphin Blvd, Room 106 Queens, NY 11435
  • Brooklyn: Supreme Court Building 360 Adams St, Room 189 Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Staten Island: 130 Stuyvesant Place Staten Island, NY 10301
  • Manhattan: Supreme Court Bldg 60 Centre St, Room 103B New York, NY 10





12 Jan

14 questions you should answer before applying for a loan

Here are 14 questions that most lenders will ask you when you are applying for a loan, so be prepared to answer them.

  1. How much money do you need for your business?
  2. How much have you invested and/or intend on investing?
  3. What is the purpose of the money? (working capital, equipment purchase, startup expenses, inventory, real estate)
  4. How much money do you feel comfortable paying back on a monthly basis?
  5. How many owners are there in the business?
  6. What is the personal credit score of the owners that have 20% or more equity in the business?
  7. Do you have access to a co-signer if needed?
  8. Have you applied for financing in the past? If yes, what was the outcome?
  9. Do you have any outstanding liens or judgments?
  10. Have you or any owner been in foreclosure/modification/ Bankruptcy /or student loan default in the last 2 years?
  11. Have you or any owner been late (30 days or more) on rent or any mortgage in the last 12 months?
  12. Is your business currently profitable?
  13. Do you have income outside of the business?
  14. Do you have collateral to back up the loan?
12 Jan

What are Business lenders looking for?

All lenders are not made equal. Each lender looks for different things when deciding to lend money to businesses. Chase has a different lending criteria from Citibank and Citibank from an alternative lender like Accion.

There is something called the 5 c’s of credit the most lenders take into consideration when deciding who to lend money to.  Depending on the lender and their criteria some of the C’s will be more important than others. Before applying for a loan at any institution, find out what they are looking for.

What are the 5 c’s of credit:

Credit: What is the personal credit score of the owners of the business. If someone owns 20% or more of the business, the lender will more then likely want to pull their credit report. Lenders want to see that you have been responsible paying back your personal debt. They believe it is a good indication of how you will handle your business debt.   Your credit reports and scores are important. Credit scores of 650 or more are favorable.

Cash flow / Capacity:  Lenders want to see that you have (current and/or projected) cash to pay back the loan. Do you have the ability to take on debt and pay it back? If I give you a loan of $10K with a monthly payment of $500 can you prove to me that you can pay that back on a monthly basis?

Collateral/Cosigner:  Do you have any assets (i.e. real estate, stocks, bonds, jewelry, paintings) that a lender can take control of if you are unable to pay back your loan for whatever reason.  If you don’t have collateral, can you have someone that can cosign the loan? A cosigner is someone who will be responsible for the loan if you are unable to repay it for whatever reason.

Capital: How much money have you invested in your business? How much are you willing to invest? Most lenders do not want to lend you 100% of the cost for your business. They want to see that you have some skin in the game.

Character:  Are you trustworthy? Are you a reliable person?  Lenders want to lend money to business owners that are honest and that have integrity.

12 Jan

7 parts of a business plan

What is a business plan: A business plan is a living document that helps you to think through the different parts of your business concept or project. Thinking through your concept/project helps you to position yourself to make the best decisions that will lead to success. The business plan can also be used to help inform and influence a group of people (investors, business partners, bankers, employees).

What are the parts of a business plan?

1)   Product/Service:  This section of the business plans outlines the products and/or services you will bring to your customers. Why do customers want the products/services you are offering and why would they choose your products/services over others in the marketplace? Explain the features and benefits of the products/services. (i.e. a feature of a ipad or a device like it  is the gigabytes but the benefit of the gigabytes is that it can store your music, pictures, videos and other things in one device. )

2)   Target Market:  Who are your customers (Demographics, psychographics, values)?  What problems have you identified that your target market has that you are looking to solve (i.e. I am opening a sit down restaurant in bayside, queens because there are no sit down restaurants for families in a 10 mile radius in the neighborhood)?  How big is your target market  (How many people have you identified that has the problem that you are looking to solve)?

3)   Industry: What industry do you operate in (i.e. food, trucking, education)? How big is the industry (in dollars)? Who are the major players in the industry? Is the industry growing, mature or declining?  Where is the industry headed? What are the current trends in the industry?

4)   Competition:  What other companies or institutions are trying to solve the same problem you are trying to solve?  What are their strengths and weakness? Why will customers buy from you and not them?

5)   Marketing/Sales:  How will customers access your products or services? Will they buy your products/services online, at a store, via sales associates or catalog? What strategies and channels will you use to get customers to learn about you and buy what you have to offer?

6)   Team: Whom do you have on your team to help you execute the business? What are their backgrounds? What role will they play in the business?

7)   Financials: How much money do you need for your business project? How much will it cost you to operate the business on a monthly and annual basis? How much money do you anticipate on making monthly over the next three years?  How will you finance the business?



19 May

WIBO 7th annual Business Plan Competition – Win $10K



Working on a plan to start your business? Need a plan to grow your business? Need a business plan to pitch to funders? Well, here is your opportunity to get all the help you need to get that plan done, and done right. Enter the 7th Annual Next Level Business Plan & Pitch Competition and you’ll get all the support you need to write or refine your pitch and business plan. 


Find out more information here.

15 Jan

Get Help Finding the Right Employees to Hire



The hiring process can be challenging for many.  Lets  face it, advertising your positions, sifting through resumes, interviewing and finding the right fit is a challenge. It can eat up lots of time and money.

NYC Business Solutions has a service to help small businesses in NYC find the right candidates for their open positions for free.

NYC Business Solutions will recruit and screen jobseekers from multiple sources, including online job boards, colleges, universities and community partners. Upon finding the right candidates, NYC Business Solutions will refer the most qualified to your business. They will also  coordinate with you to advertise your open positions,  schedule interviews and even  provide free interview space in all five boroughs if you need it.

Learn more here

08 Jan

Home Improvement Contract License Program


home improvement contractors

Anyone performing home improvement services for a fee in NYC is required to be licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs.  Homeowners doing work on their own homes do not need to be licensed.

Queen Economic Development Corporation offers a Home improvement contractor training program to make it easy for you to get your license.

The program is a 3-session, 18 hour training course that both prepares participants for the NYC home improvement contractor licensing examination and helps participants put their license applications together.

FInd out more here

08 Jan

Get Important Data on your NYC Customers

Make Better Business Decisions with Data on your NYC Customers


NYC just launched a new tool to help entrepreneurs in NYC  gain insights on the neighborhoods where they do business.

An entrepreneur can visit the NYC Business Atlas site, click on a neighborhood and learn about its population growth, new business activity, median household income and taxable sales revenue, and get a breakdown of the types of businesses there. It will also tell you how much foot traffic there is.

Test it out for yourself, click here