Go to your local bank to get an application for a business loan guaranteed by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). Call first, because not all banks work with the SBA but most do, and the SBA doesn't lend you money directly, just guarantees your loan for the local bank that does lend you the money. The SBA probably won't guarantee more than 70% of the starting costs for your business. If there is somewhere you can just get federal funds to open you business, instead of borrowing from a bank, I don't know about it. You could search the SBA website at www.sba.gov to see what you come up with. I suspect you've seen the TV commercials that say the government gives money away, and they are very optimistic about government programs. They want to sell you a list. They make their money when you buy their lists. Tim
Tim Berry is the chairman of Eugene, Ore.-Palo Alto Software, which produces business-planning software. He founded Bplans.com and wrote The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press. Berry is also a co-founder of HavePresence.com, a leader in a local angel-investment group and a judge of international business-plan competitions.