How To Start a Business in RI

Step 1:
Write Your Business Plan
Step 2:
Register Your Business

A business plan is a formal written document containing the goals of a business, the methods for attaining those goals, and the time-frame for the achievement of the goals. A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. It’s a way to think through and detail all the key elements of how your business will run. A business plan is a written tool about your business that projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the path your business intends to take to make money and grow revenue. Think of it as a living project for your business, and not as a one-time document.

The QC SBDC offers free services to help write your business plan. Call (309) 762-3999 ext. 62243, or reach through email [email protected] to get assistance today!

You will need to register your business with the Illinois Department of Revenue. You can electronically register through MyTax Illinois then complete and mail in Form REG-1, Illinois Business Registration Application.

You will need to choose a Business Structure and understand your tax and legal liabilities. Find out if the goods or services you will be selling are subject to Illinois sales tax or if you purchase taxable items from outside Illinois to use in your Illinois business, you will need to pay use tax to Illinois. Liability is risk you are exposed to when starting a business. The two main types of risks are tort risk and contract risk. Tort is intentional or unintentional harm to a person or person's property. Contract risk includes financing risk and risk with vendors and customers. Almost all tort risk can be protected by insurance while contract risk can be limited in the contract itself.

Step 3:
Find & Plan Your Space
Step 4:
Does Your Business
Require a Permit?
Step 5:
Take Advantage of
Available Resources

Log in to our FORWARD Portal for a list of resources. FORWARD is a free online portal that connects local businesses in Rock Island to a comprehensive list of resources—grants, loans, credits, offers, and local incentives. Explore dozens of federal, state and local assistance programs, quickly find resources you are eligible for based on your business profile, and chat live with a dedicated city staff member.

How FORWARD works

  • Log in with your password (if you have not received one via e-mail, contact us)
  • Review your business profile and settings
  • Browse the list of resources, filtering by eligibility and type
  • Apply online and track your progress