Youth Entrepreneurship

How to set up a non profit

How to set up a non profit

Screening test for startup

Screening test for startup

How to look at costs

How to look at costs

The selection of a business entity (form) will affect your exposure to personal liability, how you draw profits and pay taxes, your ability to raise capital, how you run your business, and how difficult it is for business reporting.

Generally, all businesses fall into one of these broad categories: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation, or Corporation.

A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned by one individual. A partnership is a legal entity existing between two or more persons who join to carry on a trade or business.

If financial problems have overwhelmed your finances, Bankruptcy may be an option.  Read some of the basics here.


IRS Tax Center:  Employee vs Independent Contractor

It is important you understand the rules for an employee versus who may be an Independent Contractor.  The IRS defines it on this site.​

IRS Tax Center:  Frequent Questions

This page has a lot of the key questions we hear.  Check it out.

IRS Tax Center:  Forms & Publications

You no longer need to visit the IRS to find the forms you need!

IRS Tax Center:  Key Business Taxes

Here are the main types of taxes you need to think about.   Some depend on what business structure you choose.,,id=98966,00.html

IRS Tax Center:  Starting a Business

Taxes are an important part of your new business.  The IRS works hard to help.  If you do the right things, you'll save money and hassles.

CORE Foods Success With SCORE

Corey Rennell worked with a business mentor at SF SCORE and developed a fresh nutrition bar for extreme athletes. CORE food bars are a growing hit with Olympic athletes, outdoorsmen and fitness buffs in Northern California and the business is expanding at a sustainable pace.

Corey’s product idea came from necessity:
“As a young mountaineer, I was invited by the BBC & Discovery Channels to travel around the world with five other athletes, subsisting and practicing tribal sports with 12 different indigenous peoples,” he says. To get into shape for this incredible, 14-month challenge, the 2008 Harvard University natural science graduate combined his interest in nutritional science research with observations of tribal diets. He built what he calls the CORE Meal: a truly fresh, portable nutrition bar. It did the trick. When he returned, Corey made bars for other athletes, friends and family. When he could no longer keep up with demand, Corey began to consider leaving his day-job to pursue his passion.

Corey now sells two different bars for different kinds of athletes, and his young company is thriving. The bars are sold at Whole Foods stores in Northern California and Reno, Nevada, as well as through the company’s website

In the coming year, Corey plans to offer new varieties of his bars and to build relationships to bring his product to retailers up and down the West Coast. Corey credits the team at Whole Foods Potrero Hill and the Local Producer Loan Program, family and friends as integral to his success. Corey’s business philosophy is inspired by the “sense of community” of the tribes he lived with--“Everyone worked for the well being of everyone. “ He shares those values through his not-for-profit model--including donating all company profits, maintaining a zero carbon footprint, and working with local, organic producers.

For more information

See video
Corey Rennell
My Location
San Francisco CA 94103
United States
My Successes



What's Great About My Mentor?

“Richard Fivis was exactly what I needed in a counselor --receptive and supportive, but also straightforward and to the point, “ Corey recalls. “He said my goals were absolutely achievable, but I needed a business plan --something to solidify my many ideas and inspirations into one clear vision.“ Corey spent 6-9 months on his business plan and financial projections and Fivis provided critical direction: “At key junctures I needed someone who had been through it all before to help me focus my efforts properly and prioritize my time, “ says Corey. 

How SCORE Helped

Corey contacted San Francisco SCORE Chapter 10, and began working with counselor Richard Fivis to develop a fresh-bar production method.

Corey continues working with Richard Fivis and others at SF Score “as we venture into uncharted territory.”


Corey’s advice to new entrepreneurs:
1. Get an SBA/SCORE counselor.
2. Develop a business plan.
3. Study the existing logistical networks for your product fulfillment carefully.
4. Develop conservative financial projections and make sure you price at a good multiple
5. Build your own salary into your financial projections.
6. Assume everything's been tried before. Get advice, advice, advice!!

He continues working with Richard Fivis and others at SF Score “as we venture into uncharted territory.”

Cha Cha’s Doggie Day Care Uses SCORE Mentor as Financial Sounding Board

Desalene Jones’ career as an entrepreneur has gone to the dogs.  And she couldn’t be happier.

Desalene is the founder and owner of Cha Cha’s Doggie Day Care of Sacramento, California.  Modeled after daycare centers for children, Cha Cha’s provides dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds with a wide range of care services, activities, toys, and plenty of canine company while their humans are away at work. 

In addition, Desalene and her staff ensure that their canine customers receive balanced diets, trim nails, groom coats, clean teeth and willingly clean up after the occasional “mistake”—a welcome relief to owners who don’t relish finding such surprises waiting for them when they get home after a long day.

Desalene Jones
My Location
Sacramento CA
United States
My Successes

While Cha Cha’s is a dream-come-true for busy dog owners, the business exists only because Desalene was unable to realize her dream of bringing her own dog to her former job.  “I tried every argument imaginable to convince my boss that it’d be OK, but he never agreed,” she says.  “I was 27 then, and figured that if I was ever going to strike out on my own, this was the time to do it.”

Desalene quit her job and began providing dog care at her client’s homes. Because many of them had other, sometimes exotic pets that were difficult to deal with, she decided it would be better for everyone if she cared for her clients’ dogs at a central location

While trying to understand the nuances of preparing a business plan for her new enterprise, Desalene attended an SBA seminar for start-up businesses that included a speaker from Sacramento SCORE.  Seeing that he had brought his own small dog to the session, “I knew instantly that these were people I could connect with,” Desalene recalls with a smile.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Desalene visited the Sacramento SCORE office and discussed her business idea with a team of volunteer mentors who assured her that she wasn’t barking up the wrong tree.  She began working with several experts with different business backgrounds to develop her business plan, calculate financial needs and formulate a management strategy. 

“One of the most important aspects was mapping out where to invest money as my business grew,” she says. “They developed a big spreadsheet that has turned out to be a very valuable business planning tool.”

Desalene also discovered that the expertise of SCORE mentors goes far beyond their respective business specialties.  While at a business planning session, she happened to mention some of the difficulties she was having hiring good employees and dealing with those who failed to meet their responsibilities. “The mentors gave me some tips and suggestions that proved very helpful,” she says.  “It’s great to be able to talk with them about anything.”

Desalene plans to do a lot more talking with her SCORE mentors as she prepares to open a second Cha Cha’s location.

How SCORE Helped

“I don’t know how I would have made it this far without SCORE,” she says.  “I started with a few hundred dollars, and there’s no way I could have paid for all that valuable advice myself.  And I don’t simply mean clichés flung in my direction, but actual sit -down meetings and hands-on development of essential materials.  There will never be a time in the life of my business that I could not use the assistance and expertise of the individuals at SCORE.”

This template can be used to calculate the projected profit of 3 years. 

A long term forecast is not a necessary part of a basic business plan. However, it is an excellent tool to help you open up your thinking about the company's future. Furthermore, venture capitalists will almost always want a long term forecast to get a feel for growth prospects.

The further out you forecast, the less accuracy you can maintain, so use round numbers, except where you know exact amounts; e.g.: rent expense if you have a long term lease.

This template can be used to calculate the opening day balance sheet.

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