Pursuing entrepreneurship may seem daunting when you’re living with a disability and busy raising a family, but there are lots of tools and resources to help you achieve your goal of starting a small business. Online formation services, for instance, can be used to launch a limited liability company, corporation, or partnership from home. Other tools make it easy to write business plans, digitize important formation documents, create logo designs and websites, and tackle other essential tasks.
This guide from Able Futures will tell you how to put your entrepreneurial plans into action, find the funding you need, and get your business up and running in no time.
These days, many new businesses can be started completely online — eliminating the need to submit your formation documents in person or by mail, or meet face-to-face with banks, investors, and vendors. As someone with a disability, however, there are advantages and disadvantages to relying on technology in this way. It’s possible to start a business from the comfort of your accessible home office space, but you may experience certain challenges that make it harder to read, understand, use a keyboard or mouse, or access the information you need.
To eliminate some of the obstacles aspiring entrepreneurs with disabilities may face when using technology to start a business, different types of tech tools and devices can help. These assistive technologies make it possible to find and use free online business plan templates, choose the right legal entity (such as a limited liability company, corporation, or partnership), and register a business online. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a legal entity for any new business:
- Both limited liability companies and corporations offer liability protection, but the former is typically easier to create and more flexible to manage.
- As a pass-through business entity, limited liability companies allow you to avoid double taxation.
- Sole proprietorships are typically the easiest type of entity to form, but your financing options could be limited.
To start a limited liability company (LLC) in your state, be sure to review your local rules and regulations to ensure you have everything you need to register your new business. Once you’re ready to move forward, you can then register your new business online by choosing a preferred company name, appointing a registered agent, and filing your Articles of Organization.
Keep in mind you’ll need your business plan and Articles of Organization when applying for funding, so be sure to use an online PDF merger tool to digitize these documents for easy access. Digitization is especially beneficial for entrepreneurs with disabilities, as electronic files are often easier to find and manage than paper records.
In the event that you’ll need funding to start your business, there are a few places aspiring entrepreneurs with disabilities can look for small business loans and grants. A few places to begin your search include:
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- Accion Opportunity Fund.
- Small Business Administration (SBA).
- National Disability Institute (NDI).
Crowdfunding is another option for aspiring entrepreneurs with disabilities. Try enlisting the help of your children while using crowdfunding platforms to collect donations from friends and family. After all, donors will be more likely to support your business venture if they care about the campaign and understand how their contribution will help you and your family.
On top of starting a new business, you still have a family to care for and a household to run. Look for ways to take some of the load off your plate as you pursue entrepreneurship, whether that means finding childcare such as sitters or nannies, hiring a housekeeper, paying for a grocery delivery service, or outsourcing a few business tasks. Some easily outsourced tasks include marketing, web, and graphic design; accounting; sales; customer service; and human resources.
Starting a business can feel more challenging when you’re living with a disability and have many parenting-related tasks on your plate, but numerous tools and resources are available to help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals. From crowdfunding your small business to using an online formation service to register a limited liability company, assistance is available to help you every step of the way.
Ed Carter is a retired financial planner and the founder of Able Futures, a website that offers tools, original articles, and other resources that will provide helpful financial information to members of the disabled community. Ed Carter has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds, and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities.