JJC Entrepreneur & Business Center - Getting Started

The Entrepreneur & Business Center (EBC) has a professional team of business advisors that can provide you with the best advice - whether you have questions about how to create a business plan, how to secure financing or anything in-between.

EBC Logo

How to Get Started

What to Expect

After reviewing our services and submitting your registration to become a client, our business advisors will review your submission and reach out by email or phone to discuss and schedule next steps.

Why Joliet Junior College's EBC?

  • We have professional business advisors
  • The access to educational, training, business and faculty resources of the college
  • The regional focus and our commitment to the community
  • Our access to both new and existing partnerships across the community
  • Our education, training and advisory services are available online, via phone and in person, one-on-one.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Email ebc@jjc.edu.

News & Announcements

Check here for updated News & Announcements regarding the JJC EBC at the Joliet City Center Campus.

COVID-19 Update

All EBC offerings will follow JJC COVID-19 precautions. Please visit our COVID-19 Information page for the most up-to-date information.

Entrepreneur & Business Center FAQs

How to Get Started as a Business Owner

Below we list the first few steps you can take as a business owner. Need help? Contact the EBC at Joliet Junior College!

  • Your Steps to Getting Started

    1. Attend a "Preparing to Start Your Business" Seminar/Workshop.
      • The first step in getting started is attending one of our live "Preparing to Start Your Business" workshops.
      • This no-cost, two-hour informational seminar covers the basic requirements of starting your own business
      • It will detail our "5 Stages of Starting Your Business"
    2. Name Your Business.
      • The right name is essential in branding your business. Registering a business name in Illinois varies depending on the legal structure as some entities require a name search and and registering with the Secretary of State, while others require with the County Clerk's office.
      • JJC can show you how to register and even protect your company name.
    3. Apply for Business Licenses and Permits.
      • A variety of business licenses and permits may be needed, such as:
        • federal employer identification number (FEIN) with the IRS
        • sales tax identification number with the Illinois Department of Revenue, Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois Department of Employment Security, state professional licensing, local business licenses and others
        • JJC can help identify which licenses and permits your business needs
    4. Prep for Taxes and Record Keeping.
      • As a business owner, there are several taxes, which may apply to you - such as:
        • self-employment tax 
        • state and federal payroll tax 
        • Illinois sales tax
        • tax on business profits
      • It is crucial to track income, deductions and profits/losses for each year
      • JJC can help you understand the tax requirements for your business
    5. Develop/Test Your Offering.
      • In this phase, a buyer profile or "need" is drafted and the product or solution is designed to meet this targeted need.
      • As part of the process, the Test Stage is where the product's viability is evaluated. What "issue" are you solving? What "need" are you fulfilling?
      • Consider working with early customers that can help you to develop your offering and adjust the ability for it to meet the user's needs.
      • JJC can help you understand the tax requirements for your business.
    6. Select a Business Structure.
      • An important choice when starting a business is selecting a legal structure.
      • The most common business entities include:
        • sole proprietorship 
        • partnership 
        • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
        • corporation
    7. Develop a Sales and Marketing Plan.
      • Where are your customers going to come from? What is your value proposition?
      • You'll probably need a website that gets potential customers to act. You may want to promote your services through social media. Are you ready to ask people for their money?
      • JJC can help you think about how your marketing and sales strategy will make all the difference in your success.
    8. Funding Your Business.
      • There are different sources of financing to start or expand a business.
      • Some of the most common include:
        • personal funds
        • friends and family
        • business loans
        • revolving loan funds
        • investors
        • credit cards
        • matching grants
      • JJC can help sort out the best sources of funding for your business using your business plan
    9. Developing a Business Plan.
      • The business plan is your game plan and roadmap to success! 
      • Writing a business plan is important, not only if you are looking for a loan or investment, but to get all your thoughts on paper and work out the details.
      • JJC can help guide you in creating your basic and/or detailed business plan.