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Learn from experts how to transform your business idea into a commercial reality with the free resources at StartupNation.

StartupNation users can:

  • Follow 10 easy steps to starting a business.
  • Watch and listen to on demand seminars on growing your business.
  • Join online forums and discuss small business topics.
  • Download and print sample business plans.
  • Subscribe to a free weekly email newsletter.

Tune up your PC with the latest version of Real Player and point your browser to Emergency Planning Preparedness Tips

Disasters can strike your business any time. A sound emergency preparedness plan can help protect assets, diminish damage, and put your business on the road to recovery., the official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is a one-stop source for emergency preparedness planning tips.

At users can follow step-by-step suggestions to create a sound emergency plan. The following materials can be downloaded, printed and made available to employees.

  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Checklists

All materials are FREE!

Where to find it on the Internet: point your browser to and click on “Ready Business“.

Business Tip of the Month Archive

Hurricane Season (Internal Revenue Service publications)

The 2006 hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30. The Internal Revenue Service has prepared publications with useful information in the event a hurricane or other natural disaster affects your business.

Publication 2194B has a checklist of important documents needed when requesting IRS assistance after a natural disaster. Publications 547 outlines special IRS rules that apply when reporting a loss in a “Presidentially” declared disaster area, and Publication 584B contains worksheets to calculate business losses resulting from a disaster.

The publications are available as free downloads from the IRS website,

Publication 2194BDisaster Losses Kit For Businesses

Publication 547Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts

Publication 584BBusiness Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook

Form 4684Casualty and Theft

All forms and publications are in the PDF format and should be compatible with the latest version of the Adobe Reader.

Starting a New Business

Business establishments that serve food, beverages, and/or alcohol must file certain documents with local government agencies in East Baton Rouge Parish. Some of the frequently asked questions when opening a new business that sells food or alcohol are:

Where do I pay local and state sales taxes?

Who do I contact for occupational license information?

Which office do I contact for information on zoning?

Where can I get a license to serve alcohol?

The Baton Rouge Parish Government Website’s “Checklist for Starting a New Business” has the answers to these questions and more. The list is a directory of federal, state and local government agency contacts that collect required fees for licenses, permits, sales taxes and unemployment compensations taxes. Along with address, phone and fax number, a useful “What You Will Need” list is provided for each agency listing.

How do I find this useful checklist?

Point your Internet browser to the following link:


Reading Louisiana’s major newspapers online is easy using Newsbank. The Newsbank database provides users with full text access to eight daily Louisiana newspapers. including, The Advocate (Baton Rouge), Times Picayune (New Orleans), Daily Advertiser (Lafayette), and The Times (Shreveport).

Two New Orleans area business publications have been added to the Newsbank title list; they are, CityBusiness North Shore Report, coverage starts with April 2002 – current, and New Orleans CityBusiness, March 2001 – current.

Newsbank offers basic keyword and advanced searching. The advanced search feature permits users to search publications such as The Advocate by headline, lead paragraph, author/byline, or all text. Additional options for searching a publication by date include selecting a specific date, a range of dates or all years of availability. Users can also browse a specific issue by selecting the date from the short display list or, entering a specific date in the available search box.

Access to Newsbank is available at all branches of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library or, by linking to Newsbank from the Business & Career Connection page and then authenticating with your East Baton Rouge Parish library card.

Reference USA

Reference USA offers demographic search tools that are useful for business planning and market research users. Users can find all businesses, or those by a specific Standard Industrial Classification number (SIC), within a 20 mile radius.

When searching the Business section of Reference USA, whether by company name, geographic area – zip code, city, parish, or Metropolitan Statistical Area; or a business type search – Yellow Page Heading or SIC; the detailed listing page provides the user with two additional demographic searching options. For example, if a search is conducted for “grocers – retail” in a specific zip code area, and the user clicks to the detail listing of any retrieved entry, a search option at the bottom of the page allows for additional searching either by all businesses, or SIC within a radius of 1/10th of a mile to 20 miles.

To access Reference USA, click on the Other Databases link located to the left on the Business and Career Connection homepage, use your East Baton Rouge Parish Library card number to authenticate, and select Reference USA from the database list.

Set your Internet browser to, the gateway website to United States government information on the World Wide Web. The designers of FirstGov have grouped business information under a button tab labeled “Business and Nonprofits“. Transactions with the federal government can be conducted online such as, requesting an employer identification number, applying for an export license, and verification of Social Security numbers.

The link to “Forms” opens pathways to a collection of federal forms grouped by form number or regulatory agency. Frequently requested forms, such as, Social Security, tax, and veterans benefits are grouped together in a separate category. Most forms are available in PDF format and can be printed out using the free downloadable Adobe reader.

Other interesting links from the FirstGov Business and Nonprofits page include, a list of state and territory business resources, how to buy and sell to the government, and a collection of printable workplace posters.

Safari Tech Books Online

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library subscribes to the complete Safari Tech Books Online catalog. The entire collection of over 1,800 titles is available to registered patrons of the library. Users can access any title from their home or business by clicking on the Safari Techbooks link in the Business Databases menu or by selecting the Online Databases link from our website homepage and then entering their library card number.

Once you have arrived at the Safari homepage, you can search the collection by author, title, publisher or subject. If you just want to browse a list of titles, click on the “Library” button. An advanced search feature is available. Special software for reading the books online is not required. Content is displayed with the book’s table of contents on the left side of the page with text in the remaining viewing area of the page. Print, email and bookmark options are included.

A partial listing of business related titles include, Que’s Official Internet Yellow Pages 2006 Edition, Microsoft® Small Business Kit 2004 Edition, and Power Up Your Small-Medium Business: A Guide To Enabling Network Technologies 2004 Edition.