By:  LINDSEY O'NEILL, ESQ.

We've all seen the advertisements about how to get free government money to start your business.  Many times, these ads are just what they sound like - too good to be true!  There are many financing programs available from the government to help you start your business, but the federal government does not provide free grant money to help start or expand a business.   Grants from the federal government are only available to certain types of organizations, such as non-profits and educational institutions in areas such as, medicine, education, scientific research and technology development.

The good news is - grant money from (or through) the government certainly does exist!  For instance, there are a variety of state and local programs, non-profit organizations and other groups offering grant money for special business operations, such as expanding a child care business; creating energy efficient technology; or developing marketing campaigns for tourism. These grants are not necessarily free money, though.  The business receiving the money is usually required to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing such as a loan.  Even if free money isn't available, though, there are still numerous state and federal progrms out there to help small business owners finance their business including low-interest loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.

Learn more about financing your business from any of the following government programs:

Small Business Loans and Grants Search Tool 

Grants.gov

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 

U.S. Department of Education Grants

National Endowment for the Humanities Grants

National Archives and Records Administration Grants

Institute of Museum and Library Services Grants

National Endowment for the Arts Grants

U.S. Department of Labor - Labor and Employment Grants

Housing and Urban Development Grants

U.S. Department of Justice - Law Enforcement Grants

National Cancer Institute - Cancer Research Grants

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Health Care Services Grants

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - National Institutes of Health Grants

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Sciences Grants

Environmental Protection Agency - Environmental Grants and Fellowships

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Natural Resources Grants

National Science Foundation - Scientific Research Grants

Small Business Research and Development Grants

National Institute of Standards and Technology - Technology Grants

National Telecommunications and Information Administration - Telecommunications Grants

For more information or assistance with starting a small business or applying for grants or other financing programs, contact a business attorney in your area today.