Learn about various options to fund your business, tools to manage finances effectively, and ways to get the legal advice you need for your startup.
For many entrepreneurs, learning how to access capital for their business is a key concern. There are many ways entrepreneurs can fund their business if they need extra cash, ranging from loans to crowdfunding. On top of that, knowing how to manage money is a key part of business success. Also, you may need basic legal assistance when building a company. This page explores some of the options for funding, tools for effective financial management, and resources for legal help.
Business Funding Options
Consider these ways to raise money for your business or start up, and determine which options might be the best fit for your goals.
U.S. SBA Funding Programs
The Small Business Administration offers customized information and guidance for entrepreneurs seeking funding, including specialized loans and grants.
Angel investors are individuals or small groups that provide relatively modest amounts of capital to entrepreneurs in return for equity. Learn more about angel investors and how to identify if they are right for your business.
Venture capital, often called “VC", is a type of funding that firms may provide to companies with high-growth potential in exchange for equity. There are many types of venture capital firms, often focusing on specific industries.
RISD students, alumni & current faculty with an entrepreneurial project can use the RISD Curated Kickstarter page to raise funds for their ideas. Over $6,000,000 has been raised for RISD projects on the platform, including ideas across fine arts and design.
Financial Management Resources
These tools and resources can provide guidance for managing business finances. If you need additional assistance, consider consulting with an accountant.
QuickBooks Resource Center
This platform provides comprehensive guides and tools for freelancers and small businesses to manage their finances with effectiveness.
IRS Record Keeping Guide
Knowing how to keep and manage financial records is an essential element for entrepreneurs. This guide from the IRS explains how to effectively track these details.
CERF+ Artist Business Insurance Hub
This guide helps you understand the need to have business insurance for your creative practice as well as provides insurance plans ideal for many creative businesses.
RISD Alumni Insurance Discounts
The RISD Alumni Insurance Program offers a wide array of insurance products at advantageous pricing and is part of a growing list of initiatives that provide you with valuable benefits. Explore the offerings to see if any make sense for you and your business.
Resources for Learning Legal Issues
These resources help you to understand key issues related to intellectual property that artists and designers typically encounter.
The U.S. Copyright office provides a comprehensive overview of copyright law and answers to common FAQ’s.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers a basic overview on patents and the process for applying.
These tools and resources provide you with necessary legal documents and connect you with best fit legal advice for entrepreneurs and start ups.
The Legal Artist
Attorney and RISD alumnus Greg Kanaan 02 FAV is the founder of The Legal Artist, a business that provides legal advice for artists, designers, and creators of all kinds.
National Start Up Clinics
Law schools across the country offer pro bono (free) assistance to entrepreneurs on issues ranging from incorporation, trademarks, patents, and more.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
The VLA provides a broad range of free and low-cost legal services and educational programs addressing the needs of artists, designers, small creative businesses, and cultural organizations.