Starting a Small Business-The First Steps

  • Format: online
This self-directed course provides information on the steps necessary to start a new business in Missouri. There are a total of ten steps addressing legal considerations, planning, licensing and registrations, and financing.

The Missouri SBDC is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is a University of Missouri Extension partner. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested in advance. To request accommodations contact [email protected]

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 Starting A Small Business - The First Steps: Syllabus

Your Instructor

The course developer is a Business Development Specialist with the Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) a program of the University of Missouri Extension. The Missouri SBDC is a network of centers located throughout the state.  Each center provides counseling, coaching, training, and specialized services for start-up and existing businesses.   If you have questions on the course's content, contact the center most convenient to your location.  Our centers can be found at

Course Description

The course is self-paced and consists of 7 modules, no module is more than 15 minutes in length. The entire self-paced course should take no more that 90 minutes. There are no activities, quizzes or other assessments. The purpose of course is strictly to provide information. There are no prerequisite knowledge and competencies.

There is a course registration form to complete and a course completion survey. With the completion of the course, to include the registration and survey, a course completion certificate can be downloaded.

If you must leave the course and return later, click on Modules in the course navigation menu on the left of your screen.  The last bold face item with a Check-1.PNG is where you left off, the bold face item with a is where to start.

Course Organization

The seven modules of this course are delivered in a lecture format. In addition to the course slides with notes there is a reference guide that includes and expands upon the material delivered in each module.

Additional Course Resources

A reference guide will be provided in the first module.

Each module will have an associated PDF for the PowerPoint video that you will watch.

Technical Requirements.

See our Getting Started with Canvas page for short tutorial videos to provide an overview of Canvas.  When accessing your Canvas course from your mobile device, DO NOT use the Canvas Student App.

Access your course from your MU Extension account. For the best user experience, we recommend using  Google Chrome (70/71) as your browser (Safari 12.0.3 for Macintosh only).

If you don't have Google Chrome installed on your computer, download  the latest version.

Already using Google Chrome but not sure what version?  Simply select the three vertical dots in your browser menu, Help, and then About Google Chrome. That's it!  If there is a newer version available, Chrome will automatically update. 

You can find more information on the technical requirements on the Canvas website.

For technical questions or issues, please contact  Customer Support.


If you anticipate barriers related to the format or requirements of this course, or if disability-related accommodations are necessary (for example, extended time on exams, materials in an alternate format), please notify your instructor or contact Customer Support