Getting Started in the U.S.

What is SelectUSA?

SelectUSA provides easy access to federal-level programs and services related to business investment.  On our site you will find:

  • A searchable guide of federal programs and services available to businesses operating in the United States—including grants, loans, loan guarantees, and tax incentives;
  • Industry snapshots that describe the competitive landscape; and
  • A catalogue on “Why to Select the USA?” that explains the advantages of operating a business in the United States.

Doing Business in the U.S.

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – Official website of the United States Small Business Administration. Web site’s focus is on small and medium-sized business, but much of the information is applicable to businesses of all sizes.
  • Cluster Mapping Tool – The Project aims to provide policymakers and development practitioners across America with the data and tools for assessing regional cluster strengths, business environment characteristics, and innovation assets; with case studies on and toolkits for formulating development strategies; and with a directory profiling active cluster initiatives throughout the country.
  • Insourcing – Ways to encourage American companies to seize this opportunity to increase investment here at home and bring jobs back to America.
  • State and Local Regulations – Step-by-step instructions for complying with state and local regulations when starting or running a business.

Private Sector Business Guides

International Trade and Investment

  • http://www.export.gov/ – The U.S. Government’s Official Export Assistance Portal. Find free export counseling, market research, trade leads, solve trade problems, and trade finance assistance.
  • Import Assistance and Information – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is the lead agency in enforcing regulations regarding the importation of your potential shipment and charging the appropriate duties and taxes.  U.S. Customs handles all importing related questions and issues associated with bringing products into the United States.
  • Import Tariff Schedule – For information regarding import tariffs consult with the U.S. International Trade Commission  web site and click on “Tariff Schedule.” Local Customs Offices an also be contacted for import information. The country of origin of the goods ultimately determines which rate should be used for the importation. A comprehensive listing of U.S. Customs offices and contacts is available on the U.S. Customs  website.
  • Organization for International Investment
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Protecting Intellectual Property (IP)

  • How to Protect Your Intellectual Property in the U.S. and Abroad
  • USPTO Inventors Assistance Center (IAC) – Provides patent information and services to the public. The IAC is staffed by former Primary Examiners, Supervisory Patent Examiners, and senior patent managers who answer general questions concerning patent examining policy and procedure.
  • IP Help for Independent Inventors and Small Business – The Independent Inventors section of the USPTO web site provides information on programs to assist independent inventors and small businesses in registering their IP. The Inventor Assistance Program is part of the Office of Commissioner and offers bi-monthly online chats for inventors and small businesses. A panel of experts from across the USPTO answer question for one hour every other month.
  • List of Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) – Patent and Trademark Resource Centers are a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries that are designated to disseminate patent and trademark information and to support the diverse intellectual property needs of the public.  They make freely available to the public a minimum 20-year backfile of U.S. patents and are available to assist the pubic in the efficient use of the collection.  The intellectual property collections of some libraries significantly exceed the core requirements. All libraries have access to U.S. patents since 1790.
  • Public Search Facility at USPTO – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Public Search Facility located in Alexandria, VA provides public access to patent and trademark information in a variety of formats including on-line, microfilm, and print. Trained staff are available to assist public users.