Creative Business Development

Nine Steps to Start Your Business

Congratulations on your decision to become a creative entrepreneur! Click here for a roadmap to starting a business that includes a checklist of government requirements and resources. The requirements may vary according to the type of business you intend to start, but following nine steps will put you on the highway to success.

Business Assistance Center

The Business Assistance Center (BAC) is dedicated to supporting Denver’s small businesses by helping businesses complete government forms and comply with city, state and federal regulations. The BAC is a one-stop information center to assist small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs navigate through licensing, permitting, regulatory issues while offering research tools and community resources to help you successfully start, manager and run a small business. Contact BAC first when seeking information to open, expand or support your creative business.

Resources to Finance Your Creative Enterprise

Financial Tools
Creative, for-profit businesses most often are small businesses which may benefit from or be eligible for public and private funding resources. Banks and other financial institution should be considered; however, non-traditional lending institutions may be more flexible to the needs of a creative enterprise. If you are interested in establishing or expanding a creative enterprise, you may want to consider learning more about these city-supported and private financing opportunities:

City-Supported Financing

1. Create Denver Revolving Loan Fund

2. Denver Urban Enterprise Zone

Must establish, expand or relocate business inside state-designated Enterprise Zone (EZ)

Arts-Related Financing Options:

  • Investment Tax Credit
  • New Business or Expansion Business Facility Job Credits
  • Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Tax Credit
  • Job Training Tax Credit
  • Rehabilitation of Vacant Buildings
  • Credits for contributions to Zone Projects

Please call the Denver Enterprise Zone Manager at (720) 913-1623 to receive more detailed information or visit the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website at

3. Neighborhood Business Revitalization (NBR)

4. SBA 504 Mortgage Loan Program

Funding Available from Financial Institutions
(Community Development Finance Institutions and Micro Lenders)

  • Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute
  • Colorado Enterprise Fund
  • ACCION Colorado
  • Small Business Association (SBA) Loan Programs
  • Administered by Major Bank, Micro-lending Organization or Certified Development Corporation  

Additional Resources Small Business Resource Center

Denver Metro Small Business Development Center assists members by offering free and low-cost training programs in the areas of sales, marketing, customer service, technology, workforce and professional and management development.

Denver Public Library
Get assistance researching and writing a business or marketing plan with the help of one of the Library's many knowledgeable reference librarians.

List of Denver Lending and Support Organizations