Once you’ve decided to launch a new business in cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Wilmington, Pittsburgh, or elsewhere in the US - and have come up with a great idea which you believe will work, then typically one of the first steps that you’ll need to do is to look into raising finance for business. Working out how you are going to finance your business start-up can be a difficult process as there are a number of different ways of raising finance for business. Do you borrow money off friends and family and risk causing a family rift if your business fails? Or do you put all of your own savings into the business and risk losing all your money? Looking to outside investors may be the answer to these questions, but there will be a number of criteria you will have to meet to attract this form of investment. Firstly that means your business idea must make financial sense on paper and all the sums add up. This will show that the business has the potential to be profitable. To demonstrate this effectively, you will have to put together a strong business plan which presents your business idea clearly and shows how you will use any investment capital that you receive. If someone is going to invest in your business then they are going to want to know what sort of chance it has of success and they will want to know how you are going to spend their money to launch your new business. Typically when an investor decides to invest in a business, they are looking for either a share of the overall ownership of the business, or they are looking for a cash return on the investment that they have staked. Therefore as a locally-based entrepreneur you will need to decide whether you are comfortable with loosing a chuck of your business to a third party, or if you would instead prefer to repay the investment you received with a share of the profits instead. Either way it is important to ensure that you get a concrete legal contract in place as this will protect both you and the investor in your business. Ensuring that you have a proper contract will also save you time, effort and money if problems do occur. The last thing you need when you are trying to launch a new business, is to have to devote time to things beyond the product and idea. Ticking these boxes will ensure that when you need to raise finance for business then the process is as painless as possible.