Small Business Research Guide
This guide describes specialized materials, both print and online, for researching small businesses.
This guide describes specialized materials, both print and online, that might be useful as you do research on the topic of small businesses. In addition to these specialized materials, the Library has a comprehensive print collection of federal and state statutes, regulations, and cases on the fourth floor. The full text of most of these primary sources can also be searched online using Westlaw or Lexis.
If you have any questions about finding or using any of the materials described in this guide, or if you need additional research assistance, come to the reference desk. A reference librarian will be able to assist you with identifying and locating the materials you need for your research project.
- Small Business Administration
- Home Page (includes information on starting and financing a small business, and more)
- Office of Advocacy (includes links to relevant laws and regulations, news, statistics, and more)
- Online Resource Library
- Office of International Trade
- Office of Women‰s Business Ownership (includes a list of Women‰s Business Centers)
- Legal and Regulatory Information for America's Small Businesses (includes links to federal and state laws and regulations affecting small businesses)
- Internal Revenue Service
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Department of Labor
- Department of Commerce
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Search federal government web sites together
- Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. Contains links to proposed legislation; committee hearings; and press releases as well as information about the committee.
- House Small Business Committee. Contains links to proposed legislation; committee hearings; and special projects; press releases as well as information about the committee and its members.
To locate books on your topic, search the online catalog, GULLiver.(Tutorial) For tips on effective searching, read our GULLiver guide. To find books discussing a particular issue facing small businesses, try a keyword search for your topic and the phrase small business*. For example, if you are looking for books on health care insurance concerns of small businesses, your search would be: health care and small business*.
Some books that might be useful to get started in your research are:
- Lee R. Petillon, Representing Start-Up Companies (looseleaf). KF1355 .P47 1992
- Steven C. Alberty, Advising Small Businesses: Forms (looseleaf). KF1659.A94, also available on Westlaw
- Robert J. Haft, Venture Capital and Small Business Financings (looseleaf). KF1659 .H33 1984, also on Westlaw
- Representing the Small Business (2000). KF1659 .R46
You may also want to search GEORGE, the catalog of Lauinger Library on the Main Campus. Lauinger's collections support the faculty and students of the McDonough School of Business and includes books that are not in the law library's collections.
If you need books that are not at Georgetown or books that are checked out, you should request them through Interlibrary Loan. If you find a book that you think the Library should purchase, please send us an e-mail message with the author, title, publisher, and year.
Law Reviews: Indexes
To locate articles law review articles, use LegalTrac (Tutorial) or Legal Periodicals & Books (Tutorial) . Coverage on LegalTrac is from 1980 to the present.. Legal Periodicals & Books Articles has articles from 1982 to the present, and Legal Periodicals & Books Retrospective covers 1908-1981 (to use Retrospective, use the same link for Legal Periodicals & Books, and make sure the Restrospective box is checked in the list of databases).
LegalTrac is also available on:
- Lexis: Legal > Secondary Legal > Law Reviews & Journals > Legal Resource Index (1977 - Current)
- Westlaw: LRI ("Legal Resource Index," 1980 - Current).
Similarly, Legal Periodicals and Books is available on:
- Lexis: Legal > Secondary Legal > Law Reviews & Journals > Index to Legal Periodicals(1978 - Current)
- Westlaw: ILP (1981 - Current)
Both of these indexes are also available in print in the Williams Reading Room.
To use the web versions of LegalTrac or Legal Periodicals & Books from home (Georgetown faculty, students, and staff only), see Using Articles for Legal & Non-Legal Research.
Law Reviews: Full Text Online
Both Lexis and Westlaw have the full text of many law review articles online. The full text databases give you the ability to search the text of articles for specific words and phrases, but do not include all articles from all journals. The indexes are much more comprehensive in scope.
- Lexis: Legal > Secondary Legal > Law Reviews & Journals > US & Canadian Law Reviews, Combined
- Westlaw: JLR
News, Business and Economics Databases
In addition to law review articles, you may find relevant articles from newspapers, business magazines, and business or economics journals.
To search for newspaper and magazine articles, the combined news databases on Lexis or Westlaw are your best choices. While there is a lot of overlap in the two databases, there are a couple of important differences between Lexis and Westlaw. Only Lexis has the full text of the New York Times - Westlaw has only today's issue. Only Westlaw has the full text of the Wall Street Journal - Lexis has only abstracts.
The databases listed below are recommended for business and economics research. To use these research databases from home, select the database from the Connect page. (Georgetown faculty, students, and staff only).
ABI/INFORM. ABI/INFORM is a leading database for business and management information. It provides indexing, abstracts and many full-text articles from over 1,000 business and management journals. Coverage begins in 1970.
World Trade Online. Includes Inside U.S. Trade, Around the World, and World Trade Organization.
ECONLIT. The Economic Literature Index provides indexing and abstracts of articles from 450 major economics journals.
For current legislative information, use THOMAS. For comprehensive legislative research, from 1789 to the present, use ProQuest Congressional (formerly Lexis Nexis Congresional). To use ProQuest Congressional from home, select the database from the Connect page. (Georgetown faculty, students, and staff only). For details on legislative history research, take a look at our research guide or ask for reference assistance.
Starting a Small Business
Founder's Workbench - Goodwin Proctor's start-up guidance for the entrepreneur. Legal forms provided allow you to form your start-up as a Delaware corporation. Other guidance includes financiing strategies, operating your start-up, employees and intellectural property.
Revised 2/2007 (BM)
Updated 1/2010 (TV)
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