Here are just a few of the places you are likely to find a free sample business plan which you can use as a starting point for your own company's business plan.
The Internet provides resources and instant business models which can usually be downloaded as PDF or Word documents. Internet resources like Entrepreneur.com, Bplans.com and SamplePlan.com provide free examples of business plans as well as downloadable software.
Entrepreneur.com provides 60 PDF-based sample business plans for free on their website and another 340 through Bplans.com. Bplans.com offers 400 business plans available with the purchase of Business Plan Pro software. The standard edition is $99.95 and the premium edition is $199.95. The Bplans.com website also offers a multitude of free plans for a variety of different businesses. SamplePlan.com is similar to Bplans.com but it offers individual downloadable plans for specific business types
Reference books may be a bit more helpful than Internet based resources because they can be read at leisure. The book resource can also prevent having to go back and forth between a website showing a sample plan and the program the plan is being created in. Most book references also provide an index so different types of plans can be easily found instead of scrolling through less helpful information.
A reference book by Lynn M. Pearce, the Business Plans Handbook 14th Edition was released in August 2008. It can usually be found in libraries or bookstores, like Amazon.com where it can be purchased for $194.50 plus the cost of shipping. If other editions of the Business Plan Handbook are available they could be just as useful as the most recent edition. Business Plans for Dummies Editions 1 and 2 walk the reader through creating several different types of business plans. This resource might not be found at libraries but can be found at bookstores and costs a fraction of the Business Plans Handbook.
The US government provides many resources for business owners through its own Business.gov website as well as the Small Business Association (SBA). Both resources are dedicated to helping business owners understand how the government protects them and provides a variety of information including sample business plans.
The Small Business Administration (SBA.gov) is derived from Business.gov and provides downloadable business plans but if necessary limited resources can be requested in print which will take much longer than downloading resources through the Internet. These resources provide specific information on how to develop business plans as well as online workshops. The SBA provides a Frequently Asked Questions area to help with questions on creating business plans as well as step by step instructions.