Starting a Business

The Service or Product Line section of your business plan should demonstrate how your particular product will fill a need for your target customers.

What to Include in Your Service or Product Line Section…

A Description of Your Product / Service

Include information about the specific benefits of your product or service, from your customers’ perspective. You should also write about your product or service’s ability to meet consumer needs, any advantages your product has over that of the competition, and the current development stage your product is in (e.g., idea, prototype).

Details About Your Product’s Life Cycle

Be sure to include information about where your product or service is in its life cycle, as well as any factors that may influence its cycle in the future. 

Intellectual Property

If you have any existing, pending, or any anticipated copyright or patent filings, list them here. Also disclose whether any key aspects of a product may be classified as trade secrets. Last, include any information pertaining to existing legal agreements, such as nondisclosure or non-compete agreements.

Research and Development (R&D) Activities

Outline any R&D activities that you are involved in or are planning. What results of future R&D activities do you expect? Be sure to analyze the R&D efforts of not only your own business, but also of others in your industry.

the U.S. Small Business Administration

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the U.S. Small Business Administration


The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The mission of the Small Business Administration is "to maintain and strengthen the nation's economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters". The agency's activities are summarized as the "3 Cs" of capital, contracts and counseling.