Business Formation Technical Assistance Resources


NDN Fund has gathered a list of resources that will help you get started.

Eligibility notice

In order to be eligible for Moving Beyond COVID-19 lending, your business must have been formed by February 15, 2020.

This particular loan fund is not for start-up businesses, but we wanted to be responsive to the inquiries of all entrepreneurs. If you are seeking additional assistance in forming your business, NDN Fund has gathered a list of resources that will help you get started. There are many other organizations across the country who provide support for entrepreneurs, including state and regional entities Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), local Chambers of Commerce (including American Indian Chambers of Commerce), community development financial institutions (CDFIs), minority business development agencies, and more. 

Initial Business Formation

In order to be eligible for financing through NDN Fund, a business must have the corporate structure in place required for accepting capital. This is a requirement for most lenders, as well, with other financial institutions requiring different types of materials based on their own loan policies. Generally speaking, these guidelines will help with the fundamental early stages of your business formation. 

These business formation steps are laid out more fully in How to Start a Business. This link provides the basics in starting a business, from initial idea formation to fully launching your business.

The steps they lay out include:

  1. Find a Good Business Idea
    • Does your business focus on a strength or passion of yours?
  2. Choose the Type of Business you Want to Start
    • What type of business are you looking to start? This is an important consideration as your initial formation has big implications for tax filings, your personal finances, and investment opportunities.  
  3. Do Your Market Research
    • What is your market? Who will you be selling to? 
  4. Test Your Business Idea
    • Will your business work? Will it be profitable?
  5. Write Your Business Plan
    • This is a critical part of your business formation as many lenders will be asking for this, including NDN Fund. This includes your value proposition for your business as well as necessary financial documentation.
  6. Brand Your Business
    • Who is your target audience? Who will your business cater to?
  7. Make it Legal
    • This ensures your business is functioning by the book. Includes legal structure, trademarks, business registration, tax IDs, creating a business bank account, and website domain creation. 
  8. Get Financed
    • How will your business have the funds to get started? Includes startup costs, sources funds, and pitching your business
  9. Market and Launch Your Business
    • This part focuses on marketing your business, working on public relations, human resources, and hiring additional staff.

Additional resources

  • Another business plan can be found at the CDFI Fund’s  Sample Business Plan Outline. This plan is from 4-Directions Development, a 501(c)3 serving the Red Lake Nation,  and has a focus on Indigenous small business formation. Steps include a market analysis, a marketing plan, management plan, and creating additional financial information.  This is one example of what a business plan CAN be but it does not necessarily have to line up with what is presented in this sample business plan. Overall, the goal of a good business plan is to show what need in the market your business fills, your value proposition for your business, how you provide a solution to the market need, who your target market is, how you will market your business, financial projections, key milestones, partnerships, and what funding your business will need to thrive.
  • The Small Business ToolKit focuses on additional guidelines for forming your business as well, laying out similar steps to business formation as in the above steps, with a larger legal emphasis, albeit on Texas state law.
  • The Small Business Administration ( offers resources for small business formation as well, with steps including planning your business, launching your business, managing your business, and growing your business. 

There are so many templates and supporting organizations we could list, and while we would love to include an online repository, we also did not want to overwhelm you with resources. This is a good jumping off point to help you get started and we wish you the most success in the development of your small business!

Working with Native Financial Institutions 

Finding funding for your business in an integral step to turn your idea into reality. Debt capital is often the most common and can be accessed through a variety of financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, or CDFIs. However, equity investments are another option for new businesses. Each has a different business model, some are for-profit and others not-for-profit which impacts interest rates, fees, and deal structures. While NDN Fund is an emerging Native CDFI, we are looking to finance businesses already in existence with our Moving Beyond COVID loans.

To access financing from CDFIs, you need to have some critical things in place, like a business plan, market study, and be legally incorporated. These locally focused organizations may be able to assist you with your business formation and eventual capital needs as you further develop your business. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Center for Indian Country Development’s Mapping Native American Financial Institutions has a map of financial institutions throughout the country. This list includes banks, CDFIs, credit unions, and combinations of the three(e.g. Credit Union/CDFI).  The bottom of this page also lists regional Native CDFIs by region and their websites so you can work directly with one to establish and finance your business.

Native CDFIS

Click any of the regions for more information.

Pacific Northwest and Alaska
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Financial ServicesLoan FundPortlandOR
Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO, Inc.Loan FundAnchorageAK
Chehalis Tribal Loan FundLoan FundOakvilleWA
Cook Inlet Lending Center, Inc.Loan
Haa Yakaawu Financial CorporationLoan FundJuneauAKNon given
Lummi Community Development Financial InstitutionLoan
Northwest Native Development FundLoan FundCoulee
Spruce Root, Inc.Loan
Taala FundLoan
Southwest and Rocky Mountain
Community Development Financial Institution of the Tohono O’odham NationLoan
Hopi Credit AssociationLoan FundKeams CanyonAZ
Montana Homeownership NetworkLoan FundGreat FallsMT
NACDC Financial Services Inc.Loan
Native American Bancorporation, Co.Depository Institution Holding
Native American Bank, N.A.Bank or
Native American Development CorporationLoan
Native Community CapitalLoan
Native Partnership for Housing, Inc.Loan
Navajo Community Development Financial InstitutionLoan FundWindow RockAZ
Nimiipuu Community Development FundLoan
Oweesta CorporationLoan
Peoples Partners for Community DevelopmentLoan FundLame
Salt River Financial Services InstitutionLoan FundScottsdaleAZ
San Carlos Apache Tribe Relending EnterpriseLoan FundPeridotAZNot Available
Tiwa Lending ServicesLoan
Wind River Development FundLoan FundFort WashakieWY
Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc.Loan FundRapid
Chi Ishobak, Inc.Loan
First American Capital Corporation, Inc.Loan FundHale
First Nations Community FinancialLoan FundBlack River
Four Bands Community Fund, Inc.Loan FundEagle
Ho-Chunk Community Capital Inc.Loan
Indian Land Capital Company LLCLoan FundLittle CanadaMN
Lake Superior Community Development Corp.Loan FundL’AnseMI
Lakota Federal Credit UnionCredit UnionKyleSDNot Available
Lakota Fund, Inc., TheLoan
Leech Lake Financial Services, Inc.Loan FundCass LakeMN
Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, IncLoan FundPine
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Finance CorporationLoan FundCass
Mni Sota FundLoan FundMinneapolisMN
Native360 Loan Fund, Inc.Loan FundGrand IslandNE
NiiJii Capital Partners, Inc.Loan
Northern Shores Community Development, Inc.Loan FundHarbor
Sisseton Wahpeton Federal Credit UnionCredit UnionAgency VillageSD
White Earth Investment InitiativeLoan
White Earth Reservation Federal Credit UnionCredit
Wisconsin Native Loan Fund, Inc.Loan FundLac du
California and Hawaii
Council for Native Hawaiian AdvancementLoan
Hawaii Central Federal Credit UnionCredit UnionHonoluluHI
Hawaii Community Lending IncLoan
Karuk Community Loan Fund, Inc.Loan
Lei HoolahaLoan FundKamuelaHI
Molokai Community Federal Credit UnionCredit UnionKaunakakaiHI
The Alliance CDFILoan FundKlamathCANon given
Westwater Financial, Inc.Loan FundSanta
Oklahoma and Texas
Bank of Cherokee CountyBank or
Chickasaw Banc Holding CompanyBank Holding CompanyOklahoma CityOKNot Available
Chickasaw Community BankBank or ThriftOklahoma CityOK
Choctaw Home Finance CorporationLoan
Citizen Potawatomi Community Development CorporationLoan FundShawneeOK
Mvskoke Loan FundLoan FundOkmulgeeOK
Osage Financial Resources, Inc.Loan
The Cherokee Nation d/b/a Cherokee Nation Economic Development Trust Authority, IncLoan FundTahlequahOKNon given
Tigua Community Development CorporationLoan FundEl PasoTXNon given
East, Southeast, and South
Choctaw Federal Credit UnionCredit UnionChoctawMS
Four Directions Development CorporationLoan
Lower Brule Community Development Enterprise, LLCLoan FundRestonVANot Available
Seneca Nation of Indians Economic Development CompanyLoan FundSalamancaNY
Sequoyah Fund Inc., TheLoan FundCherokeeNC