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BBBTips(TM) Give Entrepreneurs the Inside Track on Small Business Start-Up

August 24, 2005 at 3:29 PM EDT

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 24, 2005--The Better Business Bureau System and Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF) today released its latest set of resources for small business owners as part of the BBBTips(TM) financial education series. The newly-introduced BBBTips(TM) on Small Business Start-Up offer advice and strategies designed to help entrepreneurs effectively plan for and manage both the start-up costs and the financing challenges associated with opening a small business.

"Many first-time business owners underestimate the amount of money they will need to get their small businesses off the ground and don't know how to secure the financing they need. These are two major reasons so many small businesses fail within the first year or never get off the ground at all," said Ken Hunter, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "The new BBBTips (TM) on Small Business Start-Up offer information and easy tips entrepreneurs can use to estimate costs and manage both the initial financing and ongoing expenses of running a business."

The new BBBTips(TM) on Small Business Start-up Costs offer practical worksheets and exercises, along with budgeting and planning advice, including:

How to Estimate Start-up Costs

Information and an easy-to-follow worksheet on the types of initial expenses that most businesses incur including housing needs, office equipment and insurance.

Projecting Ongoing Monthly Operating Expenses

A monthly worksheet and formula to help small business owners calculate the ongoing costs of outfitting, promoting and operating a business.

Advice on How to Economize - Wisely

Important advice for entrepreneurs on ways to economize when launching a start-up, as well as a list of additional educational resources to manage the start-up process.

BBBTips(TM) on Small Business Start-up Costs also provides helpful information on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans-- considered one of the most accessible and popular financing options for new small businesses. A government agency created in 1953 to "aid, counsel, assist and protect...the interests of small business concerns", the SBA's current business loan portfolio consists of 219,000 loans, which together are worth more than $45 billion. This makes the SBA the largest single financial backer of U.S. businesses in the nation.

Capital One-sponsored BBBTips(TM) on Small Business Administration Loans provides entrepreneurs specific information on SBA loans including:

Who is Eligible for a SBA Loan?

Information on the advantages of an SBA loan and specific requirements to qualification.

What Kinds of SBA Loans are Available?

The SBA offers three types of loans: the Basic Section 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program, the Section 504 Certified Development Company (CDC) Program and the MicroLoan Section 7(m) Loan Program. This section will help aspiring small business owners determine which loan is right for them.

How to Apply for an SBA Loan

Specific information to walk individuals through the application process.

"It's important for aspiring new business owners to be aware of the various financing options and start-up costs involved with a new business so they can establish a realistic budget and secure adequate financing to get started," said Diana Don Colby, Director of Financial Education at Capital One. "There is a range of financing options available, and this new set of BBB Tips(TM) can help entrepreneurs navigate these choices and find the appropriate option to meet their specific needs."

The Capital One-sponsored BBBTips(TM) for Small Business are free and available online at www.bbb.org/tips/capitalone. As the 3rd largest issuer of SBA loans, Capital One also has information available on its Web site about loans.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com) is a bank holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B. and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc. offer a variety of consumer lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 48.9 million accounts and $83.0 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2005. Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and, through its subsidiaries, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.

Capital One offers a range of products to meet small business needs, including small business credit cards, small business loans and lines of credit, and small business savings accounts. As the largest issuer of small business Visa credit cards, and the third largest lender of SBA loans, Capital One provides specialized support designed to make it easier for small business customers to manage their finances so that they can focus on what's important to them. Capital One small business products are available via direct mail, capitalone.com, phone (877.561.9847) and fax.

About BBBTips(TM)

BBBTips(TM) is a trademark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB) that is used to identify consumer information articles and brochures that have been developed in partnership with the Better Business Bureau Consumer Education Foundation, Inc. BBBTips(TM) are made possible, in part, through the generous financial and technical support that is provided by corporate sponsors who are members of the CBBB and of the local BBB where the corporate sponsor is headquartered. BBBTips(TM) are designed to provide unbiased and factual information to assist consumers in making informed and intelligent purchase decisions.

CONTACT: Capital One Financial Corporation
Alison Athay, 206-239-0140
aathay@apcoworldwide.com

SOURCE: Capital One Financial Corporation