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How to open your small-business plan

Our dedicated team of small-business specialists will give you as much help as you need to start your plan.

Plan-by-plan instructions

Select your plan and download the appropriate materials.

SEP-IRA for one person

A single-person SEP-IRA is the only plan you can start online. It's for individuals who are self-employed or earn freelance income even if they have jobs.

SEP-IRA for more than one person

Consider this plan if you are self-employed, are a partner in a business, or own a business with employees. Contact us at 800-992-7188 to discuss your options.

Individual 401(k)

Consider this plan if you're a sole proprietor or have a business partner. Remember, your business can only employ your spouse or spouses of partners.


Consider this plan if you are self-employed, are a small-business owner, or have a business with 100 or fewer employees that doesn't maintain another retirement plan.

Next steps

One-person SEP-IRA

Congratulations! Opening your plan online means you're ready to contribute and start to build your retirement.

All other plans

You'll receive an email verifying that the plan has been set up and instructions on how to register for Small Business Online.

You'll make all your contributions online. Depending on your plan, you may also enroll future employees online.

Once your employees' accounts are set up, we'll let them know by email and provide them with instructions on how to access their accounts online.

How long does it take?

Establishing a new small-business retirement plan takes about 2 weeks.

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We're here to help

For assistance with new plans:

Call 800-992-7188

For assistance with existing plans:

Call 800-205-6189

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time


Get complete portfolio management

We can custom-develop and implement your financial plan, giving you greater confidence that you're doing all you can to reach your goals.

Make retirement saving easy

If you don't know how to start saving for retirement, we can help you figure out how much you'll need and how to balance all your savings goals.

Consolidate your accounts

Consider moving accounts you hold elsewhere to Vanguard. You'll enjoy more control of your portfolio now and get a clear picture of your investment strategy.


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Mutual fund

A type of investment that pools shareholder money and invests it in a variety of securities. Each investor owns shares of the fund and can buy or sell these shares at any time. Mutual funds are typically more diversified, low-cost, and convenient than investing in individual securities, and they're professionally managed.