December 21, 2014  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for New York Entrepreneurs  
  Buffalo, New York Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Buffalo, New York

Thinking about starting a business in Buffalo, New York? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in Buffalo.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Most new ventures do not succeed, in part because the entrepreneur did not have the perseverance and abilities that are necessary to succeed. So, before jumping into the world of entrepreneurship, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.

Here are three things we recommend you do before you fully commit to starting a new business of your own.

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Buffalo. Get their candid feedback on what it takes to start a successful business.
  • We recommend reading Should You Become an Entrepreneur?. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Have a candid conversation with friends and family. A support network of family and friends can be a great sounding board for good advice before you decide for sure to go into business.

Buffalo, New York Demographic Information

Buffalo has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.

To give you a better feel for Buffalo demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Buffalo.

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 285712
5-9 Employees 133546
10-19 Employees 94542
20-49 Employees 66850
50-99 Employees 25200
100-249 Employees 13776
250-499 Employees 3276
500-999 Employees 1512
1000+ Employees 840
All Buffalo Businesses 625254

As a new Buffalo entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Buffalo for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.

Business Type # of
Businesses
Abrasive Product Manufacturing 3
Adhesive Manufacturing 1
Advertising Agencies 33
Air and Gas Compressor Manufacturing 2
Air Traffic Control 1
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Ambulance Services 4
Amusement and Theme Parks 1
Amusement Arcades 5
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 9
Apprenticeship Training 2
Architectural Services 42
Armored Car Services 5
Art Dealers 3
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing 1
Automobile Driving Schools 7
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 14
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 22
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 65
Automotive Transmission Repair 12
Baked Goods Stores 9
Barber Shops 9
Beauty Salons 201
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 1
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 2
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 67
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 1
Blood and Organ Banks 3
Boat Building 2
Boat Dealers 7
Book Publishers 7
Book Stores 24
Books Printing 2
Bottled Water Manufacturing 1
Bowling Centers 20
Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing 1
Breweries 1
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 1
Broadwoven Fabric Mills 2
Building Inspection Services 11
Burial Casket Manufacturing 1
Business and Secretarial Schools 1
Business Associations 25
Cable and Other Program Distribution 11
Cafeterias 11
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 2
Cane Sugar Refining 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 3
Car Washes 11
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 19
Caterers 36
Cemeteries and Crematories 12
Charter Bus Industry 3
Cheese Manufacturing 1
Child and Youth Services 16
Child Day Care Services 188
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 20
Civic and Social Organizations 82
Claims Adjusting 12
Clothing Accessories Stores 14
Coffee and Tea Manufacturing 2
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 19
Collection Agencies 52
Commercial Bakeries 9
Commercial Flexographic Printing 3
Commercial Gravure Printing 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 38
Commercial Photography 5
Commercial Screen Printing 8
Commodity Contracts Dealing 2
Community Food Services 7
Computer and Software Stores 24
Computer Facilities Management Services 7
Computer Systems Design Services 57
Computer Training 2
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 2
Confectionery and Nut Stores 4
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 9
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 1
Consumer Lending 16
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 5
Convenience Stores 87
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 9
Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing 3
Copper Rolling, Drawing, and Extruding 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 3
Couriers 25
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 10
Credit Bureaus 6
Credit Card Issuing 4
Credit Unions 57
Curtain and Drapery Mills 2
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 2
Custom Computer Programming Services 60
Custom Roll Forming 1
Dance Companies 1
Dental Laboratories 20
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 22
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 11
Digital Printing 2
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 31
Direct Mail Advertising 12
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 8
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 2
Discount Department Stores 10
Display Advertising 4
Document Preparation Services 8
Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing 1
Drafting Services 3
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 216
Drive-In Motion Picture Theaters 2
Dry Pasta Manufacturing 1
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 15
Educational Support Services 14
Electric Power Distribution 7
Electrical Contractors 71
Electronic Auctions 1
Electronic Capacitor Manufacturing 1
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 2
Electronic Shopping 22
Elementary and Secondary Schools 78
Emergency and Other Relief Services 2
Employment Placement Agencies 16
Engineering Services 82
Environmental Consulting Services 11
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 9
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 9
Fabric Coating Mills 1
Facilities Support Services 2
Family Clothing Stores 53
Family Planning Centers 4
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 3
Fertilizer (Mixing Only) Manufacturing 2
Fiber Optic Cable Manufacturing 1
Fine Arts Schools 29
Finish Carpentry Contractors 52
Fish and Seafood Markets 6
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers 2
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 57
Floor Covering Stores 32
Flooring Contractors 35
Florists 35
Flour Milling 2
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 3
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing 3
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 28
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 2
Food Service Contractors 93
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 3
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 1
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 13
Framing Contractors 10
Freight Transportation Arrangement 53
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 3
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 5
Full-Service Restaurants 457
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 59
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 9
Furniture Stores 57
General Automotive Repair 173
General Freight Trucking, Local 43
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 8
General Rental Centers 15
General Warehousing and Storage 33
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 77
Glass and Glazing Contractors 10
Glove and Mitten Manufacturing 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 7
Grantmaking Foundations 26
Graphic Design Services 24
Greeting Card Publishers 1
Gypsum Product Manufacturing 1
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 3
Hardware Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 14
Hardware Stores 22
Hat, Cap, and Millinery Manufacturing 2
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal 3
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Historical Sites 2
HMO Medical Centers 2
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 27
Home Centers 17
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 11
Home Health Care Services 35
Home Health Equipment Rental 6
Homes for the Elderly 20
Household Appliance Stores 17
Human Rights Organizations 21
Industrial Building Construction 2
Industrial Design Services 2
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 2
Industrial Launderers 5
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Industrial Valve Manufacturing 1
Inland Water Passenger Transportation 1
Inorganic Dye and Pigment Manufacturing 1
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 3
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 262
Interior Design Services 10
International Trade Financing 1
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 2
Internet Service Providers 10
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 2
Investigation Services 18
Investment Advice 58
Iron and Steel Forging 2
Iron and Steel Mills 4
Iron Foundries 1
Janitorial Services 181
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 3
Jewelry Stores 80
Junior Colleges 7
Kidney Dialysis Centers 5
Land Subdivision 6
Landscape Architectural Services 8
Landscaping Services 126
Language Schools 1
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 9
Libraries and Archives 4
Limited-Service Restaurants 439
Limousine Service 8
Linen Supply 2
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 16
Locksmiths 9
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 2
Machine Shops 36
Mail-Order Houses 15
Marinas 4
Marine Cargo Handling 1
Marketing Consulting Services 24
Marking Device Manufacturing 1
Masonry Contractors 31
Materials Recovery Facilities 3
Mattress Manufacturing 2
Meat Markets 32
Meat Processed from Carcasses 10
Media Representatives 2
Medical Laboratories 8
Men's Clothing Stores 25
Metal Heat Treating 2
Metal Stamping 4
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 3
Miscellaneous Intermediation 7
Mobile Food Services 8
Monetary Authorities-Central Bank 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 22
Motion Picture and Video Distribution 1
Motion Picture and Video Production 17
Motor and Generator Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 3
Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping 4
Motor Vehicle Towing 12
Motorcycle Dealers 4
Museums 9
Musical Groups and Artists 8
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 12
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 1
Nail Salons 11
Natural Gas Distribution 7
Navigational Services to Shipping 1
New Car Dealers 48
New Housing Operative Builders 9
News Dealers and Newsstands 6
News Syndicates 2
Newspaper Publishers 13
Nonclay Refractory Manufacturing 2
Nonresidential Property Managers 30
Nursing Care Facilities 35
Office Administrative Services 46
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 24
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 17
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 113
Offices of Chiropractors 64
Offices of Dentists 276
Offices of Lawyers 479
Offices of Optometrists 21
Offices of Other Holding Companies 28
Offices of Podiatrists 36
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 28
One-Hour Photofinishing 4
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 3
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 5
Optical Goods Stores 54
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 6
Outerwear Knitting Mills 1
Packaging and Labeling Services 7
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing 1
Packing and Crating 3
Paging 1
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 4
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 13
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 63
Parking Lots and Garages 65
Passenger Car Leasing 3
Passenger Car Rental 8
Payroll Services 8
Periodical Publishers 13
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 17
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 8
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 95
Photography Studios, Portrait 38
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 1
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 2
Political Organizations 5
Polystyrene Foam Product Manufacturing 2
Port and Harbor Operations 1
Portfolio Management 35
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 3
Prepress Services 7
Printing Ink Manufacturing 3
Private Mail Centers 5
Professional Employer Organizations 12
Professional Organizations 17
Public Relations Agencies 7
Quick Printing 15
Radio Stations 9
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 3
Real Estate Credit 43
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 2
Remediation Services 5
Repossession Services 6
Residential Property Managers 43
Residential Remodelers 132
Resilient Floor Covering Manufacturing 1
Retail Bakeries 16
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 8
Rolled Steel Shape Manufacturing 2
Roofing Contractors 30
Sales Financing 21
Savings Institutions 20
Scheduled Freight Air Transportation 3
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 14
School and Employee Bus Transportation 12
Securities Brokerage 56
Security Guards and Patrol Services 20
Septic Tank and Related Services 2
Setup Paperboard Box Manufacturing 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 11
Shoe Stores 79
Siding Contractors 26
Sign Manufacturing 14
Silverware and Hollowware Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 18
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 84
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 2
Soft Drink Manufacturing 1
Software Publishers 13
Software Reproducing 1
Solid Waste Collection 4
Solid Waste Landfill 2
Sound Recording Studios 3
Special Needs Transportation 10
Spice and Extract Manufacturing 1
Sporting Goods Stores 44
Sports and Recreation Instruction 20
Sports Teams and Clubs 4
Spring (Light Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Steel Wire Drawing 1
Support Activities for Forestry 1
Tax Preparation Services 55
Taxi Service 9
Telecommunications Resellers 3
Telemarketing Bureaus 11
Telephone Answering Services 3
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 2
Television Broadcasting 5
Temporary Help Services 72
Temporary Shelters 10
Testing Laboratories 15
Textile Bag Mills 1
Textile Machinery Manufacturing 1
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 11
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 8
Timber Tract Operations 1
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 11
Tire Dealers 29
Tire Manufacturing (except Retreading) 1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 19
Tobacco Stores 9
Tour Operators 5
Tradebinding and Related Work 4
Translation and Interpretation Services 2
Travel Agencies 23
Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing 1
Used Car Dealers 33
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 16
Used Merchandise Stores 24
Vending Machine Operators 12
Veterinary Services 28
Video Tape and Disc Rental 29
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 26
Voluntary Health Organizations 30
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 3
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 3
Web Search Portals 2
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 84
Window Treatment Stores 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 45
Women's Clothing Stores 106
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 10
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 2
Wood Preservation 1
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 2

Choosing a Company Name

A big decision when starting a company is choosing a company name. Believe it or not, choosing a good company name can be a big contributor to your business success.

Even if the name doesn't do it by itself, many naming experts believe there should be a story behind the name that ties into your company mission.

To get up to speed on what makes for a good company name, we encourage you to read this useful article: Branding Advice.

On a final note, given that you are opening a business in Buffalo, it's imperative that you check now that no other New York company is using the business name you want to use.

Company Formation in Buffalo, New York

It's very important that you form your business as a legal structure. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporation is a very popular way to form a business. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. Just because you are starting a business in New York, it doesn't mean you are required to incorporate in New York. In fact, you can incorporate wherever you want. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There's a lot to know about forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Piercing the Corporate Veil. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Buffalo, New York, our information on Incorporating in New York may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in New York.

Don't Skip the Business Plan

Writing a business plan is vital to the health of your new business. Indeed, a business plan describes what you plan to do with the business and how you plan to do it. Starting a business without a business plan will greatly reduce your chances of business success.

Before you start writing a business plan, we suggest you skim Business Plan Contests. A great resource for business planning assistance is the free business counselors available to you through your local SCORE chapter in New York.

Letting the World Know You Exist

Whether your goal is to attract Buffalo customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your doing well.

There are myriad resources on this site to help you with your marketing plan. Creating a Web Presence discusses marketing strategy and tactical marketing in a way that should get you thinking about how to creatively promote your business. That's just a sampling of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Improving Your Entrepreneurial Skillset

Successful business owners know that what they know now may not be enough to ensure their future success.

Given that you are starting a business in Buffalo, New York, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby New York universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also worthwhile to see if there are any Buffalo networking organizations.

Buffalo Entrepreneur Interviews

Here, we'll keep a running list of interviews we've had with Buffalo entrepreneurs.

Now It's Up To You

Most new Buffalo businesses underestimate the number of challenges they will face.

Owning your own business will be a daunting task, but you can do it.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Buffalo and elsewhere to achieve real success. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Buffalo, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Buffalo, New York

Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Buffalo.

 

 

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business - Writing a Business Plan - Raising Money - Incorporate

Small Business Marketing - Advertising Advice - Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips - Entrepreneurial Selling - Workplace Safety