June 21, 2018  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Tennessee Entrepreneurs  
  Cleveland, Tennessee Resources for Entrepreneurs  
Gaebler.com is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Starting a Business in Cleveland, Tennessee

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

Will You Be a Good Entrepreneur?

Most new businesses fail, in part because the business owner did not have the entrepreneurial skills and traits needed to succeed. So, before you open a business, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.

Because entrepreneurship is not for everyone, we recommend you do the following to help you assess whether you should move forward with starting a business:

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Cleveland. They are usually very willing to share their insights on the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
  • 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. Others sometimes know you better than you know yourself.

Choosing the Right Company to Start

There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? You might get some good ideas about what kind of business to start by reading Evaluating Your Idea.

If you still are not sure what type of business to start, peruse the Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our How to Start a Safe Experts Business guide or our Starting a Radiology Chiropractors Business guide.

Remember that you are starting a business in Cleveland. Some businesses will do better in Cleveland than others. Study Cleveland demographics and do a competitive analysis as part of your startup planning process.

Cleveland, Tennessee Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 44438
5-9 Employees 19533
10-19 Employees 12546
20-49 Employees 9945
50-99 Employees 2958
100-249 Employees 1632
250-499 Employees 663
500-999 Employees 255
1000+ Employees 153
All Cleveland Businesses 92123

As a new Cleveland entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Cleveland 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
Advertising Agencies 3
Architectural Services 2
Art Dealers 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 2
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 2
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 14
Automotive Transmission Repair 1
Baked Goods Stores 1
Beauty Salons 12
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 1
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Boat Dealers 1
Book Publishers 1
Book Stores 4
Bowling Centers 1
Broom, Brush, and Mop Manufacturing 1
Business Associations 6
Cable and Other Program Distribution 2
Cafeterias 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 1
Car Washes 2
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 5
Cemeteries and Crematories 2
Charter Bus Industry 1
Child Day Care Services 11
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 1
Civic and Social Organizations 8
Clothing Accessories Stores 2
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 2
Collection Agencies 2
Commercial Bakeries 3
Commercial Lithographic Printing 6
Commercial Photography 1
Commercial Screen Printing 1
Computer and Software Stores 3
Computer Systems Design Services 6
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 1
Consumer Lending 27
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 1
Convenience Stores 5
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 3
Credit Unions 7
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 3
Custom Roll Forming 1
Dental Laboratories 4
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 2
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 1
Discount Department Stores 3
Display Advertising 1
Drafting Services 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 2
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 2
Educational Support Services 3
Electric Power Distribution 1
Electrical Contractors 6
Elementary and Secondary Schools 3
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 1
Engineering Services 6
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 2
Facilities Support Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 6
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 2
Fine Arts Schools 3
Finish Carpentry Contractors 7
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 4
Floor Covering Stores 4
Flooring Contractors 1
Florists 7
Flour Milling 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 4
Food Service Contractors 4
Framing Contractors 2
Full-Service Restaurants 52
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 6
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 2
Furniture Stores 9
General Automotive Repair 15
General Freight Trucking, Local 4
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 3
General Rental Centers 7
General Warehousing and Storage 5
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 7
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 3
Grantmaking Foundations 1
Graphic Design Services 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 4
Hardware Stores 2
Hazardous Waste Collection 1
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 4
Home Centers 1
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 3
Home Health Care Services 7
Home Health Equipment Rental 3
Homes for the Elderly 5
Household Appliance Stores 5
Human Rights Organizations 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 30
Interior Design Services 4
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 1
Internet Service Providers 2
Investment Advice 4
Iron and Steel Mills 1
Iron Foundries 1
Janitorial Services 8
Jewelry Stores 8
Kidney Dialysis Centers 1
Land Subdivision 4
Landscaping Services 6
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 60
Locksmiths 1
Logging 1
Machine Shops 2
Mail-Order Houses 2
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 4
Masonry Contractors 5
Meat Markets 1
Men's Clothing Stores 1
Metal Heat Treating 1
Metal Stamping 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 1
Mineral Wool Manufacturing 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 5
Motion Picture and Video Production 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 5
Motorcycle Dealers 1
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 2
Nail Salons 1
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Car Dealers 14
Newspaper Publishers 3
Nursing Care Facilities 5
Office Administrative Services 12
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 3
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 3
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 11
Offices of Chiropractors 13
Offices of Dentists 27
Offices of Lawyers 35
Offices of Optometrists 5
Offices of Podiatrists 2
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 4
Optical Goods Stores 3
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 3
Packaging and Labeling Services 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 4
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 4
Paperboard Mills 1
Payroll Services 1
Periodical Publishers 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 18
Photography Studios, Portrait 12
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing 1
Portfolio Management 1
Primary Battery Manufacturing 1
Printing Ink Manufacturing 1
Private Mail Centers 1
Quick Printing 2
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 12
Real Estate Investment Trusts 1
Recreational Goods Rental 1
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 1
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 1
Residential Property Managers 5
Residential Remodelers 11
Retail Bakeries 3
Roofing Contractors 3
Savings Institutions 2
School and Employee Bus Transportation 4
Securities Brokerage 10
Septic Tank and Related Services 2
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 3
Shoe Stores 10
Siding Contractors 2
Sign Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 6
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 10
Soft Drink Manufacturing 1
Solid Waste Collection 1
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Sporting Goods Stores 3
Sports and Recreation Instruction 2
Spring (Light Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 5
Temporary Help Services 7
Temporary Shelters 1
Testing Laboratories 2
Textile Bag Mills 1
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 2
Tire Dealers 9
Tire Retreading 3
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 5
Tobacco Stores 3
Tour Operators 1
Travel Agencies 1
Truss Manufacturing 1
Underwear and Nightwear Knitting Mills 1
Used Car Dealers 13
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 1
Used Merchandise Stores 7
Vending Machine Operators 2
Veterinary Services 9
Video Tape and Disc Rental 10
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 2
Voluntary Health Organizations 1
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 1
Weft Knit Fabric Mills 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 8
Window Treatment Stores 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 2
Women's Clothing Stores 10
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 4
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 1
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing 1

Company Formation in Cleveland, Tennessee

It's very important that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

When forming a company, you will decide among many company types, such as a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporating 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 Tennessee, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Tennessee. As it turns out, 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 ESOP Formation. You may also want to seek the advice of an lawyer. On a final note, since you will be starting a business in Cleveland, Tennessee, our web page covering Incorporating in Tennessee may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Tennessee.

Don't Skip the Business Plan

Writing a business plan is vital in maximizing the prospects of your new company. Indeed, your business plan is your game plan for how you hope to grow your business. Not having a business plan will greatly reduce your chances of business success.

To learn more about business plans, read Business Plan Mistakes. A great resource for business planning assistance is the free business counselors available to you through your local SCORE chapter in Tennessee.

Where to Get Money to Start a Company

Raising money to fund your new Cleveland business will be harder than you might expect. If you don't have a rich uncle to fund you, you'll need to be creative in how you approach your fundraising efforts.

Take advantage of our many articles on raising capital, such as 504 Loans.

For Cleveland entrepreneurs in need of startup financing, check out our List of Tennessee Angel Investors and our List of Tennessee Venture Capital Firms.

What's Next?

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

From this point on, you control your own destiny.

Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Cleveland and throughout the United States . We have a wealth of experience in business start-ups, financing, marketing, sales and more...and we've made all of our knowledge available to you.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Cleveland, Tennessee

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



Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money


Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety