August 29, 2014  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Kentucky Entrepreneurs  
  Lexington, Kentucky Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Lexington, Kentucky

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

Do You Have Entrepreneurial Drive and Passion?

Most new businesses 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 Lexington. Get their candid feedback on what it takes to start a successful business.
  • We recommend reading Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Seek the advice of somebody who knows you well. 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.

What Business Are You Starting?

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. To stir your creative juices on what kind of business to start, take a look at Good Business Ideas.

For step-by-step instructions on starting a variety of business types, visit the Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Starting a Dance Club guide or our Starting a Tatoo Parlor guide.

Remember that your new startup will be located in Lexington. Think about what needs are currently being underserved in Lexington. Only by spending some time analyzing Lexington demographics can you decide if there will be strong demand for your business idea.

Lexington, Kentucky Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 199750
5-9 Employees 82892
10-19 Employees 62883
20-49 Employees 44676
50-99 Employees 16830
100-249 Employees 8058
250-499 Employees 1938
500-999 Employees 1020
1000+ Employees 408
All Lexington Businesses 418455

As a new Lexington entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Lexington 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
Adhesive Manufacturing 1
Advertising Agencies 29
Aircraft Manufacturing 1
Ambulance Services 3
Amusement Arcades 3
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 6
Architectural Services 53
Armored Car Services 2
Art Dealers 8
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing 1
Automobile Driving Schools 2
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 9
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 34
Automotive Transmission Repair 7
Baked Goods Stores 4
Barber Shops 3
Beauty Salons 71
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 1
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 27
Bituminous Coal Underground Mining 1
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 2
Blood and Organ Banks 6
Boat Dealers 1
Book Publishers 2
Book Stores 20
Bowling Centers 3
Breweries 1
Building Inspection Services 4
Burial Casket Manufacturing 2
Business Associations 33
Cable and Other Program Distribution 3
Cafeterias 7
Canvas and Related Product Mills 2
Car Washes 14
Carpet and Rug Mills 2
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 16
Caterers 13
Cemeteries and Crematories 3
Charter Bus Industry 1
Child and Youth Services 12
Child Day Care Services 85
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 10
Civic and Social Organizations 33
Claims Adjusting 13
Clothing Accessories Stores 7
Coffee and Tea Manufacturing 1
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 13
Collection Agencies 7
Commercial Lithographic Printing 19
Commercial Photography 6
Commercial Screen Printing 5
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 1
Commodity Contracts Dealing 1
Community Food Services 3
Computer and Software Stores 14
Computer Facilities Management Services 5
Computer Systems Design Services 42
Computer Terminal Manufacturing 1
Computer Training 10
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Concrete Pipe Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 3
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 3
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 2
Consumer Lending 16
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 3
Convenience Stores 17
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 5
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 3
Couriers 11
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 11
Credit Bureaus 2
Credit Card Issuing 1
Credit Unions 19
Curtain and Drapery Mills 4
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 42
Dance Companies 4
Dental Laboratories 13
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 9
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 4
Digital Printing 4
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 17
Direct Mail Advertising 3
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 3
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 8
Discount Department Stores 5
Display Advertising 2
Document Preparation Services 8
Drafting Services 3
Drilling Oil and Gas Wells 3
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 42
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 17
Educational Support Services 11
Electric Power Distribution 9
Electrical Contractors 64
Electron Tube Manufacturing 1
Electronic Auctions 1
Electronic Shopping 7
Elementary and Secondary Schools 15
Emergency and Other Relief Services 2
Employment Placement Agencies 13
Engineering Services 99
Environmental Consulting Services 9
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 8
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 11
Fabric Coating Mills 1
Facilities Support Services 4
Family Clothing Stores 34
Family Planning Centers 4
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 4
Fine Arts Schools 17
Finish Carpentry Contractors 28
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 41
Floor Covering Stores 17
Flooring Contractors 9
Florists 19
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 8
Food Service Contractors 27
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 5
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 3
Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation 1
Framing Contractors 11
Freight Transportation Arrangement 8
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 1
Full-Service Restaurants 251
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 7
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 3
Furniture Stores 31
General Automotive Repair 52
General Freight Trucking, Local 18
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 5
General Rental Centers 8
General Warehousing and Storage 17
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 47
Glass and Glazing Contractors 7
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 6
Grantmaking Foundations 12
Graphic Design Services 15
Gypsum Product Manufacturing 1
Hardware Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 8
Hardware Stores 9
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal 1
Historical Sites 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 12
Home Centers 5
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 6
Home Health Care Services 19
Home Health Equipment Rental 6
Homes for the Elderly 10
Household Appliance Stores 14
Human Rights Organizations 3
Ice Manufacturing 1
Industrial Building Construction 1
Industrial Launderers 8
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Industrial Valve Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 176
Interior Design Services 29
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 7
Internet Service Providers 6
Investigation Services 2
Investment Advice 17
Iron and Steel Forging 1
Iron Foundries 1
Janitorial Services 57
Jewelry Stores 40
Junior Colleges 2
Kidney Dialysis Centers 5
Land Subdivision 11
Landscape Architectural Services 10
Landscaping Services 70
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 8
Libraries and Archives 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 238
Limousine Service 1
Linen Supply 1
Livestock Merchant Wholesalers 4
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 9
Locksmiths 3
Logging 1
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 1
Luggage Manufacturing 1
Machine Shops 9
Mail-Order Houses 6
Manifold Business Forms Printing 2
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Marketing Consulting Services 17
Masonry Contractors 32
Meat Markets 2
Meat Processed from Carcasses 1
Media Buying Agencies 1
Media Representatives 2
Medical Laboratories 11
Men's Clothing Stores 15
Metal Heat Treating 2
Miscellaneous Intermediation 6
Mobile Food Services 1
Monetary Authorities-Central Bank 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 26
Motion Picture and Video Production 10
Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping 3
Motor Vehicle Towing 3
Motorcycle Dealers 5
Museums 8
Musical Groups and Artists 4
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 5
Nail Salons 11
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Car Dealers 25
New Housing Operative Builders 17
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
Newspaper Publishers 6
Nonresidential Property Managers 22
Nursing Care Facilities 17
Office Administrative Services 32
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 17
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 13
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 73
Offices of Chiropractors 31
Offices of Dentists 162
Offices of Lawyers 229
Offices of Optometrists 15
Offices of Other Holding Companies 5
Offices of Podiatrists 13
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 28
One-Hour Photofinishing 3
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 1
Optical Goods Stores 15
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 4
Packaging and Labeling Services 1
Packing and Crating 1
Paging 3
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 2
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 11
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 34
Parking Lots and Garages 30
Passenger Car Rental 10
Payroll Services 9
Periodical Publishers 20
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 7
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 12
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 38
Photography Studios, Portrait 19
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 1
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing 1
Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing 1
Political Organizations 4
Portfolio Management 16
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 2
Prepress Services 4
Private Mail Centers 5
Professional Employer Organizations 2
Professional Organizations 19
Public Relations Agencies 6
Quick Printing 7
Racetracks 2
Radio Networks 1
Radio Stations 18
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 3
Real Estate Credit 47
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 2
Reinsurance Carriers 1
Remediation Services 7
Repossession Services 4
Residential Property Managers 35
Residential Remodelers 54
Retail Bakeries 5
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 3
Roofing Contractors 25
Rooming and Boarding Houses 13
Sales Financing 8
Satellite Telecommunications 2
Savings Institutions 9
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 7
Securities Brokerage 34
Security Guards and Patrol Services 11
Septic Tank and Related Services 2
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 6
Shoe Stores 30
Siding Contractors 8
Sign Manufacturing 4
Site Preparation Contractors 24
Small Arms Manufacturing 1
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 37
Soft Drink Manufacturing 1
Software Publishers 8
Solid Waste Collection 7
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Sound Recording Studios 3
Special Needs Transportation 4
Sporting Goods Stores 32
Sports and Recreation Instruction 17
Sports Teams and Clubs 3
Support Activities for Coal Mining 2
Tax Preparation Services 23
Taxi Service 3
Telecommunications Resellers 2
Telemarketing Bureaus 1
Telephone Answering Services 2
Television Broadcasting 4
Temporary Help Services 39
Temporary Shelters 7
Testing Laboratories 9
Textile Machinery Manufacturing 1
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 2
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 8
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 3
Tire Dealers 16
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 13
Tobacco Stemming and Redrying 1
Tobacco Stores 12
Tour Operators 1
Translation and Interpretation Services 2
Travel Agencies 12
Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing 1
Truss Manufacturing 2
Used Car Dealers 20
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 6
Used Merchandise Stores 29
Vending Machine Operators 11
Veterinary Services 54
Video Tape and Disc Rental 8
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 4
Voluntary Health Organizations 7
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 5
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 3
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 60
Window Treatment Stores 4
Wineries 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 27
Women's Clothing Stores 47
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 4

What About Franchising Opportunities?

As you drive around Lexington, you may be surprised to see how many franchises there are in the area. But is franchising the right option for you?

We highly recommend you investigate buying a franchise. We have many articles on franchises, such as Growth Trends in Franchising. Gain a solid understanding of franchising by scanning all of our Articles on Franchising.

A comprehensive list of franchisors is available via our List of Franchise Opportunities.

Sample franchise opportunities include Subway Franchises and Starbucks Franchises. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Accounting Franchises and Moving Franchises.

Note on Lexington Franchise Opportunities: You will need to contact franchisors directly to see if their franchises are available in Lexington.

Is Buying an Existing Lexington Business a Good Strategy?

We've created a useful website page for those who want to Buy a Business in Kentucky. Follow that link and you might discover several good businesses for sale in Lexington.

Before buying a business, be sure to read this article: Buying a Business.

Naming the Company

Making the right decision when choosing a company name is very important. There are many decisions you'll make now that you can change later, but changing a company name years down the road is not very easy. So, choose a good company name at the outset.

Pick a company name that isn't too generic. If you do a search engine search for your proposed name and a billion results come up, you may want to reconsider the name. It's much easier to come up in the search engines when your name is fairly unique.

For other considerations regarding naming a company, we recommend this article: Naming a Company.

As a final piece of advice, remember that because you are planning on starting a business in Lexington, it's imperative that you check now that no other Kentucky company is using the business name you want to use.

Forming a Company in Lexington, Kentucky

A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will protect 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. If you are starting a business in Kentucky, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Kentucky. In fact, you are allowed to incorporate in any state you would like to. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There are many nuances to forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Incorporating Online. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Lexington, Kentucky, our information on Incorporating in Kentucky may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Kentucky.

Don't Skip the Business Plan

A business plan is essential in maximizing the prospects of your new company. Simply put, your business plan is your game plan for how you hope to grow your business. Starting a business without a business plan is a recipe for disaster.

If you want more information on writing business plans, we recommend reading Business Plan Contests. A great resource for business planning assistance is the face-to-face free consulting available from your local SCORE chapter in Kentucky.

Raising Capital for Your Business

Getting your Lexington business the capital it needs to succeed is very difficult due to the ongoing business credit crunch. To obtain business financing, you will need to hear a lot of rejections before you finally find a funding solution that works for you.

Take advantage of our many articles on securing funding, such as How to Raise Money.

For Lexington entrepreneurs who need startup capital, you'll want to take a look at our List of Kentucky Angel Investors and our List of Kentucky Venture Capital Firms.

Letting the World Know You Exist

Whether your goal is to attract Lexington customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, you need a excellent marketing plan.

We have some helpful resources on this site for entrepreneurs who are working on marketing plans. Yellow Pages Advertising Advice 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.

Ramping Up Sales

Mastering the art of selling is priority one if you want your new Lexington business to do well.

Why should customers buy from you instead of buying from competitors? Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

Compensating Sales People offers some helpful tips on how to sell. It's one of several good articles on our site regarding Entrepreneurial Selling.

How to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Abilities

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

Given that you are starting a business in Lexington, Kentucky, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Kentucky universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also beneficial to see if there are any networking groups or organizations in which Lexington entrepreneurs get together to network and trade their business experiences.

Now It's Up To You

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

If you choose the right business and love what you do, you will greatly increase your odds of success.

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

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Lexington, Kentucky

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

  • Resources for Lexington, Kentucky Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Lexington entrepreneurs.
  • Kentucky Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Kentucky.
  • Kentucky Small Business Development Center - The Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) has been assisting Kentucky small business community for more than 25 years. KSBDC is co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is administered by the University of Kentucky in partnership with regional universities, community and private colleges, and the private sector.
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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