June 21, 2018  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Tennessee Entrepreneurs  
  Memphis, Tennessee Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Opening a Business in Memphis, Tennessee

Contemplating starting a business in Memphis, Tennessee? We walk you through the process of opening a business in Memphis.

What Type of Business Should You Start?

Choosing a business that is right for you is very important. To stir your creative juices on what kind of business to start, take a look at Good Business Ideas.

For in-depth how-to guides on how to start specific businesses, browse our Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Starting an Advertising and Promotional Apparel Business guide or our How to Start a Voice Mail Equipment & Systems Business guide.

Don't forget that starting a business in Memphis has some implications. Some businesses will do better in Memphis than others. Make sure you fully understand Memphis demographics before you lock in on your business idea.

Memphis, Tennessee Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 194328
5-9 Employees 91359
10-19 Employees 68571
20-49 Employees 54909
50-99 Employees 19170
100-249 Employees 11934
250-499 Employees 3483
500-999 Employees 1296
1000+ Employees 810
All Memphis Businesses 445860

As a new Memphis entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Memphis 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
Adhesive Manufacturing 4
Advertising Agencies 41
Air and Gas Compressor Manufacturing 2
Aircraft Manufacturing 1
Aluminum Extruded Product Manufacturing 1
Ambulance Services 7
Amusement and Theme Parks 1
Amusement Arcades 5
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 3
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 14
Apprenticeship Training 7
Architectural Services 52
Armored Car Services 3
Art Dealers 12
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing 1
Automobile Driving Schools 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 15
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 19
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 122
Automotive Transmission Repair 23
Baked Goods Stores 10
Barber Shops 4
Beauty Salons 131
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 3
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 4
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 97
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 4
Blood and Organ Banks 13
Boat Dealers 6
Book Publishers 6
Book Stores 36
Books Printing 1
Bowling Centers 3
Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing 1
Breweries 1
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 2
Building Inspection Services 5
Business Associations 34
Business to Business Electronic Markets 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 3
Cafeterias 26
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 7
Cane Sugar Refining 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 2
Car Washes 26
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 14
Caterers 18
Cement Manufacturing 1
Cemeteries and Crematories 9
Charter Bus Industry 1
Cheese Manufacturing 1
Child and Youth Services 18
Child Day Care Services 284
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 15
Civic and Social Organizations 73
Claims Adjusting 10
Clothing Accessories Stores 20
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 22
Collection Agencies 16
Commercial Bakeries 4
Commercial Flexographic Printing 2
Commercial Gravure Printing 2
Commercial Lithographic Printing 44
Commercial Photography 6
Commercial Screen Printing 8
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 11
Commodity Contracts Dealing 3
Community Food Services 2
Commuter Rail Systems 1
Computer and Software Stores 22
Computer Facilities Management Services 4
Computer Systems Design Services 49
Computer Training 6
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 2
Confectionery and Nut Stores 5
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 7
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 6
Consumer Lending 46
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 5
Convenience Stores 59
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 3
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 2
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 10
Couriers 249
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 5
Credit Bureaus 4
Credit Card Issuing 2
Credit Unions 73
Crown and Closure Manufacturing 1
Curtain and Drapery Mills 3
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 3
Custom Computer Programming Services 39
Deep Sea Freight Transportation 1
Dental Laboratories 12
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 10
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 4
Digital Printing 8
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 28
Direct Mail Advertising 9
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 9
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 4
Discount Department Stores 9
Display Advertising 9
Distilleries 1
Document Preparation Services 8
Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing 2
Drafting Services 3
Dried and Dehydrated Food Manufacturing 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 61
Drive-In Motion Picture Theaters 1
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 28
Educational Support Services 9
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 138
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 1
Electronic Shopping 10
Elementary and Secondary Schools 44
Emergency and Other Relief Services 4
Employment Placement Agencies 22
Engineering Services 92
Envelope Manufacturing 1
Environmental Consulting Services 8
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 14
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 41
Facilities Support Services 13
Family Clothing Stores 64
Family Planning Centers 4
Farm Management Services 1
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 7
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 15
Fats and Oils Refining and Blending 3
Fine Arts Schools 12
Finish Carpentry Contractors 13
Fish and Seafood Markets 3
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers 3
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 39
Flight Training 2
Floor Covering Stores 23
Flooring Contractors 24
Florists 41
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 1
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 14
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 1
Food Service Contractors 59
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 4
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 16
Framing Contractors 6
Freight Transportation Arrangement 93
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 8
Full-Service Restaurants 415
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 15
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 13
Furniture Stores 69
General Automotive Repair 123
General Freight Trucking, Local 28
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 13
General Rental Centers 8
General Warehousing and Storage 82
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 64
Glass and Glazing Contractors 11
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 10
Grantmaking Foundations 32
Graphic Design Services 26
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 3
Hardware Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 24
Hardware Stores 22
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal 3
Historical Sites 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 25
Home Centers 8
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 32
Home Health Care Services 48
Home Health Equipment Rental 7
Homes for the Elderly 34
Household Appliance Stores 13
Human Rights Organizations 6
Ice Manufacturing 1
Industrial Building Construction 4
Industrial Design Services 2
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 3
Industrial Launderers 21
Inland Water Freight Transportation 3
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 308
Interior Design Services 30
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 2
Internet Service Providers 7
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 3
Investigation Services 10
Investment Advice 45
Iron and Steel Mills 4
Iron Foundries 2
Janitorial Services 130
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 1
Jewelry Stores 76
Junior Colleges 1
Kidney Dialysis Centers 7
Land Subdivision 20
Landscape Architectural Services 14
Landscaping Services 109
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 14
Limited-Service Restaurants 549
Limousine Service 4
Linen Supply 5
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 10
Locksmiths 7
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 2
Machine Shops 20
Mail-Order Houses 15
Manifold Business Forms Printing 3
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 3
Marinas 2
Marine Cargo Handling 4
Marketing Consulting Services 15
Marking Device Manufacturing 2
Masonry Contractors 29
Materials Recovery Facilities 2
Meat Markets 7
Media Buying Agencies 3
Media Representatives 2
Medical Laboratories 20
Men's Clothing Stores 52
Metal Can Manufacturing 2
Metal Heat Treating 2
Metal Household Furniture Manufacturing 2
Metal Stamping 2
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 4
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 7
Mineral Wool Manufacturing 2
Miscellaneous Intermediation 17
Mobile Food Services 2
Monetary Authorities-Central Bank 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 19
Motion Picture and Video Production 15
Motor and Generator Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 19
Motorcycle Dealers 12
Museums 13
Music Publishers 2
Musical Groups and Artists 5
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 9
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 1
Nail Salons 21
Natural Gas Distribution 1
Navigational Services to Shipping 2
New Car Dealers 52
New Housing Operative Builders 11
News Dealers and Newsstands 2
News Syndicates 1
Newspaper Publishers 16
Nonresidential Property Managers 25
Nursing Care Facilities 21
Office Administrative Services 80
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 35
Office Machinery Manufacturing 1
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 20
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 2
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 129
Offices of Chiropractors 31
Offices of Dentists 298
Offices of Lawyers 386
Offices of Optometrists 56
Offices of Other Holding Companies 22
Offices of Podiatrists 18
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 26
One-Hour Photofinishing 2
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 3
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 5
Optical Goods Stores 26
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 6
Packaging and Labeling Services 12
Packing and Crating 3
Paging 3
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 8
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 27
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 59
Paper (except Newsprint) Mills 1
Paper Industry Machinery Manufacturing 1
Parking Lots and Garages 100
Passenger Car Leasing 6
Passenger Car Rental 17
Payroll Services 12
Periodical Publishers 19
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 11
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 13
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 10
Petroleum Refineries 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 88
Photography Studios, Portrait 31
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 1
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 1
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing 1
Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing 2
Plate Work Manufacturing 3
Political Organizations 7
Polystyrene Foam Product Manufacturing 1
Port and Harbor Operations 3
Portfolio Management 33
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 3
Prepress Services 9
Printing Ink Manufacturing 4
Private Mail Centers 6
Professional Employer Organizations 8
Professional Organizations 15
Public Relations Agencies 7
Pulp Mills 2
Quick Printing 20
Radio Networks 3
Radio Stations 25
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 11
Real Estate Credit 81
Real Estate Investment Trusts 10
Recreational Goods Rental 1
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 6
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 5
Remediation Services 10
Rendering and Meat Byproduct Processing 1
Repossession Services 8
Residential Property Managers 60
Residential Remodelers 77
Retail Bakeries 4
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 18
Rolled Steel Shape Manufacturing 3
Roofing Contractors 27
Sales Financing 17
Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing 1
Satellite Telecommunications 3
Savings Institutions 7
Sawmills 3
Scheduled Freight Air Transportation 2
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 13
School and Employee Bus Transportation 5
Securities Brokerage 42
Security Guards and Patrol Services 48
Septic Tank and Related Services 4
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 12
Shoe Stores 89
Siding Contractors 8
Sign Manufacturing 23
Site Preparation Contractors 23
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 41
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 3
Soft Drink Manufacturing 2
Software Publishers 15
Solid Waste Collection 3
Solid Waste Landfill 3
Sound Recording Studios 3
Soybean Processing 1
Special Needs Transportation 7
Sporting Goods Stores 38
Sports and Recreation Instruction 16
Sports Teams and Clubs 2
Spring (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Spring (Light Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Steel Wire Drawing 1
Surface Active Agent Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 107
Taxi Service 3
Telecommunications Resellers 6
Telemarketing Bureaus 6
Telephone Answering Services 9
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 1
Television Broadcasting 8
Temporary Help Services 120
Temporary Shelters 8
Testing Laboratories 13
Textile Bag Mills 1
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 7
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 20
Timber Tract Operations 1
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 10
Tire Dealers 51
Tire Retreading 3
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 20
Tobacco Stores 20
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 4
Tour Operators 5
Tradebinding and Related Work 6
Translation and Interpretation Services 1
Travel Agencies 23
Truck Trailer Manufacturing 1
Used Car Dealers 69
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 19
Used Merchandise Stores 42
Vending Machine Operators 33
Veterinary Services 43
Video Tape and Disc Rental 28
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 15
Voluntary Health Organizations 14
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 10
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 2
Web Search Portals 1
Wet Corn Milling 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 108
Window Treatment Stores 7
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 53
Women's Clothing Stores 126
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 11
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 2
Wood Preservation 1
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing 2
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 2

Is Buying an Existing Memphis Business a Good Strategy?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Tennessee. Follow that link and you might discover several good businesses for sale in Memphis.

If you are going to be buying a business, you may want to read this article: Buying a Business.

Forming a Company in Memphis, Tennessee

A critical step is ensuring 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.

The entity you form can be a corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership or other structure.

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. If you are starting a business in Tennessee, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Tennessee. In fact, you can incorporate in any state you would like to. For example, it's very popular to incorporate in Delaware, and incorporating in Nevada has become very trendy as well. Don't forget, though, that you will have to register as a foreign entity in all states that you do business in.

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 Avoiding Personal Liability in Business. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Memphis, Tennessee, our information on Incorporating in Tennessee may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Tennessee.

Don't Skip the Business Plan

A business plan is vital in maximizing the prospects of your new company. Indeed, a business plan describes what you plan to do with the business and how you plan to do it. Not having a business plan is a recipe for disaster.

To learn more about business plans, read Business Plan Contests. A great resource for business planning assistance is the free counseling sessions provided by your local SCORE chapter in Tennessee.

Marketing Your New Business

To rise above the crowd in Memphis and accelerate your business, you need a excellent marketing plan.

You can learn quite a bit about marketing on our site. Customer Loyalty Programs 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.

What's Next?

Most new Memphis 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 Memphis and elsewhere to achieve real success. 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 Memphis, Tennessee

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



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