June 3, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Wisconsin Entrepreneurs  
  Appleton, Wisconsin Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Open a Business in Appleton, Wisconsin

Need help starting a business in Appleton, Wisconsin? We've got the information you need to open a business in Appleton.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Most new ventures do not succeed, in part because the founder 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.

With so much at stake when you start a business, we strongly recommend you do the following before you proceed:

  • Speak with other entrepreneurs in Appleton. Get their candid feedback on what it takes to start a successful business.
  • You should read The Entrepreneurial Personality. It's a good read for those who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Reach out to a trusted acquaintance. 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.

Appleton, Wisconsin Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 9198
5-9 Employees 3978
10-19 Employees 3612
20-49 Employees 2466
50-99 Employees 978
100-249 Employees 522
250-499 Employees 120
500-999 Employees 48
1000+ Employees 42
All Appleton Businesses 20964

As a new Appleton entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Appleton 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 6
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Amusement Arcades 4
Apprenticeship Training 1
Architectural Services 4
Art Dealers 6
Automobile Driving Schools 2
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 3
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 14
Automotive Transmission Repair 2
Baked Goods Stores 2
Barber Shops 1
Beauty Salons 60
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 5
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 2
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Boat Dealers 4
Book Stores 11
Books Printing 1
Bowling Centers 2
Broadwoven Fabric Mills 1
Building Inspection Services 1
Business Associations 7
Cafeterias 1
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 1
Car Washes 9
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 7
Caterers 6
Cemeteries and Crematories 1
Charter Bus Industry 1
Cheese Manufacturing 2
Child and Youth Services 8
Child Day Care Services 29
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 6
Civic and Social Organizations 16
Claims Adjusting 2
Clothing Accessories Stores 3
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 5
Collection Agencies 2
Commercial Bakeries 1
Commercial Flexographic Printing 3
Commercial Lithographic Printing 10
Commercial Photography 2
Commercial Screen Printing 2
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 9
Computer Facilities Management Services 2
Computer Systems Design Services 16
Computer Terminal Manufacturing 1
Computer Training 2
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 2
Consumer Lending 7
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 1
Convenience Stores 2
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 1
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 2
Couriers 5
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 2
Credit Unions 15
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 18
Dance Companies 1
Dental Laboratories 6
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 1
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 3
Digital Printing 1
Dimension Stone Mining and Quarrying 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 9
Direct Mail Advertising 1
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 6
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 1
Discount Department Stores 5
Display Advertising 1
Document Preparation Services 2
Drafting Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 59
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 15
Electric Power Distribution 3
Electrical Contractors 34
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 1
Electronic Shopping 6
Elementary and Secondary Schools 5
Emergency and Other Relief Services 2
Employment Placement Agencies 9
Engineering Services 28
Envelope Manufacturing 1
Environmental Consulting Services 1
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 1
Facilities Support Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 17
Family Planning Centers 2
Fine Arts Schools 5
Finish Carpentry Contractors 12
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 14
Flight Training 1
Floor Covering Stores 12
Flooring Contractors 5
Florists 9
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 6
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 1
Food Service Contractors 6
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 2
Framing Contractors 12
Freight Transportation Arrangement 4
Full-Service Restaurants 106
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 6
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 5
Furniture Stores 19
General Automotive Repair 30
General Freight Trucking, Local 10
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 2
General Rental Centers 2
General Warehousing and Storage 8
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 26
Glass and Glazing Contractors 4
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 4
Grantmaking Foundations 3
Graphic Design Services 3
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 3
Hardware Stores 5
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Historical Sites 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 10
Home Centers 4
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 6
Home Health Care Services 4
Home Health Equipment Rental 1
Homes for the Elderly 13
Household Appliance Stores 12
Human Rights Organizations 1
Industrial Building Construction 2
Industrial Design Services 1
Industrial Launderers 1
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing 3
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 84
Interior Design Services 4
Internet Service Providers 3
Investigation Services 1
Investment Advice 11
Iron and Steel Mills 1
Janitorial Services 35
Jewelry Stores 25
Kidney Dialysis Centers 2
Land Subdivision 5
Landscape Architectural Services 1
Landscaping Services 29
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 2
Limited-Service Restaurants 87
Limousine Service 4
Locksmiths 2
Logging 1
Machine Shops 10
Mail-Order Houses 1
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Marinas 1
Marketing Consulting Services 10
Masonry Contractors 15
Mattress Manufacturing 1
Meat Markets 3
Media Representatives 4
Medical Laboratories 3
Men's Clothing Stores 4
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 2
Miscellaneous Intermediation 2
Mobile Food Services 2
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 11
Motion Picture and Video Production 2
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 5
Motorcycle Dealers 2
Museums 2
Musical Groups and Artists 4
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 4
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 2
Nail Salons 1
New Car Dealers 17
New Housing Operative Builders 6
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
News Syndicates 1
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonwoven Fabric Mills 2
Nursing Care Facilities 7
Office Administrative Services 11
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 6
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 3
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 18
Offices of Chiropractors 23
Offices of Dentists 61
Offices of Lawyers 58
Offices of Optometrists 6
Offices of Other Holding Companies 5
Offices of Podiatrists 2
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 14
One-Hour Photofinishing 3
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 1
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 1
Optical Goods Stores 12
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 2
Packaging and Labeling Services 2
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 7
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 17
Paper (except Newsprint) Mills 2
Paper Industry Machinery Manufacturing 6
Parking Lots and Garages 2
Passenger Car Rental 3
Payroll Services 1
Periodical Publishers 3
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 3
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 7
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 6
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 16
Photography Studios, Portrait 17
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 1
Political Organizations 1
Portfolio Management 6
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 1
Prepress Services 2
Printing Ink Manufacturing 3
Private Mail Centers 2
Professional Employer Organizations 3
Professional Organizations 1
Quick Printing 7
Radio Stations 5
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 17
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 1
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 1
Remediation Services 1
Residential Property Managers 3
Residential Remodelers 12
Retail Bakeries 5
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 6
Roofing Contractors 4
Rooming and Boarding Houses 2
Sales Financing 3
Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing 3
Savings Institutions 15
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 2
Securities Brokerage 39
Security Guards and Patrol Services 4
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 2
Shoe Stores 16
Siding Contractors 9
Sign Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 9
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 30
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 1
Software Publishers 3
Solid Waste Collection 2
Special Needs Transportation 2
Sporting Goods Stores 23
Sports and Recreation Instruction 6
Sports Teams and Clubs 2
Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 11
Taxi Service 3
Telecommunications Resellers 2
Telemarketing Bureaus 9
Telephone Answering Services 2
Temporary Help Services 27
Temporary Shelters 4
Testing Laboratories 4
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 3
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 3
Tire Dealers 7
Tire Retreading 1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 8
Tobacco Stores 1
Tour Operators 3
Translation and Interpretation Services 5
Travel Agencies 10
Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing 1
Truss Manufacturing 2
Used Car Dealers 23
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 5
Used Merchandise Stores 14
Vending Machine Operators 2
Veterinary Services 8
Video Tape and Disc Rental 6
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 10
Voluntary Health Organizations 1
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 3
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 20
Window Treatment Stores 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 21
Women's Clothing Stores 25
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 2
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 1

Is Buying an Existing Appleton Business a Good Strategy?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Wisconsin. Follow that link and you can review several good businesses for sale in Appleton.

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

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.

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.

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

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

Company Formation in Appleton, Wisconsin

It's very important that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. The main advantage of forming your new business as a legal entity is that it separates your business liabilities from your personal liabilities.

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. Just because you are starting a business in Wisconsin, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Wisconsin. 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's a lot to know about forming a company. To learn the fundamentals of company formation, browse articles on our site, such as How to Incorporate. You should also consider getting professional assistance from your business lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Appleton, Wisconsin, our information on Incorporating in Wisconsin may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Wisconsin.

Letting the World Know You Exist

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

There are myriad resources on this site to help you with your marketing plan. Holiday-Powered Marketing discusses marketing strategy and tactical marketing in a way that should get you thinking about how to creatively promote your business. There are many more articles on marketing on our site. Visit our Small Business Marketing resource section to see them all.

Now It's Up To You

Most new Appleton 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 Appleton and elsewhere to achieve real success. We want to be there for you to answer your business questions, whether you are a new Appleton entrepreneur who is just getting started or you are already up and running with your new venture.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Appleton, Wisconsin

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



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