June 2, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Wisconsin Entrepreneurs  
  Ashland, Wisconsin Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Opening a Business in Ashland, Wisconsin

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

Do You Have Entrepreneurial Drive and Passion?

Before you get too far along in the process, assess your entrepreneurial instincts and capabilities.

Before you move forward with starting a business, be sure to do these three things:

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Ashland. 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.

Choosing the Right Company to Start

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 Opening a Mailing Machines & Equipment Wholesales & Manufacturers Business guide or our Starting a Window Shades Retail & Custom Business guide.

Remember that starting a business in Ashland has some implications. Some businesses will do better in Ashland than others. Only by spending some time analyzing Ashland demographics can you decide if there will be strong demand for your business idea.

Ashland, Wisconsin Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 11611
5-9 Employees 4233
10-19 Employees 3009
20-49 Employees 2346
50-99 Employees 459
100-249 Employees 255
250-499 Employees 102
500-999 Employees 51
1000+ Employees 0
All Ashland Businesses 22066

As a new Ashland entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Ashland 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 2
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 1
Architectural Services 1
Art Dealers 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 2
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 4
Beauty Salons 5
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 2
Boat Dealers 1
Book Stores 2
Bowling Centers 1
Breweries 1
Business Associations 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 1
Caterers 1
Cemeteries and Crematories 1
Child and Youth Services 1
Child Day Care Services 5
Civic and Social Organizations 2
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 1
Collection Agencies 1
Commercial Screen Printing 1
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Consumer Lending 2
Couriers 1
Credit Unions 2
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 2
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 3
Discount Department Stores 1
Drafting Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 14
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 4
Elementary and Secondary Schools 1
Engineering Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 2
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 1
Finish Carpentry Contractors 1
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 3
Floor Covering Stores 1
Flooring Contractors 2
Florists 2
Food Service Contractors 2
Framing Contractors 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 1
Full-Service Restaurants 14
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 3
Furniture Stores 2
General Automotive Repair 4
General Freight Trucking, Local 2
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 4
Hardware Stores 1
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Historical Sites 1
Home Centers 1
Home Health Care Services 3
Household Appliance Stores 2
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 11
Iron and Steel Forging 1
Janitorial Services 3
Jewelry Stores 2
Landscaping Services 2
Limited-Service Restaurants 9
Logging 5
Machine Shops 2
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Masonry Contractors 1
Meat Markets 1
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 1
New Car Dealers 2
Newspaper Publishers 3
Nursing Care Facilities 2
Office Administrative Services 2
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 2
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 3
Offices of Chiropractors 3
Offices of Dentists 9
Offices of Lawyers 8
Offices of Optometrists 2
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 1
Optical Goods Stores 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 2
Paper Industry Machinery Manufacturing 1
Periodical Publishers 2
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 3
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 2
Photography Studios, Portrait 1
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 1
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 1
Residential Remodelers 3
Retail Bakeries 1
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 2
Roofing Contractors 3
Rope, Cordage, and Twine Mills 1
Sawmills 3
School and Employee Bus Transportation 1
Securities Brokerage 3
Shoe Stores 2
Siding Contractors 1
Site Preparation Contractors 1
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 2
Solid Waste Collection 1
Sporting Goods Stores 3
Support Activities for Forestry 1
Tax Preparation Services 2
Taxi Service 2
Telemarketing Bureaus 1
Temporary Shelters 1
Tire Dealers 2
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 1
Tobacco Stores 2
Travel Agencies 2
Used Car Dealers 2
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 2
Used Merchandise Stores 1
Vending Machine Operators 1
Veterinary Services 4
Video Tape and Disc Rental 3
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 1
Women's Clothing Stores 1

Company Formation in Ashland, Wisconsin

A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Without a legal structure for the business, you can be held personally liable for the actions, debts and obligations of your company.

When forming a company, you will decide among many company types, such as 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 are allowed to 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. 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. On a final note, since you will be starting a business in Ashland, Wisconsin, our web page covering Incorporating in Wisconsin may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Wisconsin.

Raising Capital for Your Business

Raising money to fund your new Ashland business is not an easy task. Bootstrapping, which means growing the business without outside funding, is the best alternative, but that's not a viable option for many startup plans.

Fortunately, this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled Getting a Small Business Loan.

For Ashland entrepreneurs who need startup capital, check out our List of Wisconsin Angel Investors and our List of Wisconsin Venture Capital Firms.

The Art of Selling

Being able to sell is essential to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Ashland or are selling to customers throughout Wisconsin, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

Good selling involves demonstrating that your wares meet your customer's needs. Let us help you refine your selling techniques through our many useful sales advice tips.

Closing Sales is worth reading, as it may give you some good ideas on how to sell your products or services. We have many more good articles on selling that you may enjoy reading.

Now It's Up To You

You have a dream -- starting a business in Ashland. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.

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

We are here to help Ashland businesses to be successful. 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 Ashland, Wisconsin

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



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