January 16, 2021  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Massachusetts Entrepreneurs  
  Charlestown, Massachusetts Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Charlestown, Massachusetts

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

Is Becoming a Business Owner Right for You?

Before quitting your day job, take inventory of your entrepreneurial instincts and capabilities.

While entrepreneurship has become a popular career choice, we recommend you do the following before you take the plunge:

  • Reach out to other entrepreneurs in Charlestown. Get their take on what it's really like to be an entrepreneur.
  • Peruse Why Small Businesses Fail. This is one of our more popular articles for folks who want to go into business for themselves.
  • Get feedback from somebody whom you trust. That's the best way to get a truly objective assessment as to whether others think you have what it takes.

What Type of Business Should You Start?

Choosing a business that is right for you is very important. We recommend that you read How to Evaluate a Business Idea.

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 a Dance Club guide or our Starting a Tatoo Parlor guide.

Always keep in mind that you are starting a business in Charlestown. Some businesses will do better in Charlestown than others. Make sure you fully understand Charlestown demographics before you lock in on your business idea.

Charlestown, Massachusetts Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 1944
5-9 Employees 711
10-19 Employees 612
20-49 Employees 405
50-99 Employees 180
100-249 Employees 117
250-499 Employees 18
500-999 Employees 9
1000+ Employees 0
All Charlestown Businesses 3996

As a new Charlestown entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Charlestown 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
Abrasive Product Manufacturing 1
Advertising Agencies 1
Architectural Services 5
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 2
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 1
Automotive Transmission Repair 1
Barber Shops 1
Beauty Salons 3
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 4
Book Stores 2
Business Associations 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 1
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 1
Caterers 4
Child and Youth Services 1
Child Day Care Services 1
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 1
Civic and Social Organizations 2
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 3
Commercial Screen Printing 1
Computer Systems Design Services 3
Consumer Lending 1
Convenience Stores 5
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 3
Couriers 2
Custom Computer Programming Services 7
Dental Laboratories 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 4
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 4
Electrical Contractors 3
Elementary and Secondary Schools 1
Employment Placement Agencies 1
Engineering Services 7
Family Clothing Stores 1
Fine Arts Schools 1
Finish Carpentry Contractors 2
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 4
Flooring Contractors 1
Florists 2
Food Service Contractors 2
Framing Contractors 1
Freight Transportation Arrangement 3
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 1
Full-Service Restaurants 13
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 1
Furniture Stores 1
General Automotive Repair 1
General Freight Trucking, Local 1
Grantmaking Foundations 2
Graphic Design Services 5
Gypsum Product Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 1
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Home Health Care Services 3
Household Appliance Stores 1
Human Rights Organizations 1
Industrial Launderers 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 8
Interior Design Services 3
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 1
Internet Service Providers 1
Investment Advice 4
Janitorial Services 2
Landscape Architectural Services 2
Landscaping Services 2
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 11
Marinas 1
Marketing Consulting Services 9
Masonry Contractors 2
Miscellaneous Intermediation 1
Mobile Food Services 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 2
Museums 3
Nail Salons 1
Newspaper Publishers 2
Nonresidential Property Managers 1
Office Administrative Services 4
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 2
Offices of Chiropractors 1
Offices of Dentists 3
Offices of Lawyers 22
Offices of Optometrists 2
Offices of Other Holding Companies 1
Offices of Podiatrists 1
Parking Lots and Garages 3
Periodical Publishers 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 2
Political Organizations 1
Portfolio Management 1
Professional Employer Organizations 1
Professional Organizations 1
Radio Stations 1
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 3
Residential Property Managers 5
Residential Remodelers 3
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 2
Savings Institutions 3
Security Guards and Patrol Services 2
Site Preparation Contractors 4
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 5
Software Publishers 4
Solid Waste Collection 1
Sound Recording Studios 1
Sporting Goods Stores 1
Surface Active Agent Manufacturing 1
Taxi Service 1
Telephone Answering Services 1
Television Broadcasting 1
Temporary Help Services 3
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 1
Tradebinding and Related Work 1
Travel Agencies 4
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 1
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 3
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 1

What About Franchising Opportunities?

Visit the business district of Charlestown and you'll notice that many local entrepreneurs have gone the franchising route. Is franchising maybe a better way for you to start your business?

We advise the entrepreneurs we work with to evaluate the possibility of your buying a franchise opportunity. To help you learn more about franchising, we've gathered a ton of articles on franchising, including Staffing a Franchise. Become a franchising expert of sorts by reading more of our Articles on Franchising.

You can review hundreds of franchise opportunities by browing our Franchise Directory.

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

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

What About Buying an Existing Charlestown Business?

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

If you are headed down the path of buying a business, you may want to read this article: How to Buy 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.

Even if the name doesn't do it by itself, many naming experts believe there should be a story behind the name that ties into your company mission.

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

There's one other important factor when naming a business. Since you are opening a business in Charlestown, it's very important that you make sure you will be the only Massachusetts company using the business name you have chosen.

Forming a Company in Charlestown, Massachusetts

It's essential 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 traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporating is a very common way to legally create a business entity. A key decision is whether to form and S-Corp or a C-Corp, and you also must decide in which state you will incorporate. If you are starting a business in Massachusetts, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Massachusetts. As it turns out, 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 Offshore Company Formation. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Charlestown, Massachusetts, our information on Incorporating in Massachusetts may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Massachusetts.

The Role of the Business Plan

Having a business plan is essential in maximizing the prospects of your new company. In effect, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Not having a business plan makes you more prone to becoming a business failure statistic.

If writing a business plan is on your to-do list, be sure to read Find Sample Business Plans Online. You can also get face-to-face free consulting available from your local SCORE chapter in Massachusetts.

Raising Capital for Your Startup

Finding the funds to fuel the growth of your Charlestown business is very difficult due to the ongoing business credit crunch. In fact, financing your new business may be the hardest challenge you ever face.

Take advantage of our many articles on securing funding, such as SBIR Funding.

For Charlestown entrepreneurs with great ambition but a shortage of investment capital, check out our List of Massachusetts Angel Investors and our List of Massachusetts Venture Capital Firms.

Promoting Your New Business

Whether your goal is to attract Charlestown customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, you'll need to have a good marketing plan.

We have some great resources on this site for entrepreneurs who are working on marketing plans. Branding Advice is a good read to get your marketing juices flowing. That's just a taste of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Building Up Your Sales

Being able to sell is a key enabler to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Charlestown or are selling to customers throughout Massachusetts, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

So what does it take to bring in more prospects and close more business? The good news is we can help you to make selling a big competitve advantage for your new firm.

Closing Sales Techniques 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.

Improving Your Entrepreneurial Skillset

The best entrepreneurs recognize that they need to continually improve.

Given that you are starting a business in Charlestown, Massachusetts, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Massachusetts universities, colleges and community colleges. We also recommend you look into networking groups or organizations in which Charlestown entrepreneurs get together to network and trade their business experiences.

Moving Forward

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

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 Charlestown and elsewhere to achieve real success. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Charlestown, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Charlestown, Massachusetts

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



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