March 28, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Pennsylvania Entrepreneurs  
  Erie, Pennsylvania Resources for Entrepreneurs is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Starting a Business in Erie, Pennsylvania

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

What Business to Start

Choosing a business that is right for you is very important. You might get some good ideas about what kind of business to start by reading Evaluating Your Idea.

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 How to Start an Oil Field Specialties Business guide or our Opening a Typesetting & Composition Equipment & Supplies Business guide.

Don't forget that your new startup will be located in Erie. Some businesses will do better in Erie than others. Study Erie demographics and do a competitive analysis as part of your startup planning process.

Erie, Pennsylvania Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 31585
5-9 Employees 15630
10-19 Employees 10815
20-49 Employees 7815
50-99 Employees 3285
100-249 Employees 1605
250-499 Employees 375
500-999 Employees 45
1000+ Employees 105
All Erie Businesses 71260

As a new Erie entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Erie 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 15
Air and Gas Compressor Manufacturing 1
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Ambulance Services 3
Amusement and Theme Parks 3
Amusement Arcades 2
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 6
Apprenticeship Training 1
Architectural Services 11
Armored Car Services 1
Art Dealers 2
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 5
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 6
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 30
Automotive Transmission Repair 7
Baked Goods Stores 6
Barber Shops 1
Beauty Salons 94
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 1
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 5
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 25
Blood and Organ Banks 2
Boat Dealers 5
Book Stores 11
Bowling Centers 6
Breweries 2
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 1
Building Inspection Services 1
Business and Secretarial Schools 2
Business Associations 12
Cable and Other Program Distribution 5
Cafeterias 5
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 2
Canvas and Related Product Mills 2
Car Washes 8
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 1
Caterers 9
Cemeteries and Crematories 3
Child and Youth Services 8
Child Day Care Services 28
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 8
Civic and Social Organizations 52
Claims Adjusting 3
Clothing Accessories Stores 6
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 4
Collection Agencies 2
Commercial Bakeries 2
Commercial Lithographic Printing 11
Commercial Photography 1
Commercial Screen Printing 2
Community Food Services 3
Computer and Software Stores 6
Computer Facilities Management Services 2
Computer Systems Design Services 11
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 3
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 2
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 2
Consumer Lending 9
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 6
Convenience Stores 21
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Copper Foundries (except Die-Casting) 4
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 6
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 4
Credit Bureaus 2
Credit Unions 27
Curtain and Drapery Mills 1
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 14
Dance Companies 2
Dental Laboratories 5
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 4
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 4
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 7
Direct Mail Advertising 4
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 1
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 5
Discount Department Stores 11
Display Advertising 3
Document Preparation Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 94
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 13
Educational Support Services 4
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 50
Electronic Capacitor Manufacturing 1
Electronic Shopping 4
Elementary and Secondary Schools 33
Emergency and Other Relief Services 3
Employment Placement Agencies 4
Engineering Services 17
Environmental Consulting Services 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 4
Facilities Support Services 2
Family Clothing Stores 20
Family Planning Centers 2
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 2
Fine Arts Schools 6
Finish Carpentry Contractors 13
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 21
Floor Covering Stores 15
Flooring Contractors 6
Florists 12
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 7
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 1
Food Service Contractors 15
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 2
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 3
Framing Contractors 4
Freight Transportation Arrangement 2
Fresh and Frozen Seafood Processing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 1
Full-Service Restaurants 135
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 19
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 1
Furniture Stores 15
General Automotive Repair 54
General Freight Trucking, Local 11
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 3
General Rental Centers 5
General Warehousing and Storage 5
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 22
Glass and Glazing Contractors 3
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 8
Grantmaking Foundations 2
Graphic Design Services 5
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 1
Hardware Manufacturing 2
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 4
Hardware Stores 7
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Historical Sites 1
HMO Medical Centers 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 12
Home Centers 7
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 2
Home Health Care Services 18
Home Health Equipment Rental 4
Homes for the Elderly 2
Household Appliance Stores 7
Human Rights Organizations 4
Industrial Building Construction 2
Industrial Launderers 6
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 29
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing 2
Industrial Valve Manufacturing 7
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 78
Interior Design Services 4
Internet Service Providers 4
Investigation Services 3
Investment Advice 10
Iron and Steel Forging 3
Iron and Steel Mills 2
Iron Foundries 3
Janitorial Services 30
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 1
Jewelry Stores 23
Junior Colleges 3
Kidney Dialysis Centers 2
Land Subdivision 1
Landscape Architectural Services 3
Landscaping Services 46
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 6
Limited-Service Restaurants 126
Limousine Service 1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 2
Locksmiths 3
Machine Shops 29
Mail-Order Houses 7
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 3
Marinas 5
Marketing Consulting Services 5
Marking Device Manufacturing 1
Masonry Contractors 21
Materials Recovery Facilities 2
Meat Markets 7
Meat Processed from Carcasses 1
Media Representatives 1
Medical Laboratories 4
Men's Clothing Stores 7
Metal Stamping 2
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Miscellaneous Intermediation 1
Mobile Food Services 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 5
Motion Picture and Video Production 4
Motor and Generator Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 4
Motorcycle Dealers 6
Museums 2
Musical Groups and Artists 3
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 3
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 1
Nail Salons 7
Natural Gas Distribution 8
New Car Dealers 15
New Housing Operative Builders 6
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 7
Nursing Care Facilities 10
Office Administrative Services 12
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 7
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 7
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 30
Offices of Chiropractors 36
Offices of Dentists 102
Offices of Lawyers 91
Offices of Optometrists 12
Offices of Other Holding Companies 2
Offices of Podiatrists 7
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 6
Optical Goods Stores 17
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 3
Packing and Crating 1
Paging 1
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 2
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 4
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 23
Paper (except Newsprint) Mills 2
Parking Lots and Garages 2
Passenger Car Leasing 1
Passenger Car Rental 3
Payroll Services 5
Periodical Publishers 6
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 7
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 2
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 26
Photography Studios, Portrait 12
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 1
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing 1
Plate Work Manufacturing 2
Political Organizations 4
Polystyrene Foam Product Manufacturing 1
Portfolio Management 15
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 10
Printing Ink Manufacturing 1
Private Mail Centers 5
Professional Employer Organizations 1
Professional Organizations 4
Quick Printing 5
Radio Stations 2
Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing 2
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 2
Real Estate Credit 9
Recreational Goods Rental 1
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 1
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 1
Remediation Services 3
Repossession Services 1
Residential Property Managers 4
Residential Remodelers 43
Retail Bakeries 2
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 2
Roofing Contractors 8
Savings Institutions 24
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 3
School and Employee Bus Transportation 3
Securities Brokerage 17
Security Guards and Patrol Services 6
Septic Tank and Related Services 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 4
Shoe Stores 21
Siding Contractors 9
Sign Manufacturing 4
Site Preparation Contractors 8
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 32
Software Publishers 3
Solid Waste Collection 4
Solid Waste Landfill 2
Sporting Goods Stores 22
Sports and Recreation Instruction 5
Sports Teams and Clubs 2
Steel Wire Drawing 1
Support Activities for Forestry 1
Tax Preparation Services 20
Taxi Service 1
Telecommunications Resellers 1
Telemarketing Bureaus 3
Telephone Answering Services 3
Television Broadcasting 4
Temporary Help Services 24
Temporary Shelters 4
Testing Laboratories 3
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 3
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 4
Tire Dealers 16
Tobacco Stores 10
Travel Agencies 4
Truss Manufacturing 1
Used Car Dealers 27
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 3
Used Merchandise Stores 9
Vending Machine Operators 6
Veterinary Services 10
Video Tape and Disc Rental 17
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 10
Voluntary Health Organizations 3
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 1
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 22
Window Treatment Stores 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 22
Women's Clothing Stores 22
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 3
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 1

What About Buying an Existing Erie Business?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Pennsylvania. Follow that link and you may find several good businesses for sale in Erie.

If you are serious about buying a business, you may want to read this article: Hold Harmless Agreements When Buying Businesses.

Naming the Company

A good company name can give a big boost to a new startup. It might seem like an easy thing to do, but there are many things to consider when naming a business.

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 Erie, it's imperative that you check now that no other Pennsylvania company is using the business name you want to use.

Getting the Word Out About Your New Business

To grow your Erie business, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your succeeding.

You can learn quite a bit about marketing on our site. Telemarketing Service Costs discusses marketing strategy and tactical marketing in a way that should get you thinking about how to creatively promote your business. That's just one of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

How to Sell

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

Clever sales techniques can transform any business from good to great. The good news is we can help you to make selling a big competitve advantage for your new firm.

How to Build and Motivate a Sales Team offers some helpful tips on how to sell. It's one of several good articles on our site regarding Entrepreneurial Selling.

Now It's Up To You

Most new Erie 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 Erie 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 Erie, Pennsylvania

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



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