January 23, 2021  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for North Dakota Entrepreneurs  
  Fargo, North Dakota Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Start a Business in Fargo, North Dakota

Are you starting a business in Fargo, North Dakota? This article discusses the most important things to consider when opening a business in Fargo.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Running your own business is demanding, much harder than working as an employee. Are you certain you have the stamina and skills to succeed on your own?

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

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Fargo. 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.

What Business Are You Starting?

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. You might get some good ideas about what kind of business to start by reading Free 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 How to Start a Paper Towels Business guide or our Starting a Tent Repair Business guide.

Remember that your new startup will be located in Fargo. Some businesses will do better in Fargo than others. Study Fargo demographics and do a competitive analysis as part of your startup planning process.

Fargo, North Dakota Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 20692
5-9 Employees 8616
10-19 Employees 6684
20-49 Employees 5376
50-99 Employees 1896
100-249 Employees 1188
250-499 Employees 300
500-999 Employees 84
1000+ Employees 36
All Fargo Businesses 44872

As a new Fargo entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Fargo 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 10
Ambulance Services 2
Amusement Arcades 2
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 2
Apprenticeship Training 1
Architectural Services 19
Armored Car Services 2
Art Dealers 2
Automobile Driving Schools 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 2
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 5
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 22
Automotive Transmission Repair 2
Baked Goods Stores 2
Beauty Salons 54
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 2
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 16
Blood and Organ Banks 4
Boat Dealers 2
Book Publishers 1
Book Stores 5
Bowling Centers 3
Building Inspection Services 2
Business Associations 13
Business to Business Electronic Markets 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 2
Cafeterias 5
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 1
Car Washes 10
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 8
Caterers 6
Cemeteries and Crematories 2
Child and Youth Services 2
Child Day Care Services 44
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 5
Civic and Social Organizations 25
Claims Adjusting 3
Clothing Accessories Stores 1
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 7
Collection Agencies 5
Commercial Bakeries 3
Commercial Lithographic Printing 8
Commercial Photography 1
Commercial Screen Printing 5
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 2
Community Food Services 4
Computer and Software Stores 15
Computer Systems Design Services 20
Concrete Pipe Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 2
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 2
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Consumer Lending 2
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 1
Convenience Stores 1
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Copper Wire (except Mechanical) Drawing 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 2
Couriers 10
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 6
Credit Bureaus 2
Credit Unions 15
Curtain and Drapery Mills 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 25
Dental Laboratories 3
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 1
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 3
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 12
Direct Mail Advertising 3
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 2
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 3
Discount Department Stores 5
Display Advertising 5
Document Preparation Services 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 25
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 13
Educational Support Services 2
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 32
Electronic Shopping 4
Elementary and Secondary Schools 6
Employment Placement Agencies 3
Engineering Services 23
Environmental Consulting Services 1
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 1
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 1
Facilities Support Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 13
Family Planning Centers 3
Farm Management Services 1
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 6
Fine Arts Schools 2
Finish Carpentry Contractors 15
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 9
Flight Training 1
Floor Covering Stores 8
Flooring Contractors 11
Florists 5
Flour Milling 3
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 2
Food Service Contractors 9
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 1
Framing Contractors 18
Freight Transportation Arrangement 7
Full-Service Restaurants 74
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 3
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 3
Furniture Stores 13
General Automotive Repair 17
General Freight Trucking, Local 14
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 3
General Rental Centers 3
General Warehousing and Storage 5
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 22
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 2
Grantmaking Foundations 6
Graphic Design Services 8
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 5
Hardware Stores 6
Heating Oil Dealers 2
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 8
Home Centers 2
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 5
Home Health Care Services 6
Home Health Equipment Rental 2
Homes for the Elderly 4
Household Appliance Stores 7
Human Rights Organizations 4
Industrial Building Construction 3
Industrial Launderers 1
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 116
Interior Design Services 9
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 2
Internet Service Providers 1
Investigation Services 2
Investment Advice 18
Janitorial Services 34
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 1
Jewelry Stores 15
Land Subdivision 5
Landscape Architectural Services 3
Landscaping Services 46
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 6
Limited-Service Restaurants 75
Limousine Service 2
Linen Supply 2
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 5
Locksmiths 2
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 1
Machine Shops 3
Mail-Order Houses 4
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 2
Marketing Consulting Services 5
Masonry Contractors 7
Meat Markets 1
Media Buying Agencies 1
Media Representatives 1
Medical Laboratories 2
Men's Clothing Stores 4
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 1
Miscellaneous Intermediation 5
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 10
Motion Picture and Video Production 2
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 2
Motorcycle Dealers 5
Museums 3
Musical Groups and Artists 2
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 4
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 1
Nail Salons 3
New Car Dealers 15
New Housing Operative Builders 8
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
News Syndicates 1
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 5
Nonwoven Fabric Mills 1
Nursing Care Facilities 5
Office Administrative Services 11
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 7
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 5
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 29
Offices of Chiropractors 23
Offices of Dentists 63
Offices of Lawyers 63
Offices of Optometrists 12
Offices of Other Holding Companies 3
Offices of Podiatrists 2
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 10
One-Hour Photofinishing 1
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 1
Optical Goods Stores 12
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 1
Packaging and Labeling Services 1
Packing and Crating 2
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 5
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 21
Parking Lots and Garages 11
Passenger Car Leasing 1
Passenger Car Rental 1
Payroll Services 3
Periodical Publishers 4
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 5
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 6
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 21
Photography Studios, Portrait 8
Plate Work Manufacturing 1
Portfolio Management 5
Professional Employer Organizations 1
Professional Organizations 1
Public Relations Agencies 3
Quick Printing 6
Racetracks 1
Radio Networks 1
Radio Stations 10
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 2
Real Estate Credit 10
Recreational Goods Rental 2
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 1
Remediation Services 1
Residential Property Managers 33
Residential Remodelers 28
Retail Bakeries 5
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 3
Roofing Contractors 11
Rooming and Boarding Houses 7
Sales Financing 5
Satellite Telecommunications 1
Savings Institutions 8
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 2
School and Employee Bus Transportation 2
Securities Brokerage 33
Security Guards and Patrol Services 5
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 1
Shoe Stores 14
Siding Contractors 10
Sign Manufacturing 4
Silverware and Hollowware Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 6
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 20
Soft Drink Manufacturing 1
Software Publishers 13
Solid Waste Collection 2
Special Needs Transportation 2
Sporting Goods Stores 15
Sports and Recreation Instruction 3
Sports Teams and Clubs 1
Tax Preparation Services 13
Taxi Service 3
Telemarketing Bureaus 5
Telephone Answering Services 1
Television Broadcasting 5
Temporary Help Services 21
Temporary Shelters 2
Testing Laboratories 5
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 5
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 3
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 3
Tire Dealers 11
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 2
Tobacco Stores 4
Tour Operators 1
Translation and Interpretation Services 1
Travel Agencies 3
Truck Trailer Manufacturing 1
Truss Manufacturing 1
Used Car Dealers 10
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 10
Used Merchandise Stores 10
Vending Machine Operators 2
Veterinary Services 6
Video Tape and Disc Rental 7
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 3
Voluntary Health Organizations 5
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 15
Window Treatment Stores 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 12
Women's Clothing Stores 17
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 3
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing 2
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 1

Forming a Company in Fargo, North Dakota

A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will separate you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

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

Incorporation is a very popular way to form a business. 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 North Dakota, it doesn't mean you are required to incorporate in North Dakota. 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 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 Company Formation. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Fargo, North Dakota, our information on Incorporating in North Dakota may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in North Dakota.

Where to Get Money to Start a Company

Finding the funds to fuel the growth of your Fargo business will be harder than you might expect. 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 How Equity Dilution Works.

For Fargo entrepreneurs who need startup capital, browse our List of North Dakota Angel Investors and our List of North Dakota Venture Capital Firms.

Promoting Your New Company

To grow your Fargo business, you need a great marketing plan.

You can learn plenty about marketing on our site. Working with an Advertising Agency is an article that will generate a few thoughts on your marketing plan. That's just one of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

How to Sell

Do you know how to sell? In order to attract customers to your new Fargo business, you need to focus on sales.

Clever sales techniques can transform any business from good to great. Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

The Art of Customer Referrals 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

As an entrepreneur in Fargo, you won't be working for the boss anymore. You are the boss.

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

We are here to help Fargo 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 Fargo, North Dakota

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



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