January 23, 2021  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Minnesota Entrepreneurs  
  Forest Lake, Minnesota Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Forest Lake, Minnesota

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

Are You Ready for Entrepreneurship?

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

Here are three things we recommend you do before you fully commit to starting a new business of your own.

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Forest Lake. Listen closely to their experiences and see if you think you too can be successful.
  • We recommend reading Why Small Businesses Fail. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Get feedback from somebody whom you trust. Ask them directly: Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Listen carefully to their answer, as they presumably know your strengths and weaknesses.

Forest Lake, Minnesota Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 2690
5-9 Employees 648
10-19 Employees 522
20-49 Employees 462
50-99 Employees 90
100-249 Employees 60
250-499 Employees 6
500-999 Employees 0
1000+ Employees 0
All Forest Lake Businesses 4478

As a new Forest Lake entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Forest Lake 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
Ambulance Services 1
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 1
Automobile Driving Schools 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 2
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 3
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 4
Automotive Transmission Repair 2
Beauty Salons 13
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 5
Boat Dealers 2
Book Publishers 1
Business Associations 2
Cafeterias 1
Car Washes 1
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 2
Caterers 1
Cemeteries and Crematories 1
Child and Youth Services 1
Child Day Care Services 5
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 1
Civic and Social Organizations 4
Claims Adjusting 1
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 3
Computer Systems Design Services 10
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 2
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 1
Credit Unions 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 6
Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing 1
Dental Laboratories 1
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 1
Discount Department Stores 2
Display Advertising 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 1
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 5
Educational Support Services 1
Electrical Contractors 8
Electronic Shopping 1
Elementary and Secondary Schools 2
Engineering Services 4
Fine Arts Schools 1
Finish Carpentry Contractors 8
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 6
Floor Covering Stores 2
Flooring Contractors 4
Florists 2
Food Service Contractors 1
Framing Contractors 5
Freight Transportation Arrangement 2
Full-Service Restaurants 17
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 1
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 1
Furniture Stores 1
General Automotive Repair 10
General Freight Trucking, Local 4
General Rental Centers 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 4
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 2
Grantmaking Foundations 1
Graphic Design Services 1
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 1
Hardware Stores 3
Home Centers 1
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 1
Home Health Care Services 1
Homes for the Elderly 1
Household Appliance Stores 2
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 14
Interior Design Services 2
Investment Advice 2
Iron and Steel Forging 1
Janitorial Services 6
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 1
Jewelry Stores 2
Kidney Dialysis Centers 1
Land Subdivision 3
Landscaping Services 11
Language Schools 1
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 2
Libraries and Archives 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 22
Locksmiths 1
Machine Shops 7
Mail-Order Houses 1
Marketing Consulting Services 1
Masonry Contractors 1
Meat Markets 1
Media Representatives 1
Mobile Food Services 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 7
Motorcycle Dealers 2
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 1
Nail Salons 1
New Car Dealers 7
New Housing Operative Builders 2
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 2
Nursing Care Facilities 1
Office Administrative Services 4
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 5
Offices of Chiropractors 8
Offices of Dentists 9
Offices of Lawyers 8
Offices of Optometrists 1
Offices of Podiatrists 1
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 4
Optical Goods Stores 2
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 1
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 1
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 6
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 2
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 3
Photography Studios, Portrait 2
Portfolio Management 2
Professional Organizations 1
Quick Printing 1
Radio Stations 1
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 2
Residential Property Managers 2
Residential Remodelers 7
Retail Bakeries 1
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 1
Roofing Contractors 3
Savings Institutions 1
Securities Brokerage 5
Septic Tank and Related Services 3
Siding Contractors 3
Sign Manufacturing 2
Site Preparation Contractors 4
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 4
Solid Waste Collection 2
Sporting Goods Stores 8
Sports and Recreation Instruction 1
Spring (Light Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 3
Telemarketing Bureaus 2
Telephone Answering Services 1
Temporary Help Services 4
Testing Laboratories 1
Tire Dealers 3
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 5
Tobacco Stores 1
Travel Agencies 2
Used Car Dealers 3
Vending Machine Operators 1
Veterinary Services 2
Video Tape and Disc Rental 2
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 8
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 2
Women's Clothing Stores 2

Should You Buy an Existing Forest Lake Business?

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

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

Company Formation in Forest Lake, Minnesota

It's essential that you choose the right legal structure for your new entity. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

When forming a company, you will pick from many company types, such as a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

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. Just because you are starting a business in Minnesota, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Minnesota. As it turns out, you can incorporate wherever you want. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

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 Getting an EIN. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. On a final note, since you will be starting a business in Forest Lake, Minnesota, our web page covering Incorporating in Minnesota may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Minnesota.

Where to Get Money to Start a Company

Raising money to fund your new Forest Lake 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.

The good news is this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled Attracting Investors.

For Forest Lake entrepreneurs who need startup capital, you'll want to take a look at our List of Minnesota Angel Investors and our List of Minnesota Venture Capital Firms.

Promoting Your New Venture

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

You can learn all about marketing on our site. Pricing is a good read to get your marketing ideas flowing. That's just one of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Increase Your Entrepreneurial Knowledge

Good business owners know that they don't know everything.

Given that you are starting a business in Forest Lake, Minnesota, you should check out some of the many programs available at nearby Minnesota universities, colleges and community colleges. You should also check if there are any Forest Lake networking organizations.

Never Give Up

You have a dream -- starting a business in Forest Lake. 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 Forest Lake 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 Forest Lake, Minnesota

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



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