June 6, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Wisconsin Entrepreneurs  
  Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

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

Are You Sure You Want to Do This?

Before quitting your day job, consider your entrepreneurial instincts and capabilities.

To determine whether you have what it takes to run a business, we recommend these three steps to help you decide:

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Fort Atkinson. Ask them candidly what it's like to run a 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. The people who know you best are often in the best position to tell you bluntly whether you will be a good entrepreneur.

What Type of Business Should You Start?

There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? To help you decide on a business type, we encourage you to read Good 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 an Auto Wheel Covers & Hubcaps Business guide or our How to Start a Private School guide.

Don't forget that Fort Atkinson is the place where you are starting a business. Some businesses will do better in Fort Atkinson than others. Only by spending some time analyzing Fort Atkinson demographics can you decide if there will be strong demand for your business idea.

Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 1440
5-9 Employees 570
10-19 Employees 414
20-49 Employees 318
50-99 Employees 102
100-249 Employees 48
250-499 Employees 36
500-999 Employees 12
1000+ Employees 0
All Fort Atkinson Businesses 2940

As a new Fort Atkinson entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Fort Atkinson 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
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 1
Architectural Services 4
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 4
Beauty Salons 12
Boat Dealers 1
Book Stores 1
Bowling Centers 1
Building Inspection Services 1
Business Associations 2
Cafeterias 2
Car Washes 3
Caterers 1
Cemeteries and Crematories 2
Child Day Care Services 4
Civic and Social Organizations 1
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 1
Collection Agencies 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 1
Computer and Software Stores 1
Computer Systems Design Services 3
Consumer Lending 2
Credit Unions 3
Custom Computer Programming Services 2
Discount Department Stores 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 9
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 2
Electric Power Distribution 1
Electrical Contractors 2
Elementary and Secondary Schools 2
Engineering Services 4
Environmental Consulting Services 3
Finish Carpentry Contractors 5
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 2
Floor Covering Stores 1
Flooring Contractors 2
Florists 2
Framing Contractors 2
Full-Service Restaurants 18
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 2
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 1
Furniture Stores 3
General Automotive Repair 6
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Warehousing and Storage 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 3
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 1
Graphic Design Services 2
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 1
Hardware Stores 1
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Homes for the Elderly 7
Hunting and Trapping 1
Industrial Launderers 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 13
Interior Design Services 1
Investment Advice 1
Irradiation Apparatus Manufacturing 1
Janitorial Services 5
Jewelry Stores 2
Kidney Dialysis Centers 1
Landscaping Services 9
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 9
Limousine Service 1
Locksmiths 1
Machine Shops 2
Mail-Order Houses 1
Masonry Contractors 4
Meat Processed from Carcasses 2
Men's Clothing Stores 1
Metal Can Manufacturing 1
Mobile Food Services 1
Museums 1
New Car Dealers 2
New Housing Operative Builders 1
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nursing Care Facilities 2
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 3
Offices of Chiropractors 3
Offices of Dentists 8
Offices of Lawyers 2
Offices of Optometrists 1
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 2
Optical Goods Stores 1
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 2
Periodical Publishers 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 2
Radio Stations 1
Real Estate Credit 1
Repossession Services 1
Residential Property Managers 1
Residential Remodelers 3
Roofing Contractors 2
School and Employee Bus Transportation 1
Seafood Canning 1
Securities Brokerage 3
Shoe Stores 2
Siding Contractors 2
Site Preparation Contractors 3
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 4
Solid Waste Collection 1
Special Needs Transportation 1
Tax Preparation Services 2
Taxi Service 1
Temporary Help Services 4
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 2
Tire Dealers 1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 1
Travel Agencies 2
Used Car Dealers 4
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 1
Used Merchandise Stores 1
Veterinary Services 4
Video Tape and Disc Rental 3
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 2
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 1

Forming a Company in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

A critical step is ensuring that you are forming a legal entity that operates independently from you. The principal advantage of forming your new business as a legal entity is that it separates your business liabilities from your personal liabilities.

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. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. If you are starting a business in Wisconsin, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Wisconsin. In fact, you can 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 should also consider getting professional assistance from your business lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, our information on Incorporating in Wisconsin may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Wisconsin.

Getting Money to Start a Business

Getting your Fort Atkinson business the capital it needs to succeed will be harder than you might expect. If you don't have a rich uncle to fund you, you'll need to be creative in how you approach your fundraising efforts.

Take advantage of our many articles on raising capital, such as 504 Loans.

For Fort Atkinson entrepreneurs who need startup capital, browse our List of Wisconsin Angel Investors and our List of Wisconsin Venture Capital Firms.

Increase Your Entrepreneurial Knowledge

Successful entrepreneurs recognize that they don't know everything.

Given that you are starting a business in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, you will want to take advantage of the learning programs at local Wisconsin educational institutions. It's also worthwhile to see if there are any Fort Atkinson networking organizations.

Next Steps

You have a dream -- starting a business in Fort Atkinson. 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 Fort Atkinson 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 Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

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



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