Michigan Business Startup Guides
Open a Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Need help starting a business in Grand Rapids, Michigan? We've got the information you need to open a business in Grand Rapids.
Are You Ready for Entrepreneurship?
Before quitting your day job, assess 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.
- Reach out to other entrepreneurs in Grand Rapids. Listen closely to their experiences and see if you think you too can be successful.
- Peruse Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. This is one of our more popular articles for folks who want to go into business for themselves.
- Seek the advice of somebody who knows you well. 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.
Grand Rapids, Michigan Demographic Information
Grand Rapids has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for Grand Rapids demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Grand Rapids.
As a new Grand Rapids entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Grand Rapids 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.
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.
Companies like Starbucks, Apple, Target, Microsoft and Intuit all have strong company names that are easy to remember and have become well-loved brands. Wouldn't it be nice if your new company name got on a similar track?
For other considerations regarding naming a company, we recommend this article: Naming a Business.
There's one other important factor when naming a business. Since you are planning on starting a business in Grand Rapids, it's very important that you make sure no other Michigan company is using the business name you want to use.
Forming a Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan
A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. 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 traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.
Incorporating is a very common way to legally create a business entity. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. If you are starting a business in Michigan, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Michigan. In fact, 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 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 ESOP Formation. You should also consider getting professional assistance from your business lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our information on Incorporating in Michigan may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Michigan.
Do You Need a Business Plan?
Having a business plan is vital in laying a solid foundation for your business success. Indeed, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Starting a business without a business plan makes you more prone to becoming a business failure statistic.
Marketing Your New Company
To grow your Grand Rapids business, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your doing well.
There are myriad resources on this site to help you with your marketing plan. How to Be an Effective Networker is a good read to get your marketing juices flowing. There are many more articles on marketing on our site. Visit our Small Business Marketing resource section to see them all.
Building Up Your Sales
Being able to sell is fundamental to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Grand Rapids or are selling to customers throughout Michigan, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.
Good selling involves demonstrating that your wares meet your customer's needs. Let us help you refine your selling techniques through our many useful sales advice tips.
Never Give Up
You have a dream -- starting a business in Grand Rapids. 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.
This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Grand Rapids 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 Grand Rapids, Michigan
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Grand Rapids.
- Resources for Grand Rapids, Michigan Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Grand Rapids entrepreneurs.
- Michigan Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Michigan.
- Michigan Small Business Development Center - This organization supports 12 regional offices and over 30 satellite offices, each providing counseling and training to Michigan small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the 83 counties in Michigan. Services to entrepreneurs are offered through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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