January 11, 2021  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Pennsylvania Entrepreneurs  
  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Open a Business in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Need help starting a business in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? We've got the information you need to open a business in Harrisburg.

What Business Are You Starting?

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. To stir your creative juices on what kind of business to start, take a look at Evaluating Your Idea.

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 Starting a Bar Code Scanning Equipment & Supplies Business guide or our How to Start a Philosophers Business guide.

Remember that your new startup will be located in Harrisburg. Some businesses will do better in Harrisburg than others. Make sure you fully understand Harrisburg demographics before you lock in on your business idea.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 58554
5-9 Employees 26244
10-19 Employees 20439
20-49 Employees 14094
50-99 Employees 5049
100-249 Employees 3213
250-499 Employees 837
500-999 Employees 297
1000+ Employees 135
All Harrisburg Businesses 128862

As a new Harrisburg entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Harrisburg 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 8
Ambulance Services 6
Amusement Arcades 2
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 2
Apprenticeship Training 5
Architectural Services 15
Art Dealers 1
Automobile Driving Schools 4
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 4
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 24
Automotive Transmission Repair 5
Baked Goods Stores 4
Barber Shops 3
Beauty Salons 70
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 2
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 25
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Boat Dealers 2
Book Publishers 1
Book Stores 8
Bowling Centers 3
Breweries 1
Building Inspection Services 3
Business Associations 56
Cable and Other Program Distribution 6
Cafeterias 6
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 4
Car Washes 7
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 1
Caterers 10
Cemeteries and Crematories 10
Child and Youth Services 16
Child Day Care Services 54
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 5
Civic and Social Organizations 52
Claims Adjusting 7
Clothing Accessories Stores 4
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 5
Collection Agencies 10
Commercial Bakeries 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 14
Commercial Screen Printing 2
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 9
Computer Facilities Management Services 3
Computer Systems Design Services 21
Computer Training 1
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 5
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 4
Consumer Lending 5
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 5
Convenience Stores 14
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 7
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 17
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 4
Credit Unions 17
Curtain and Drapery Mills 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 26
Dental Laboratories 6
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 5
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 3
Digital Printing 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 6
Direct Mail Advertising 3
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 3
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 1
Discount Department Stores 4
Display Advertising 2
Document Preparation Services 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 41
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 8
Educational Support Services 6
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 34
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 1
Electronic Connector Manufacturing 1
Electronic Shopping 3
Elementary and Secondary Schools 12
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 1
Engineering Services 43
Environmental Consulting Services 7
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 3
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 5
Facilities Support Services 2
Family Clothing Stores 20
Family Planning Centers 5
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 3
Fine Arts Schools 9
Finish Carpentry Contractors 10
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 31
Floor Covering Stores 14
Flooring Contractors 19
Florists 8
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 8
Food Service Contractors 25
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 1
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 3
Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation 1
Framing Contractors 4
Freight Transportation Arrangement 5
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 1
Full-Service Restaurants 141
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 13
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 2
Furniture Stores 23
General Automotive Repair 53
General Freight Trucking, Local 13
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 4
General Rental Centers 3
General Warehousing and Storage 10
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 18
Glass and Glazing Contractors 2
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 4
Grantmaking Foundations 10
Graphic Design Services 4
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 1
Hardware Stores 7
Heating Oil Dealers 7
Historical Sites 2
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 11
Home Centers 3
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 1
Home Health Care Services 11
Home Health Equipment Rental 1
Homes for the Elderly 3
Household Appliance Stores 5
Human Rights Organizations 9
Industrial Building Construction 1
Industrial Design Services 1
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 2
Industrial Launderers 3
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 76
Interior Design Services 4
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 1
Internet Service Providers 2
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 1
Investigation Services 6
Investment Advice 9
Iron and Steel Forging 1
Iron and Steel Mills 1
Janitorial Services 51
Jewelry Stores 24
Junior Colleges 2
Kidney Dialysis Centers 4
Land Subdivision 7
Landscape Architectural Services 2
Landscaping Services 35
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 2
Libraries and Archives 5
Limited-Service Restaurants 144
Limousine Service 1
Linen Supply 1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 2
Locksmiths 3
Machine Shops 3
Mail-Order Houses 6
Malt Manufacturing 1
Manifold Business Forms Printing 2
Marketing Consulting Services 13
Marking Device Manufacturing 1
Masonry Contractors 7
Meat Processed from Carcasses 1
Media Representatives 3
Medical Laboratories 1
Men's Clothing Stores 8
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 1
Miscellaneous Intermediation 1
Mobile Food Services 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 6
Motion Picture and Video Production 3
Motor Vehicle Towing 3
Motorcycle Dealers 3
Museums 4
Musical Groups and Artists 3
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 2
Nail Salons 9
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Car Dealers 21
New Housing Operative Builders 7
News Dealers and Newsstands 3
News Syndicates 1
Newspaper Publishers 3
Nonresidential Property Managers 4
Nursing Care Facilities 10
Office Administrative Services 14
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 18
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 6
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 35
Offices of Chiropractors 22
Offices of Dentists 68
Offices of Lawyers 186
Offices of Optometrists 16
Offices of Other Holding Companies 2
Offices of Podiatrists 6
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 3
One-Hour Photofinishing 1
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 1
Optical Goods Stores 11
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 3
Packaging and Labeling Services 2
Packing and Crating 2
Paging 2
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 5
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 14
Parking Lots and Garages 5
Passenger Car Leasing 1
Passenger Car Rental 2
Payroll Services 2
Periodical Publishers 3
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 5
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 1
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 24
Photography Studios, Portrait 3
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 1
Political Organizations 15
Portfolio Management 7
Prepress Services 3
Printing Ink Manufacturing 2
Private Mail Centers 2
Professional Employer Organizations 3
Professional Organizations 43
Public Relations Agencies 24
Quick Printing 5
Radio Networks 2
Radio Stations 10
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 18
Real Estate Investment Trusts 1
Remediation Services 1
Repossession Services 1
Residential Property Managers 17
Residential Remodelers 41
Retail Bakeries 1
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 1
Roofing Contractors 10
Rooming and Boarding Houses 1
Sales Financing 3
Savings Institutions 15
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 1
School and Employee Bus Transportation 2
Securities Brokerage 19
Security Guards and Patrol Services 2
Septic Tank and Related Services 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 1
Shoe Stores 24
Siding Contractors 5
Sign Manufacturing 4
Site Preparation Contractors 14
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 24
Software Publishers 6
Solid Waste Collection 1
Sporting Goods Stores 14
Sports and Recreation Instruction 4
Sports Teams and Clubs 3
Spring (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Spring (Light Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 9
Taxi Service 3
Telecommunications Resellers 2
Telemarketing Bureaus 2
Telephone Answering Services 3
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 1
Television Broadcasting 3
Temporary Help Services 25
Temporary Shelters 2
Testing Laboratories 7
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 4
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 3
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 5
Tire Dealers 12
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 12
Tobacco Stores 4
Travel Agencies 10
Used Car Dealers 17
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 3
Used Merchandise Stores 8
Vending Machine Operators 4
Veterinary Services 6
Video Tape and Disc Rental 8
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 9
Voluntary Health Organizations 12
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 3
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 2
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 12
Wineries 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 32
Women's Clothing Stores 31

Do You Need a Business Plan?

Writing a business plan is vital in maximizing the prospects of your new company. In effect, your business plan is your game plan for how you hope to grow your business. Not having a business plan will greatly reduce your chances of business success.

To learn more about business plans, read Reasons to Write a Business Plan. You can also get free business counselors available to you through your local SCORE chapter in Pennsylvania.

Raising Money for Your New Venture

Getting your Harrisburg business the capital it needs to succeed 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.

To learn about raising money, we recommend you read the fundraising articles on our site, such as Bank Credit Lines.

For Harrisburg entrepreneurs in need of startup financing, we have assembled a List of Pennsylvania Angel Investors and our List of Pennsylvania Venture Capital Firms.

Bring in Revenues

Being able to sell is critical to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Harrisburg or are selling to customers throughout Pennsylvania, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

Not knowing how to sell can result in lost customers and minimal market share. Let us help you refine your selling techniques through our many useful sales advice tips.

Closing Sales 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.

Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Skills

Good entrepreneurs recognize that what they know now may not be enough to ensure their future success.

Given that you are starting a business in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Pennsylvania universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also beneficial to see if there are any Harrisburg networking organizations.

What's Next?

You have a dream -- starting a business in Harrisburg. 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 Harrisburg 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 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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



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