Virginia Business Startup Guides
Opening a Business in Norfolk, Virginia
Contemplating starting a business in Norfolk, Virginia? We walk you through the process of opening a business in Norfolk.
Will You Be a Good Entrepreneur?
Most new ventures fail, in part because the business owner did not have the entrepreneurial skills and traits needed to succeed. So, before you start your business, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.
Because entrepreneurship is not for everyone, we recommend you do the following to help you assess whether you should move forward with starting a business:
- Reach out to other entrepreneurs in Norfolk. They are usually very willing to share their insights on the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
- 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. Others sometimes know you better than you know yourself.
Norfolk, Virginia Demographic Information
Norfolk has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for Norfolk demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Norfolk.
As a new Norfolk entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Norfolk 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.
Is Franchising a Better Option?
As you drive around Norfolk, it becomes clear that purchasing a franchise is a common way to get started as an entrepreneur. So, it probably makes sense for you to consider franchising too.
Our recommendation is that you investigate buying a franchise. We have many articles on franchises, such as The Franchising Process. Get a thorough education on franchising by browsing all of our Articles on Franchising.
To learn about specific franchise opportunities, check out our Franchise Directory.
Sample franchise opportunities include Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Donatos Pizza, Inc.. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Home Décor Franchises and Mexican Restaurant Franchises.
Note on Norfolk Franchise Opportunities: To find out if a franchise you are interested in is available in Norfolk, you will need to get in direct contact with the franchisor.
Selecting a Name For Your Venture
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.
Company names should be fun to say, and they should help people to understand what you do and how you differentiate yourself in the market.
To get up to speed on what makes for a good company name, we encourage you to read this useful article: Branding Advice.
On a final note, given that you are opening a business in Norfolk, it's imperative that you check now that no other Virginia company is using the business name you want to use.
Company Formation in Norfolk, Virginia
A critical step is ensuring that you form your business as a legal structure. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.
The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.
Incorporating 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. Just because you are starting a business in Virginia, it doesn't mean you are required to incorporate in Virginia. In fact, you are allowed to incorporate in any state you would like to. 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 Piercing the Corporate Veil. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Norfolk, Virginia, our information on Incorporating in Virginia may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Virginia.
Do You Need a Business Plan?
A business plan is essential 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. Failure to write a business plan is a recipe for disaster.
If you want more information on writing business plans, we recommend reading Business Plan Contests. A great resource for business planning assistance is the free business counselors available to you through your local SCORE chapter in Virginia.
Most new Norfolk businesses underestimate the number of challenges they will face.
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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk, Virginia
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Norfolk.
- Resources for Norfolk, Virginia Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Norfolk entrepreneurs.
- Virginia Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Virginia.
- Virginia Small Business Development Center - Virginia Small Business Development Centers offer professional business counseling, training and information resources to help grow and strengthen Virginia businesses.
More Business Startup Guides for Virginia
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