August 11, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Illinois Entrepreneurs  
  Ottawa, Illinois Resources for Entrepreneurs is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Start a Business in Ottawa, Illinois

Are you starting a business in Ottawa, Illinois? This article discusses the most important things to consider when opening a business in Ottawa.

Which Business to Choose?

Choosing a business that is right for you is very important. You might get some good ideas about what kind of business to start by reading How to Evaluate a Business 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 How to Start an Employee Benefits Insurance Business guide or our Opening a Mannequins Business guide.

Don't forget that starting a business in Ottawa has some implications. Some businesses will do better in Ottawa than others. Don't forget to review Ottawa demographics to see if there's a market for what you want to sell.

Ottawa, Illinois Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 3219
5-9 Employees 1332
10-19 Employees 963
20-49 Employees 639
50-99 Employees 126
100-249 Employees 144
250-499 Employees 27
500-999 Employees 9
1000+ Employees 0
All Ottawa Businesses 6459

As a new Ottawa entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Ottawa 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 1
Ambulance Services 1
Architectural Services 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 1
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 6
Baked Goods Stores 1
Beauty Salons 8
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 3
Book Publishers 1
Book Stores 1
Bowling Centers 2
Building Inspection Services 1
Business Associations 3
Cable and Other Program Distribution 2
Car Washes 4
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 1
Caterers 2
Cemeteries and Crematories 1
Child and Youth Services 3
Child Day Care Services 3
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 1
Civic and Social Organizations 9
Clothing Accessories Stores 1
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 3
Collection Agencies 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 2
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 1
Computer Facilities Management Services 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 1
Consumer Lending 6
Convenience Stores 2
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 1
Credit Unions 4
Dental Laboratories 2
Digital Printing 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 1
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 2
Discount Department Stores 2
Drafting Services 1
Drilling Oil and Gas Wells 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 16
Electrical Contractors 4
Electronic Shopping 2
Elementary and Secondary Schools 3
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Engineering Services 3
Environmental Consulting Services 1
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 3
Fine Arts Schools 3
Finish Carpentry Contractors 2
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 3
Flat Glass Manufacturing 1
Floor Covering Stores 6
Flooring Contractors 4
Florists 2
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 1
Food Service Contractors 4
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 1
Framing Contractors 2
Freight Transportation Arrangement 2
Full-Service Restaurants 30
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 3
Furniture Stores 4
General Automotive Repair 8
General Freight Trucking, Local 2
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Rental Centers 1
General Warehousing and Storage 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 3
Glass and Glazing Contractors 2
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 3
Grantmaking Foundations 1
Graphic Design Services 3
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 1
Home Health Equipment Rental 1
Homes for the Elderly 2
Household Appliance Stores 2
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 1
Industrial Launderers 1
Industrial Sand Mining 1
Inland Water Freight Transportation 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 21
Janitorial Services 7
Jewelry Stores 1
Kidney Dialysis Centers 1
Land Subdivision 1
Landscaping Services 6
Limited-Service Restaurants 16
Livestock Merchant Wholesalers 1
Locksmiths 1
Machine Shops 4
Mail-Order Houses 2
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Marinas 1
Masonry Contractors 2
Materials Recovery Facilities 1
Meat Markets 1
Men's Clothing Stores 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 1
Motion Picture and Video Production 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 1
Motorcycle Dealers 2
Nail Salons 1
Natural Gas Distribution 1
Navigational Services to Shipping 2
New Car Dealers 5
New Housing Operative Builders 1
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 1
Nursing Care Facilities 2
Office Administrative Services 2
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 2
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 5
Offices of Chiropractors 8
Offices of Dentists 18
Offices of Lawyers 26
Offices of Optometrists 4
Offices of Other Holding Companies 1
Offices of Podiatrists 1
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 3
Packaging and Labeling Services 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 1
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 1
Payroll Services 1
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 1
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 3
Photography Studios, Portrait 3
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 1
Poultry Processing 1
Private Mail Centers 2
Radio Stations 1
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 3
Recreational Goods Rental 1
Residential Remodelers 4
Roofing Contractors 4
Savings Institutions 3
Securities Brokerage 5
Septic Tank and Related Services 1
Shoe Stores 4
Siding Contractors 1
Sign Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 2
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 4
Solid Waste Collection 2
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Soybean Processing 1
Sporting Goods Stores 3
Sports and Recreation Instruction 2
Taxi Service 1
Telemarketing Bureaus 2
Television Broadcasting 1
Temporary Help Services 4
Testing Laboratories 2
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 1
Tire Dealers 1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 1
Travel Agencies 3
Used Car Dealers 3
Used Merchandise Stores 2
Veterinary Services 4
Video Tape and Disc Rental 6
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 3
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 4
Women's Clothing Stores 5

Should You Franchise?

As you drive around Ottawa, it's apparent that franchising has become a very popular way to start a business. Is franchising maybe a better way for you to start your business?

We advise the entrepreneurs we work with to consider franchising as an option. We have many articles on franchises, such as Franchise Versus Business Opportunity. Get a thorough education on franchising by browsing all of our Articles on Franchising.

You can review hundreds of franchise opportunities by browing our Franchise Directory.

Sample franchise opportunities include Sir Chocolate and The Firkin Group of Pubs. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Golf Franchises and Real Estate Franchises.

Note on Ottawa Franchise Opportunities: You will need to contact franchisors directly to see if their franchises are available in Ottawa.

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.

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.

For other considerations regarding naming a company, we recommend this article: Naming a Business.

On a final note, given that you are opening a business in Ottawa, it's critical that you ensure that no other Illinois company is using the business name you want to use.

Forming a Company in Ottawa, Illinois

A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Without a legal structure for the business, you can be held personally liable for the actions, debts and obligations of your company.

The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

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 Illinois, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Illinois. 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 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 Why Incorporate in Delaware. You may also want to seek the advice of an lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Ottawa, Illinois, our information on Incorporating in Illinois may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Illinois.

How to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Abilities

The best entrepreneurs recognize that they don't know everything.

As an entrepreneur who lives in Ottawa, Illinois, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Illinois universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also beneficial to see if there are any networking organizations for Ottawa entrepreneurs.

What's Next?

As an entrepreneur in Ottawa, you won't be working for the boss anymore. You are the boss.

Owning your own business will be a daunting task, but you can do it.

We are here to help Ottawa businesses to be successful. We want to be there for you to answer your business questions, whether you are a new Ottawa entrepreneur who is just getting started or you are already up and running with your new venture.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Ottawa, Illinois

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



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