May 31, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Wisconsin Entrepreneurs  
  Portage, Wisconsin Resources for Entrepreneurs is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Starting a Business in Portage, Wisconsin

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

Will You Be a Successful Entrepreneur?

Most new companies do not succeed, in part because the founder did not have the perseverance and abilities that are necessary to succeed. So, before jumping into the world of entrepreneurship, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.

While entrepreneurship has become a popular career choice, we recommend you do the following before you take the plunge:

  • Speak with other entrepreneurs in Portage. They are usually very willing to share their insights on the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
  • You should read The Entrepreneurial Personality. It's a good read for those who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Reach out to a trusted acquaintance. Others sometimes know you better than you know yourself.

Portage, Wisconsin Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 4104
5-9 Employees 1800
10-19 Employees 1152
20-49 Employees 738
50-99 Employees 216
100-249 Employees 180
250-499 Employees 54
500-999 Employees 36
1000+ Employees 0
All Portage Businesses 8280

As a new Portage entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Portage 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
Aluminum Die-Casting Foundries 1
Apprenticeship Training 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 1
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 5
Barber Shops 1
Beauty Salons 9
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 2
Book Stores 1
Bowling Centers 1
Business Associations 3
Car Washes 2
Cemeteries and Crematories 1
Cheese Manufacturing 1
Child and Youth Services 2
Child Day Care Services 5
Civic and Social Organizations 2
Collection Agencies 1
Computer and Software Stores 1
Computer Systems Design Services 1
Computer Training 1
Consumer Lending 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 1
Credit Unions 1
Custom Computer Programming Services 1
Discount Department Stores 1
Drafting Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 13
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 3
Engineering Services 7
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 1
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 1
Flat Glass Manufacturing 1
Floor Covering Stores 2
Florists 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 1
Food Service Contractors 1
Framing Contractors 2
Full-Service Restaurants 15
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 2
General Automotive Repair 7
General Freight Trucking, Local 4
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 2
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 1
Grantmaking Foundations 1
Graphic Design Services 1
Historical Sites 1
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 1
Home Health Care Services 1
Homes for the Elderly 1
Household Appliance Stores 2
Industrial Launderers 1
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 14
Janitorial Services 3
Land Subdivision 1
Landscaping Services 4
Limited-Service Restaurants 13
Marinas 1
Marketing Consulting Services 1
Masonry Contractors 4
Men's Clothing Stores 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 1
Museums 1
New Car Dealers 3
Nursing Care Facilities 1
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 1
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 3
Offices of Chiropractors 3
Offices of Dentists 5
Offices of Lawyers 8
Offices of Optometrists 2
Offices of Podiatrists 1
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 1
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 1
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 1
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 1
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 4
Photography Studios, Portrait 2
Portfolio Management 1
Primary Battery Manufacturing 1
Quick Printing 3
Radio Stations 2
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 2
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 1
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 1
Residential Remodelers 2
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 1
Roofing Contractors 2
Savings Institutions 1
School and Employee Bus Transportation 1
Securities Brokerage 2
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 1
Shoe Stores 2
Siding Contractors 2
Sign Manufacturing 2
Site Preparation Contractors 7
Skiing Facilities 1
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 1
Special Needs Transportation 1
Sporting Goods Stores 2
Sports and Recreation Instruction 1
Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 1
Taxi Service 1
Temporary Help Services 1
Tire Dealers 1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 2
Travel Agencies 1
Used Car Dealers 3
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 1
Used Merchandise Stores 2
Veterinary Services 3
Video Tape and Disc Rental 2
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 3
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 2
Women's Clothing Stores 1

Is a Franchise Opportunity Right For You?

As you drive around Portage, you may be surprised to see how many franchises there are in the area. Is there a franchise opportunity out there that makes sense for you?

We advise the entrepreneurs we work with to consider franchising as an option. This site has dozens of articles on franchising, such as Franchise Marketing Support. Gain a solid understanding of franchising by scanning all of our Articles on Franchising.

To learn about specific franchise opportunities, check out our Franchise Directory.

Sample franchise opportunities include Mr. Greek Restaurants and Expense Reduction Consulting. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Textile Repair Franchises and Health and Diet Franchises.

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

Have You Considered Buying an Existing Portage Business?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Wisconsin. Follow that link and you can review several good businesses for sale in Portage.

For anybody who wants to buy a business, we recommend reading this useful article: How to Buy a Business.

Choosing a Company Name

Making the right decision when choosing a company name is very important. There are many decisions you'll make now that you can change later, but changing a company name years down the road is not very easy. So, choose a good company name at the outset.

Before you decide on a company name, run it by some prospective customers and see what they think. If they don't like it, it's probably a good idea to go back to the drawing board.

To get up to speed on what makes for a good company name, we encourage you to read this useful article: Naming a Company.

As a final piece of advice, remember that because you are planning on starting a business in Portage, it's imperative that you check now that no other Wisconsin company is using the business name you want to use.

Company Formation in Portage, Wisconsin

It's very important that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Among other things, forming a legal entity for the business limits your liabilities.

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 Wisconsin, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Wisconsin. In fact, you can 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. To learn the fundamentals of company formation, browse articles on our site, such as Dissolving a Corporation. You should also consider getting professional assistance from your business lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Portage, Wisconsin, our information on Incorporating in Wisconsin may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Wisconsin.

Improving Your Entrepreneurial Skillset

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

With your business being located in Portage, Wisconsin, you will want to take advantage of the learning programs at local Wisconsin educational institutions. It's also smart to see if there are any networking organizations for Portage entrepreneurs.

What's Next?

Most new Portage businesses underestimate the number of challenges they will face.

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

We are here to help Portage businesses to be successful. We want to be there for you to answer your business questions, whether you are a new Portage 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 Portage, Wisconsin

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



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