January 26, 2021  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Maine Entrepreneurs  
  Portland, Maine Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Open a Business in Portland, Maine

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

Are You Sure You Want to Do This?

Being an entrepreneur is hard work, much more challenging than working as an employee. Are you positive you have the stamina and skills to succeed on your own?

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

  • Speak with other entrepreneurs in Portland. Ask them candidly what it's like to run a business.
  • You should read Business Failure. It's a good read for those who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Involve a spouse, family member or trusted friend in the decision. The people who know you best are often in the best position to tell you bluntly whether you will be a good entrepreneur.

Portland, Maine Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 56550
5-9 Employees 21240
10-19 Employees 14970
20-49 Employees 11460
50-99 Employees 3600
100-249 Employees 2280
250-499 Employees 540
500-999 Employees 60
1000+ Employees 90
All Portland Businesses 110790

As a new Portland entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Portland 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 30
Amusement Arcades 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 1
Architectural Services 34
Art Dealers 6
Automobile Driving Schools 2
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 2
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 6
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 14
Automotive Transmission Repair 2
Baked Goods Stores 1
Barber Shops 1
Beauty Salons 45
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 3
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 6
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 1
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Boat Building 1
Boat Dealers 5
Book Publishers 5
Book Stores 8
Bowling Centers 1
Breweries 3
Building Inspection Services 1
Business Associations 12
Cafeterias 1
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 3
Canvas and Related Product Mills 3
Car Washes 9
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 2
Caterers 6
Cemeteries and Crematories 2
Charter Bus Industry 1
Child and Youth Services 13
Child Day Care Services 34
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 1
Civic and Social Organizations 27
Claims Adjusting 2
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 13
Collection Agencies 1
Commercial Bakeries 3
Commercial Lithographic Printing 8
Commercial Photography 14
Commercial Screen Printing 6
Community Food Services 2
Computer and Software Stores 2
Computer Facilities Management Services 3
Computer Systems Design Services 22
Computer Training 2
Confectionery and Nut Stores 2
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 1
Consumer Lending 3
Convenience Stores 16
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 3
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 4
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 3
Couriers 10
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 2
Credit Bureaus 3
Credit Card Issuing 2
Credit Unions 11
Custom Computer Programming Services 22
Dance Companies 1
Deep Sea Freight Transportation 1
Dental Laboratories 2
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 4
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 10
Direct Mail Advertising 2
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 6
Discount Department Stores 1
Document Preparation Services 3
Drafting Services 3
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 26
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 6
Educational Support Services 9
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 25
Electronic Shopping 7
Elementary and Secondary Schools 10
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 7
Engineering Services 32
Environmental Consulting Services 8
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 2
Facilities Support Services 3
Family Clothing Stores 10
Family Planning Centers 2
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 1
Fine Arts Schools 8
Finfish Fishing 7
Finish Carpentry Contractors 8
Fish and Seafood Markets 6
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers 21
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 12
Floor Covering Stores 2
Flooring Contractors 7
Florists 9
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 2
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 1
Food Service Contractors 5
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 3
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 1
Framing Contractors 2
Freight Transportation Arrangement 9
Fresh and Frozen Seafood Processing 6
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 1
Full-Service Restaurants 133
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 4
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 2
Furniture Stores 9
General Automotive Repair 23
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 2
General Rental Centers 3
General Warehousing and Storage 2
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 23
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Grantmaking Foundations 9
Graphic Design Services 22
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 3
Hardware Stores 5
Heating Oil Dealers 7
Historical Sites 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 3
Home Centers 3
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 3
Home Health Care Services 8
Homes for the Elderly 8
Household Appliance Stores 7
Human Rights Organizations 5
Hydroelectric Power Generation 3
Industrial Design Services 1
Industrial Launderers 2
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 55
Interior Design Services 6
International Trade Financing 1
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 1
Internet Service Providers 3
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 1
Investigation Services 2
Investment Advice 19
Iron Foundries 1
Janitorial Services 33
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 2
Jewelry Stores 8
Kidney Dialysis Centers 1
Land Subdivision 6
Landscape Architectural Services 5
Landscaping Services 17
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 1
Libraries and Archives 3
Limited-Service Restaurants 65
Limousine Service 2
Linen Supply 1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 4
Locksmiths 2
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 1
Machine Shops 1
Mail-Order Houses 7
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Marinas 2
Marine Cargo Handling 2
Marketing Consulting Services 23
Masonry Contractors 7
Materials Recovery Facilities 1
Meat Markets 3
Media Buying Agencies 1
Media Representatives 2
Medical Laboratories 3
Men's Clothing Stores 4
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Miscellaneous Intermediation 6
Mixed Mode Transit Systems 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 11
Motion Picture and Video Production 8
Motor Vehicle Towing 4
Motorcycle Dealers 1
Museums 6
Musical Groups and Artists 5
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 4
Nail Salons 6
Natural Gas Distribution 2
Navigational Services to Shipping 2
New Car Dealers 3
New Housing Operative Builders 1
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
News Syndicates 2
Newspaper Publishers 5
Nonresidential Property Managers 20
Nursing Care Facilities 4
Office Administrative Services 10
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 8
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 3
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 39
Offices of Chiropractors 15
Offices of Dentists 51
Offices of Lawyers 162
Offices of Optometrists 6
Offices of Other Holding Companies 1
Offices of Podiatrists 4
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 10
One-Hour Photofinishing 1
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 1
Optical Goods Stores 6
Paging 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 5
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 14
Paper Industry Machinery Manufacturing 1
Parking Lots and Garages 6
Passenger Car Rental 9
Payroll Services 1
Periodical Publishers 9
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 6
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 2
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 12
Photography Studios, Portrait 7
Political Organizations 5
Polystyrene Foam Product Manufacturing 1
Portfolio Management 15
Power-Driven Handtool Manufacturing 1
Prepress Services 1
Private Mail Centers 2
Professional Employer Organizations 2
Professional Organizations 5
Public Relations Agencies 8
Quick Printing 7
Radio Stations 2
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 14
Real Estate Investment Trusts 1
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 1
Reinsurance Carriers 1
Remediation Services 2
Residential Property Managers 24
Residential Remodelers 20
Retail Bakeries 6
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 2
Roofing Contractors 3
Rope, Cordage, and Twine Mills 1
Sales Financing 3
Savings Institutions 5
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 9
Securities Brokerage 30
Security Guards and Patrol Services 7
Shellfish Fishing 3
Shoe Stores 4
Siding Contractors 2
Sign Manufacturing 5
Site Preparation Contractors 1
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 37
Software Publishers 4
Solid Waste Collection 2
Sound Recording Studios 2
Special Needs Transportation 3
Specialty Canning 1
Sporting Goods Stores 17
Sports and Recreation Instruction 5
Sports Teams and Clubs 3
Tax Preparation Services 9
Taxi Service 2
Telecommunications Resellers 2
Telemarketing Bureaus 5
Television Broadcasting 6
Temporary Help Services 22
Temporary Shelters 1
Testing Laboratories 3
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 5
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 6
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 1
Tire Dealers 4
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 9
Tobacco Stores 5
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 2
Tour Operators 2
Tradebinding and Related Work 1
Translation and Interpretation Services 1
Travel Agencies 7
Used Car Dealers 7
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 8
Used Merchandise Stores 11
Vending Machine Operators 2
Veterinary Services 8
Video Tape and Disc Rental 4
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 12
Voluntary Health Organizations 7
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 16
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 24
Women's Clothing Stores 12

Forming a Company in Portland, Maine

A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will separate you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

When forming a company, you will decide among many company types, such as a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporating is a very popular way to form a business. A key decision is whether to form and S-Corp or a C-Corp, and you also must decide in which state you will incorporate. If you are starting a business in Maine, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Maine. 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. To learn the fundamentals of company formation, browse articles on our site, such as Dissolving a Corporation. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. On a final note, since you will be starting a business in Portland, Maine, our web page covering Incorporating in Maine may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Maine.

Make Sure You Have a Business Plan

A business plan is critical in laying a solid foundation for your business success. In effect, your business plan is your game plan for how you hope to grow your business. Failure to write a business plan is a recipe for disaster.

To learn more about business plans, read Free Business Plan Templates. You should also take advantage of free counseling sessions provided by your local SCORE chapter in Maine.

Getting Money to Start a Business

Obtaining startup financing for your Portland business is a difficult chore. In fact, financing your new business may be the hardest challenge you ever face.

To learn about raising money, we recommend you read the fundraising articles on our site, such as 504 Loans.

For Portland entrepreneurs with great ambition but a shortage of investment capital, we have assembled a List of Maine Angel Investors and our List of Maine Venture Capital Firms.

Promoting Your New Venture

To grow your Portland business, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your successs.

You can learn plenty about marketing on our site. Exhibiting at Tradeshows is an article that will generate a few thoughts on your marketing plan. That's just one of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

The Art of Selling

Do you know how to sell? In order to attract customers to your new Portland business, you need to focus on sales.

Good selling involves demonstrating that your wares meet your customer's needs. Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

Sales Training offers some helpful tips on how to sell. It's one of several good articles on our site regarding Entrepreneurial Selling.

Next Steps

As an entrepreneur in Portland, 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 Portland businesses to be successful. We want to be there for you to answer your business questions, whether you are a new Portland 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 Portland, Maine

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



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