April 8, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Maine Entrepreneurs  
  Sanford, Maine Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Start a Business in Sanford, Maine

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

What Business Are You Starting?

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. If you are struggling with what type of business to start, read Business Ideas That Don't Make Sense.

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 a Disability Accommodation Consultants Business guide or our Opening a Steel Wool Business guide.

Remember that your new startup will be located in Sanford. Some businesses will do better in Sanford than others. Only by spending some time analyzing Sanford demographics can you decide if there will be strong demand for your business idea.

Sanford, Maine Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 5117
5-9 Employees 2268
10-19 Employees 1470
20-49 Employees 735
50-99 Employees 315
100-249 Employees 231
250-499 Employees 63
500-999 Employees 0
1000+ Employees 0
All Sanford Businesses 10199

As a new Sanford entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Sanford 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
Adhesive Manufacturing 1
Architectural Services 1
Automobile Driving Schools 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 1
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 5
Automotive Transmission Repair 1
Beauty Salons 2
Bowling Centers 1
Business and Secretarial Schools 1
Business Associations 1
Cafeterias 1
Car Washes 2
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 1
Caterers 1
Child Day Care Services 5
Civic and Social Organizations 6
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 3
Collection Agencies 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 3
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 1
Computer Systems Design Services 1
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Convenience Stores 3
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 1
Credit Unions 3
Dental Laboratories 1
Discount Department Stores 2
Drafting Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 3
Electrical Contractors 9
Electronic Capacitor Manufacturing 1
Elementary and Secondary Schools 1
Engineering Services 1
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 1
Family Planning Centers 1
Finish Carpentry Contractors 3
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 2
Floor Covering Stores 2
Flooring Contractors 3
Florists 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 2
Food Service Contractors 1
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 1
Full-Service Restaurants 15
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 1
Furniture Stores 2
General Automotive Repair 8
General Freight Trucking, Local 1
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Rental Centers 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 3
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 1
Greeting Card Publishers 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 1
Hardware Stores 2
Heating Oil Dealers 4
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 1
Home Health Equipment Rental 2
Homes for the Elderly 1
Household Appliance Stores 2
Hydroelectric Power Generation 2
Ice Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 11
Internet Service Providers 2
Janitorial Services 2
Jewelry Stores 4
Landscaping Services 3
Limited-Service Restaurants 14
Machine Shops 2
Mail-Order Houses 1
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Masonry Contractors 2
Metal Stamping 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 1
Motorcycle Dealers 2
New Car Dealers 3
Nonwoven Fabric Mills 1
Nursing Care Facilities 3
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 3
Offices of Chiropractors 2
Offices of Dentists 10
Offices of Lawyers 14
Offices of Optometrists 5
Offices of Podiatrists 1
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 1
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 1
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 1
Packing and Crating 1
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 3
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 1
Photography Studios, Portrait 1
Radio Stations 1
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 1
Residential Remodelers 3
Retail Bakeries 1
Roofing Contractors 1
Sales Financing 1
Savings Institutions 4
Sawmills 2
Securities Brokerage 2
Shoe Stores 1
Site Preparation Contractors 5
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 4
Solid Waste Collection 1
Sporting Goods Stores 2
Sports and Recreation Instruction 1
Support Activities for Forestry 1
Tax Preparation Services 1
Temporary Shelters 1
Tire Dealers 2
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 1
Travel Agencies 1
Used Car Dealers 1
Used Merchandise Stores 3
Veterinary Services 1
Video Tape and Disc Rental 2
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 1
Women's Clothing Stores 1

What About Franchising Opportunities?

Examine a list of Sanford businesses and 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 Franchisees Versus Licensees. Become a franchising expert of sorts by reading more of our Articles on Franchising.

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

Sample franchise opportunities include Plantscapers and Rainbow Station. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Frozen Yogurt Franchises and Kid Friendly Franchises.

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

Have You Considered Buying an Existing Sanford Business?

If you have some capital to play with, you may want to Buy a Business in Maine. Follow that link and you may find several good businesses for sale in Sanford.

If you are headed down the path of buying a business, you may want to read this article: Hold Harmless Agreements When Buying Businesses.

Forming a Company in Sanford, Maine

It's very important that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. 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.

Incorporation is a very common way to legally create a business entity. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. If you are starting a business in Maine, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Maine. 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 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 Pre-Incorporation Agreements. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Sanford, Maine, our information on Incorporating in Maine may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Maine.

Raising Money for Your Venture

Getting your Sanford 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.

Take advantage of our many articles on securing funding, such as Attracting Investors.

For Sanford entrepreneurs on the hunt for startup funding, you'll want to take a look at our List of Maine Angel Investors and our List of Maine Venture Capital Firms.

Learning More About Entrepreneurship

Good entrepreneurs recognize that they need to continually improve.

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

Never Give Up

As an entrepreneur in Sanford, 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.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Sanford and elsewhere to achieve real success. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Sanford, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Sanford, Maine

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

  • Resources for Sanford, Maine Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Sanford entrepreneurs.
  • Maine Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Maine.
  • Maine Small Business Development Center - Maine Small Business Development Centers and its technology-focused group, the Maine Small Business & Technology Development Centers, provide comprehensive business management assistance, training, resource and information services to Maine's entrepreneurs and small business owners.



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