April 3, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Pennsylvania Entrepreneurs  
  State College, Pennsylvania Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Opening a Business in State College, Pennsylvania

Contemplating starting a business in State College, Pennsylvania? We walk you through the process of opening a business in State College.

Is Becoming an Entrepreneur Right for You?

Before announcing to the world that you are going to start your own business, take inventory of your entrepreneurial instincts and capabilities.

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:

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in State College. Get their take on what it's really like to be an entrepreneur.
  • We recommend reading Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Seek the advice of somebody who knows you well. That's the best way to get a truly objective assessment as to whether others think you have what it takes.

What Business to Start

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. To stir your creative juices on what kind of business to start, take a look at 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 Starting an Employment Screening Services Business guide or our Starting a Marketing Programs & Services Business guide.

Remember that you are starting a business in State College. Some businesses will do better in State College than others. A critical consideration is whether State College demographics mesh well with your startup concept.

State College, Pennsylvania Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 2406
5-9 Employees 1179
10-19 Employees 840
20-49 Employees 615
50-99 Employees 267
100-249 Employees 111
250-499 Employees 15
500-999 Employees 6
1000+ Employees 3
All State College Businesses 5442

As a new State College entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in State College 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 3
Ambulance Services 1
Amusement and Theme Parks 1
Amusement Arcades 2
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 1
Architectural Services 10
Armored Car Services 1
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 3
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 9
Automotive Transmission Repair 1
Barber Shops 4
Beauty Salons 40
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 11
Blood and Organ Banks 1
Book Publishers 2
Book Stores 5
Books Printing 1
Bowling Centers 1
Building Inspection Services 2
Business and Secretarial Schools 1
Business Associations 6
Cable and Other Program Distribution 3
Cafeterias 2
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 2
Car Washes 3
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 2
Caterers 3
Cemeteries and Crematories 1
Charter Bus Industry 1
Child and Youth Services 1
Child Day Care Services 20
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 4
Civic and Social Organizations 14
Claims Adjusting 1
Clothing Accessories Stores 2
Collection Agencies 1
Commercial Bakeries 1
Commercial Lithographic Printing 5
Commercial Photography 1
Commercial Screen Printing 1
Community Food Services 1
Computer and Software Stores 3
Computer Systems Design Services 13
Confectionery and Nut Stores 1
Consumer Lending 2
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 3
Convenience Stores 10
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 7
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 1
Credit Unions 4
Custom Computer Programming Services 14
Dental Laboratories 1
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 4
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 2
Digital Printing 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 3
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 1
Discount Department Stores 2
Document Preparation Services 1
Drafting Services 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 8
Drive-In Motion Picture Theaters 1
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 2
Educational Support Services 4
Electric Power Distribution 1
Electrical Contractors 6
Electronic Capacitor Manufacturing 1
Electronic Resistor Manufacturing 1
Electronic Shopping 2
Elementary and Secondary Schools 8
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 1
Engineering Services 40
Environmental Consulting Services 1
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 13
Family Planning Centers 1
Fine Arts Schools 8
Finish Carpentry Contractors 2
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 10
Floor Covering Stores 5
Flooring Contractors 1
Florists 6
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 6
Freight Transportation Arrangement 1
Full-Service Restaurants 54
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 2
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 1
Furniture Stores 9
General Automotive Repair 9
General Freight Trucking, Local 3
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 2
General Rental Centers 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 19
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 1
Grantmaking Foundations 1
Graphic Design Services 2
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 1
Hardware Stores 1
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 7
Home Centers 3
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 1
Home Health Care Services 7
Home Health Equipment Rental 1
Homes for the Elderly 1
Household Appliance Stores 3
Hunting and Trapping 1
Industrial Building Construction 1
Industrial Design Services 1
Industrial Launderers 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 34
Interior Design Services 2
Internet Service Providers 4
Investment Advice 5
Janitorial Services 11
Jewelry Stores 12
Land Subdivision 2
Landscape Architectural Services 2
Landscaping Services 9
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 3
Libraries and Archives 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 62
Limousine Service 1
Linen Supply 1
Locksmiths 1
Machine Shops 2
Mail-Order Houses 2
Marketing Consulting Services 4
Masonry Contractors 2
Meat Markets 1
Medical Laboratories 1
Men's Clothing Stores 4
Metal Household Furniture Manufacturing 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 8
Motion Picture and Video Distribution 1
Motion Picture and Video Production 3
Motor Vehicle Towing 2
Motorcycle Dealers 3
Museums 2
Musical Groups and Artists 3
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 2
Nail Salons 1
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Car Dealers 11
New Housing Operative Builders 4
News Dealers and Newsstands 2
Newspaper Publishers 5
Nonresidential Property Managers 5
Nursing Care Facilities 2
Office Administrative Services 3
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 5
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 3
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 1
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 12
Offices of Chiropractors 10
Offices of Dentists 39
Offices of Lawyers 34
Offices of Optometrists 7
Offices of Other Holding Companies 1
Offices of Podiatrists 5
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 2
One-Hour Photofinishing 1
Optical Goods Stores 10
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 4
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 4
Parking Lots and Garages 1
Passenger Car Rental 3
Payroll Services 3
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 3
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 2
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 12
Photography Studios, Portrait 5
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas 1
Portfolio Management 8
Printing Ink Manufacturing 1
Professional Organizations 3
Public Relations Agencies 1
Radio Stations 5
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 2
Real Estate Credit 10
Residential Property Managers 17
Residential Remodelers 8
Roofing Contractors 3
Rooming and Boarding Houses 26
Savings Institutions 15
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 4
Securities Brokerage 11
Security Guards and Patrol Services 1
Shoe Stores 14
Siding Contractors 1
Sign Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 2
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 10
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 1
Software Publishers 4
Solid Waste Collection 2
Sporting Goods Stores 9
Sports and Recreation Instruction 1
Tax Preparation Services 1
Taxi Service 2
Telephone Answering Services 1
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 1
Temporary Help Services 9
Temporary Shelters 2
Testing Laboratories 4
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 1
Tire Dealers 4
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 22
Tour Operators 2
Travel Agencies 6
Used Car Dealers 2
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 1
Used Merchandise Stores 3
Veterinary Services 8
Video Tape and Disc Rental 3
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 3
Voluntary Health Organizations 2
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 2
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 3
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 5
Women's Clothing Stores 17
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 1

Have You Considered Buying an Existing State College Business?

We've created a useful website page for those who want to Buy a Business in Pennsylvania. Follow that link and you might discover several good businesses for sale in State College.

Before buying a business, be sure to read this article: How to Buy a Business.

Picking 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.

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 Company.

There's one other important factor when naming a business. Since you are opening a business in State College, it's very important that you make sure no other Pennsylvania company is using the business name you want to use.

Don't Skip the Business Plan

Having a business plan is essential in maximizing the prospects of your new company. Simply put, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Not having a business plan makes you more prone to becoming a business failure statistic.

To learn more about business plans, read Business Plan Contests. You can also get free counseling sessions provided by your local SCORE chapter in Pennsylvania.

Increase Your Entrepreneurial Knowledge

Good entrepreneurs recognize that they don't know everything.

With your business being located in State College, Pennsylvania, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Pennsylvania universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also worthwhile to see if there are any networking organizations for State College entrepreneurs.

Moving Forward

You have a dream -- starting a business in State College. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.

If you choose the right business and love what you do, you will greatly increase your odds of success.

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

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



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