Arizona Business Startup Guides

Start a Business in Tucson, Arizona

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

What Business Are You Starting?

An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. To help you decide on a business type, we encourage you to read Good Business Ideas.

If you still are not sure what type of business to start, peruse the Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Opening a Mailing Machines & Equipment Wholesales & Manufacturers Business guide or our Starting a Used Refrigerators & Freezers Business guide.

Always keep in mind that your new startup will be located in Tucson. If Tucson already has plenty of the kind of business you want to start, you might want to change your plans. Don't forget to review Tucson demographics to see if there's a market for what you want to sell.

Tucson, Arizona Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size
# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees
30062
5-9 Employees
11200
10-19 Employees
8124
20-49 Employees
5580
50-99 Employees
1863
100-249 Employees
999
250-499 Employees
228
500-999 Employees
84
1000+ Employees
36
All Tucson Businesses
58176

As a new Tucson entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Tucson 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
Businesses
Abrasive Product Manufacturing
1
Advertising Agencies
45
Air Traffic Control
2
Ambulance Services
8
Amusement and Theme Parks
1
Amusement Arcades
3
Apprenticeship Training
5
Architectural Services
113
Armored Car Services
2
Art Dealers
30
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing
3
Automatic Vending Machine Manufacturing
1
Automobile Driving Schools
3
Automotive Exhaust System Repair
10
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops
40
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores
124
Automotive Transmission Repair
25
Baked Goods Stores
11
Barber Shops
11
Beauty Salons
226
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers
3
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores
23
Blind and Shade Manufacturing
4
Blood and Organ Banks
4
Boat Dealers
3
Book Publishers
13
Book Stores
34
Breweries
2
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills
1
Building Inspection Services
20
Burial Casket Manufacturing
1
Business Associations
23
Cable and Other Program Distribution
4
Cafeterias
18
Canvas and Related Product Mills
3
Car Washes
44
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services
46
Casinos (except Casino Hotels)
1
Caterers
23
Cement Manufacturing
1
Cemeteries and Crematories
5
Child and Youth Services
30
Child Day Care Services
168
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores
18
Civic and Social Organizations
72
Claims Adjusting
11
Clothing Accessories Stores
26
Coffee and Tea Manufacturing
1
Collection Agencies
21
Commercial Bakeries
5
Commercial Flexographic Printing
1
Commercial Lithographic Printing
37
Commercial Photography
7
Commercial Screen Printing
11
Commodity Contracts Brokerage
2
Computer and Software Stores
38
Computer Facilities Management Services
3
Computer Storage Device Manufacturing
1
Computer Systems Design Services
80
Computer Training
3
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing
2
Concrete Pipe Manufacturing
1
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers
3
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining
4
Consumer Lending
23
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
30
Convenience Stores
49
Convention and Trade Show Organizers
13
Convention and Visitors Bureaus
1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools
6
Couriers
25
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services
15
Credit Bureaus
3
Credit Unions
47
Curtain and Drapery Mills
1
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins
2
Dance Companies
2
Dental Laboratories
30
Diagnostic Imaging Centers
19
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers
5
Digital Printing
4
Direct Life Insurance Carriers
20
Direct Mail Advertising
6
Directory and Mailing List Publishers
7
Discount Department Stores
13
Display Advertising
7
Document Preparation Services
19
Drafting Services
14
Drilling Oil and Gas Wells
2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
116
Drywall and Insulation Contractors
82
Educational Support Services
21
Electrical Contractors
180
Electron Tube Manufacturing
1
Electronic Capacitor Manufacturing
1
Electronic Computer Manufacturing
1
Electronic Shopping
13
Emergency and Other Relief Services
5
Employment Placement Agencies
12
Engineering Services
198
Environmental Consulting Services
29
Exam Preparation and Tutoring
12
Exterminating and Pest Control Services
67
Facilities Support Services
7
Family Planning Centers
5
Farm Management Services
1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
5
Fine Arts Schools
35
Finish Carpentry Contractors
55
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers
2
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers
94
Flight Training
9
Floor Covering Stores
37
Flooring Contractors
44
Florists
35
Food (Health) Supplement Stores
18
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing
1
Food Service Contractors
54
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers
3
Formal Wear and Costume Rental
9
Framing Contractors
45
Freight Transportation Arrangement
26
Fruit and Vegetable Canning
1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets
3
Full-Service Restaurants
530
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers
8
Furniture Stores
79
General Automotive Repair
255
General Freight Trucking, Local
33
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
8
General Rental Centers
12
General Warehousing and Storage
12
Glass and Glazing Contractors
13
Gold Ore Mining
1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs
13
Grantmaking Foundations
25
Graphic Design Services
35
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing
1
Hardware Manufacturing
2
Hardware Stores
31
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal
2
Heating Oil Dealers
1
Historical Sites
1
HMO Medical Centers
1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores
33
Home Centers
13
Home Health Care Services
48
Home Health Equipment Rental
3
Homes for the Elderly
111
Household Appliance Stores
22
Human Rights Organizations
6
Ice Manufacturing
1
Industrial Building Construction
4
Industrial Launderers
7
Industrial Mold Manufacturing
6
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing
1
Industrial Sand Mining
1
Industrial Valve Manufacturing
2
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing
1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages
408
International Trade Financing
1
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting
6
Internet Service Providers
13
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation
2
Investigation Services
20
Investment Advice
66
Iron and Steel Mills
1
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing
5
Jewelry Stores
90
Junior Colleges
5
Kidney Dialysis Centers
6
Land Subdivision
39
Landscape Architectural Services
30
Landscaping Services
225
Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing
1
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property
61
Limited-Service Restaurants
560
Limousine Service
6
Linen Supply
1
Livestock Merchant Wholesalers
1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery
14
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores
4
Luggage Manufacturing
2
Machine Shops
50
Mail-Order Houses
34
Manifold Business Forms Printing
3
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers
30
Marinas
2
Marking Device Manufacturing
1
Masonry Contractors
71
Materials Recovery Facilities
1
Mattress Manufacturing
2
Meat Markets
10
Meat Processed from Carcasses
2
Media Buying Agencies
2
Medical Laboratories
35
Men's Clothing Stores
14
Metal Household Furniture Manufacturing
1
Metal Stamping
3
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing
1
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing
4
Miscellaneous Intermediation
22
Mobile Food Services
6
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers
64
Motion Picture and Video Production
12
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing
1
Motor Vehicle Towing
17
Motorcycle Dealers
25
Museums
11
Musical Groups and Artists
10
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores
18
Musical Instrument Manufacturing
1
Nail Salons
18
Natural Gas Distribution
1
New Car Dealers
55
New Housing Operative Builders
48
News Syndicates
1
Newspaper Publishers
13
Nonclay Refractory Manufacturing
2
Nonresidential Property Managers
46
Nuclear Electric Power Generation
1
Nursing Care Facilities
26
Office Administrative Services
103
Office Machinery Manufacturing
1
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores
22
Offices of Certified Public Accountants
176
Offices of Chiropractors
110
Offices of Dentists
318
Offices of Lawyers
555
Offices of Optometrists
38
Offices of Podiatrists
21
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers
64
One-Hour Photofinishing
4
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing
2
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers
1
Optical Goods Stores
48
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores
5
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing
1
Packing and Crating
5
Paging
2
Paint and Coating Manufacturing
5
Paint and Wallpaper Stores
14
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors
144
Parking Lots and Garages
15
Passenger Car Rental
34
Payroll Services
11
Periodical Publishers
24
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores
23
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services
34
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals
6
Pharmacies and Drug Stores
71
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas
3
Plastics Bag Manufacturing
1
Plastics Bottle Manufacturing
1
Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing
5
Plate Work Manufacturing
4
Political Organizations
4
Portfolio Management
36
Prepress Services
5
Primary Smelting and Refining of Copper
1
Private Mail Centers
23
Professional Employer Organizations
14
Professional Organizations
14
Public Relations Agencies
9
Quick Printing
20
Radio Networks
4
Radio Stations
19
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing
9
Real Estate Credit
85
Real Estate Investment Trusts
5
Recreational Goods Rental
2
Recreational Vehicle Dealers
15
Reinsurance Carriers
2
Remediation Services
5
Rendering and Meat Byproduct Processing
1
Repossession Services
3
Residential Property Managers
102
Residential Remodelers
123
Resilient Floor Covering Manufacturing
1
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair
12
Roofing Contractors
56
Rooming and Boarding Houses
12
Rope, Cordage, and Twine Mills
1
Sales Financing
19
Savings Institutions
17
Scheduled Freight Air Transportation
3
School and Employee Bus Transportation
2
Securities Brokerage
73
Security Guards and Patrol Services
33
Semiconductor Machinery Manufacturing
1
Septic Tank and Related Services
6
Sewage Treatment Facilities
1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing
15
Siding Contractors
4
Sign Manufacturing
18
Silverware and Hollowware Manufacturing
1
Site Preparation Contractors
58
Small Arms Manufacturing
1
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars
123
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing
1
Software Publishers
32
Software Reproducing
1
Solid Waste Collection
9
Solid Waste Landfill
1
Sound Recording Studios
5
Special Needs Transportation
3
Specialty Canning
2
Sports and Recreation Instruction
43
Sports Teams and Clubs
1
Steel Wire Drawing
1
Storage Battery Manufacturing
1
Support Activities for Coal Mining
1
Support Activities for Metal Mining
3
Tax Preparation Services
88
Telecommunications Resellers
3
Telemarketing Bureaus
17
Telephone Answering Services
5
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing
3
Television Broadcasting
9
Temporary Help Services
75
Temporary Shelters
27
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters
12
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors
60
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers
2
Tire Dealers
63
Tire Retreading
1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices
3
Tobacco Stores
15
Tortilla Manufacturing
4
Tour Operators
4
Tradebinding and Related Work
4
Translation and Interpretation Services
10
Travel Agencies
34
Truss Manufacturing
1
Used Car Dealers
54
Used Merchandise Stores
62
Vending Machine Operators
12
Veterinary Services
87
Video Tape and Disc Rental
49
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
35
Voluntary Health Organizations
21
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters
7
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers
75
Window Treatment Stores
8
Wired Telecommunications Carriers
51
Women's Clothing Stores
85
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing
3
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing
7
Zoos and Botanical Gardens
3

Have You Considered Buying an Existing Tucson Business?

We've created a handy website page for those who want to Buy a Business in Arizona. Follow that link and you may find several good businesses for sale in Tucson.

If you are serious about buying a business, you may want to read this article: How to Buy a Business.

Don't Skip the Business Plan

A business plan is vital in maximizing the prospects of your new company. Simply put, 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 Business Plan Mistakes. You can also get free counseling sessions provided by your local SCORE chapter in Arizona.

Startup Financing Basics

Raising money to fund your new Tucson business is a difficult chore. If you don't have a rich uncle to fund you, you'll need to be creative in how you approach your fundraising efforts.

Fortunately, this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled Bank Credit Lines.

For Tucson entrepreneurs who want to raise money for a new venture, we have assembled a List of Arizona Angel Investors and our List of Arizona Venture Capital Firms.

Marketing Your New Venture

To grow your Tucson business, you need a solid marketing plan.

We have some excellent resources on this site for entrepreneurs who are working on marketing plans. Marketing Research is a good read to get your marketing juices flowing. That's just one of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Building Up Your Sales

Being able to sell is critical to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Tucson or are selling to customers throughout Arizona, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

Why should customers buy from you instead of buying from competitors? The good news is we can help you to make selling a big competitve advantage for your new firm.

Selling Stuff on the Web is a good article to read, one of dozens in the Selling for Entrepreneurs section of our site.

Interviews With Tucson Entrepreneurs

We're compiling a number of interviews with Tucson entrepreneurs. Enjoy!

Next Steps

You have a dream -- starting a business in Tucson. 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.

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

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Tucson, Arizona

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

  • Resources for Tucson, Arizona Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Tucson entrepreneurs.
  • Arizona Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Arizona.
  • Arizona Small Business Development Center - Arizona’s Small Business Development Center Network is an innovative partnership between the state’s ten community college districts and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The network is the largest and most accessible source of assistance to Arizona businesses with fewer than 200 employees.

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