August 8, 2020  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Montana Entrepreneurs  
  Whitefish, Montana Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Whitefish, Montana

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

Is Becoming an Entrepreneur Right for You?

Most startup businesses do not succeed, in part because the founder did not have the perseverance and abilities that are necessary to succeed. So, before you open a business, consider all of the implications of being an entrepreneur.

Here are three things we recommend you do before you fully commit to starting a new business of your own.

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Whitefish. 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.

Whitefish, Montana Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 1405
5-9 Employees 369
10-19 Employees 195
20-49 Employees 132
50-99 Employees 42
100-249 Employees 12
250-499 Employees 0
500-999 Employees 0
1000+ Employees 0
All Whitefish Businesses 2155

As a new Whitefish entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Whitefish 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
Advertising Agencies 1
Architectural Services 4
Art Dealers 4
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 1
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 2
Beauty Salons 4
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 4
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 1
Book Stores 1
Bowling Centers 1
Breweries 1
Building Inspection Services 2
Business Associations 1
Car Washes 2
Casinos (except Casino Hotels) 1
Child Day Care Services 8
Civic and Social Organizations 5
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 1
Commercial Photography 1
Computer Systems Design Services 4
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 1
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 1
Copper Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Couriers 1
Credit Unions 2
Custom Computer Programming Services 4
Dental Laboratories 1
Direct Mail Advertising 1
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 1
Document Preparation Services 1
Drafting Services 2
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 8
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 5
Electrical Contractors 7
Electronic Shopping 2
Elementary and Secondary Schools 2
Engineering Services 4
Environmental Consulting Services 2
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 2
Fine Arts Schools 1
Finish Carpentry Contractors 9
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 9
Floor Covering Stores 1
Flooring Contractors 4
Florists 3
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 1
Framing Contractors 4
Freight Transportation Arrangement 1
Full-Service Restaurants 28
Furniture Stores 2
General Automotive Repair 1
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Rental Centers 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 6
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 4
Graphic Design Services 2
Hardware Stores 3
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 1
Home Centers 1
Home Health Care Services 1
Homes for the Elderly 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 10
Interior Design Services 3
Internet Service Providers 2
Investigation Services 1
Investment Advice 3
Iron Foundries 1
Janitorial Services 8
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 1
Jewelry Stores 2
Land Subdivision 7
Landscape Architectural Services 4
Landscaping Services 17
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 2
Limited-Service Restaurants 12
Logging 4
Machine Shops 2
Mail-Order Houses 1
Marinas 2
Marketing Consulting Services 4
Masonry Contractors 3
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 3
Motion Picture and Video Production 4
New Car Dealers 2
New Housing Operative Builders 3
Nonresidential Property Managers 2
Nursing Care Facilities 1
Office Administrative Services 2
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 6
Offices of Chiropractors 7
Offices of Dentists 5
Offices of Lawyers 14
Offices of Optometrists 2
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 6
Packaging and Labeling Services 1
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 7
Passenger Car Rental 1
Payroll Services 3
Periodical Publishers 2
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 2
Photography Studios, Portrait 2
Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing 2
Political Organizations 1
Portfolio Management 1
Private Mail Centers 1
Professional Organizations 1
Quick Printing 2
Real Estate Credit 3
Recreational Goods Rental 3
Residential Property Managers 7
Residential Remodelers 3
Retail Bakeries 1
Roofing Contractors 2
Securities Brokerage 6
Security Guards and Patrol Services 1
Septic Tank and Related Services 1
Siding Contractors 1
Site Preparation Contractors 6
Skiing Facilities 2
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 2
Solid Waste Collection 1
Sound Recording Studios 1
Sporting Goods Stores 9
Sports and Recreation Instruction 2
Support Activities for Forestry 2
Tax Preparation Services 3
Temporary Help Services 1
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 1
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 1
Tire Dealers 2
Travel Agencies 2
Used Car Dealers 1
Used Merchandise Stores 3
Vending Machine Operators 1
Veterinary Services 1
Video Tape and Disc Rental 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 4

Is Buying an Existing Whitefish Business a Good Strategy?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Montana. Follow that link and you may find several good businesses for sale in Whitefish.

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

Naming the Business

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.

Even if the name doesn't do it by itself, many naming experts believe there should be a story behind the name that ties into your company mission.

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

As a final piece of advice, remember that because you are opening a business in Whitefish, it's imperative that you check now that no other Montana company is using the business name you want to use.

Forming a Company in Whitefish, Montana

A critical step is ensuring 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 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 Montana, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Montana. In fact, you can incorporate in the state of your choosing. 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 lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Whitefish, Montana, our information on Incorporating in Montana may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Montana.

Raising Funding for Your Venture

Getting your Whitefish business the capital it needs to succeed is a difficult chore. In fact, financing your new business may be the hardest challenge you ever face.

The good news is this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled 504 Loans.

For Whitefish entrepreneurs who need startup capital, you'll want to take a look at our List of Montana Angel Investors and our List of Montana Venture Capital Firms.

Moving Forward

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

From this point on, you control your own destiny.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Whitefish and elsewhere to achieve real success. We have a wealth of experience in business start-ups, financing, marketing, sales and more...and we've made all of our knowledge available to you.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Whitefish, Montana

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

 

 

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money

Incorporate

Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety