With its growing regulatory reforms and continuous climb on tax friendliness, Wisconsin has also steadily climbed over the rankings of the best states for business. In the recent years, it has even climbed up to as high as the 14th spot, and it continues to implement reforms and reduce taxation problems.
If you’re planning to start a Wisconsin business, now is as good a time as any. Although many challenges lie in the path to a fully operational venture, being a savvy entrepreneur can go a long way in overcoming these.
This guide is a good place to start your Wisconsin business. It provides a number of varied resources, from general how-to resources, Wisconsin small business resources, professional services, startup communities and co-working spaces, and more. Let’s get you started on a successful venture now!
The Top Wisconsin Small Business Resources
SCORE Wisconsin in partnership with various federal and state government agencies and the SBA provides a host of assistant services to early-stage companies and startups. Basically, it provides business mentoring and consulting and low-cost business trainings. SCORE Wisconsin not just fosters one-time counseling, but they are committed to working with entrepreneurs for the long haul and as required.
Small Business Milwaukee is a small media networking resource that helps local business owners by letting them advertise their business online. In addition, Small Business Milwaukee also helps these owners by providing them with the proper education on how to go about in marketing their business effectively.
The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council is all about providing entrepreneurs with the right resource to start a Wisconsin business. From toolkits, how-to guides, to checklists, the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council features it in their startup list.
The News Blog section of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Allowance provides small business owners with a wealth of resources and information they can use for the development of their small business. From topics ranging to property tax, unemployment, state budget taxes, debts, federal budget, and more, you can find it on Wisconsin Taxpayers Allowance.
The Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry features several sections in its official website for business startups. These sections include resources on how to start a Wisconsin business, general business sources, information on incentives, grants, and loans and more. Also it also lists down some organizations that can provide information and guidance to your business ownership journey.
With Saukville Chamber of Commerce’s efforts in connecting businesses, the community and the government, this agency provides a variety of economic and small business resources. The resources vary from local business organizations nonprofit associations to small business development centers, all geared towards helping entrepreneurs start a business.
When starting a Madison business, the Madison Region Economic Partnership is a practical go-to resource that can walk you through the intricate processes of starting a business in the Madison region. A list of the various organizations to help you get started is included plus a link to various community pages for community-specific resources.
MCDEVCO is committed to growing business, building communities, and generally improving quality of life by providing resources and initiatives to start a business, finance resources, receive proper education and training, and broaden opportunities.
How-To Guides for Starting a Business in Wisconsin
This how to start a Wisconsin business basically outlines the ten steps to starting a Wisconsin business. From the initial step of validating a business idea to completing the necessary business licenses and permits to choosing the right business location, this guide has it all. Recommended resources and suggested tools and applications are also included in this guide.
There are steps to undertake when forming an LLC in Wisconsin. This guide discusses those steps, along with a to-do list that must be accomplished as soon as your LLC is incorporated. The guide also has some suggested resources to help you get started on a successful venture.
A trade name can be used in lieu of your official Wisconsin business name. For your business to use a trade name, a registration must be done. This guide, through a three-step process, will help you file a Wisconsin DBA, complete with the registration form, cost of filing fee, and information on where to file the said registration.
One of the requirements for successful incorporation is a Wisconsin Registered Agent. To boot, there are statutory requirements stipulated for this critical business position that must also be observed. This guide will outline those requirements as well as a few additional information and tips on how to get a reliable professional for the position.
When you form a Wisconsin Corporation, there are a number of requirements involved. This how-to guide will show novice entrepreneurs those requirements and a few other necessities involved in forming a Wisconsin Corporation in a simple, no-nonsense set of steps. As an additional resource, some of the best tools and applications that can be used to accomplish those tasks are also enumerated in this guide.
When you incorporate a Wisconsin business, this means that you are creating a separate entity independent of the business owner. Before you can fully file that Articles of Incorporation, there are a few steps you have to go through, and a few additional to-do recommendations. These are all outlined in this simple guide.
Top Wisconsin Startup Communities and Working Spaces
As a concierge startup accelerator, Gener8tor invests in a number of high-growth startups every year. Gener8tor offers a 12-week development program, and provides at most $140,000 to five startups enrolled in the said program twice a year.
100 State is not your average co-working space or community. More than the workspace 100 State provides, it also provides connections and growth opportunities for people to transform their self, the community and in turn, the world. 100 State also encourages the 100state of Mind.
Madcelerator as a business accelerator program provides startups and early-state businesses with the right support to become successful. Through its unique mix of business acceleration, networking opportunities, and investments, companies can thrive and move forward to achieving business goals and needs.
Scale Up Milwaukee is an entrepreneurial company composed of a diverse number of stakeholders that are geared towards business growth and success. The company does this by developing actionable strategies and programs that can be fully implemented by its members. Scale Up Milwaukee provides a host of membership benefits and has a number of varied of membership program tiers.
Startup MKE is a startup community that provides a host of resources and assistance to a number of growing companies in Milwaukee. Startup MKE primarily works with digital companies and other scalable business models. This startup community gives startups access to affordable office space, mentorship, talent, and capital.
In Wasau, MI, it is the Entrepreneurial and Education Center provides comprehensive assistance to businesses so they can establish a thriving and growing venture. The organization offers a range of resources and business advisors’ expert counseling to develop startups and existing businesses in Wausau.
As the lighthouse of innovation, Ward 4 provides its members with round-the-clock access to its co-working spaces. Complete with all the amenities needed to foster a thriving business or profession, Ward 4 is the number go-to destination of entrepreneurs, investors, startups, and other freelance professionals.
Madworks Coworking is located in the University Research Park in Madison. It’s a co-working space that boasts of affordable office space plus a free parking space. More than this, Madworks is all about creativity and productivity, providing a professional work environment where freelancers, entrepreneurs, and innovators get the work done and have fun.
Horizon Coworking is best known as the pleasant, quiet, and more importantly a welcoming workspace. With a number of workspace configurations in a library-like vibe, this co-working space also has a proven history of connecting professionals to the right startup teams. This is because Horizon Coworking is not just an ordinary workspace, but it’s also the perfect place to grow a successful business.
With various pricing plans and alternative membership options available, Matrix Collaborative Business Solutions provides the perfect avenue where entrepreneurs can thrive and connect on a progressively authentic environment. Matrix allows entrepreneurs to grow, network, and work steadily in an ideal working environment.
The Docking Station combines the elements of a conducive space for collaboration and a dynamic community to thrive and grow to become the perfect working space for entrepreneurs, independents, and career nomads. This co-working space is a complete functional working environment and has a number of professionals they can connect with to grow. Entrepreneurs can choose membership plans and interested professionals can book a day visit to check if The Docking Station is perfect for their needs.
Appleton Coworking is a co-working space and community in Fox Cities. It offers a number of co-working membership plans on a monthly basis, giving you that flexibility to use space how you need it. The company even has a Flexitime plan for part-time members that runs as low as $25 per month. They also feature a free trial day program.
Small Business Professional Services in Wisconsin
33 Forward is in the business of building people and strengthening organizations with a host of assistance programs and professional services. These services and programs are geared towards providing your startup with enough resources to start on the right path. These services include leadership, time management, career development, program development, human capital management, and more.
Berndt CPA is the firm that provides entrepreneurs with that competitive edge that’s sorely needed to thrive in the cutthroat world of business. Berndt CPA offers a host of services that range from accounting services, tax planning and preparation, IRS representation, QuickBooks training and set up, back office support system and consulting.
Lindy Enterprises Inc. was established for the explicit purpose of helping businesses become successful. Having had extensive experience in all stages of business building, Jim Lindenberg will come up with a tailored strategy that can be implemented to your specific business to achieve goals and create an action plan that can more than just meet those goals.
Summit Accounting Group provides a number of small business accounting and consulting services with its wide expertise and experience in a number of aspects of starting and running a business. Summit’s services, include but are not limited to: small business accounting, tax preparation services, small business consulting, bookkeeping, and more.
E&S Entrepreneur Advisors are the experts when it comes to small business planning and support. Ready to lend a helping hand, E&S’ Susan and Beth are highly experienced in the field of operations and financial management, and they bring with them extensive and practical business knowledge to start a business or expand an existing business’ operations.
IT Pros USA is your partner when it comes to providing innovative and timely IT business solutions. ITP helps you move forward, enter into the competitive world of marketing your business through the Web, and maximizing what the Internet can do for your business. ITP offers free assessment on your business’ IT needs and offers customized IT solutions.
Schober, Schober & Mitchell Attorneys provides expert insights on business law. The firm has 16 highly experienced and competent attorneys who have had more than several decades of experience to provide you with innovative and creative insights in relation to business law solutions.
General Resources for Starting a Business
Identified as the Counselors to America’s Small Business, the American SCORE has been in the business of providing business mentoring and counseling support for several decades now. SCORE has a sizable number of volunteers – highly qualified experts, business professionals, and industry-specific consultants – ready to help build your business.
In addition, SCORE also provides business training and education at no cost or at a very minimal cost. Interactive courses, local workshops, and weekly live webinars are also scheduled by SCORE.
The US Small Business Administration was established with the welfare of the small business community across the country in mind. The Small Business Administration has a lineup of assistance programs all throughout the country through its district offices.
From how-to guides on starting a business to local mentoring and support to government contracting to seeking assistance in district and regional offices of the SBA, these are all provided by the US SBA. Another important function of the Small Business Administration is to provide opportunities for business grants and loan financing to start a business.
Startup Savant is an online magazine that brings all small business information together in one single place where everything can be accessed easily. It provides a comprehensive list of state-specific guides that provide a wealth of information when it comes to starting, growing, and managing a business.
Aside from this, Startup Savant also features valuable informative articles that can provide some insights on various aspects of starting a business – from hiring a Registered Agent to financing options for capital funding to business license resources to various types of business taxes and more. Startup Savant also features review articles on various small business tools and applications as well as inspirational stories of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur.com is an online magazine, the most comprehensive of its kind that provides entrepreneurs with the most valuable news and information related to business and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneur.com is the one-stop shop of up-to-date business strategies and significant tips that come from industry experts. This online magazine also features top of the rank stories during the day, week, and month based on page views as well as social engagements.
AllBusiness is an online information portal of every imaginable topic related to small business information and resources. It not only provides resources, but tools as well needed to start, grow, and run your small business. AllBusiness is geared towards providing information, resources, and tools for small businesses that have fewer than 500 employees.
AllBusiness tackles areas of starting a business, sales and marketing, business planning, expert articles and bios, and it also includes a business terms dictionary.
Wealthy Gorilla is a lifestyle blog that’s out to provide self-improvement tips, advice, and articles for all individuals. Wealthy Gorilla is also an inspirational blog in that aside from all the self-improvement and self-enhancement articles and information, it also features motivational stories and inspirational quotes.
Wealthy Gorilla also features top 25 motivational blogs that can help in inspiring people become successful entrepreneurs and well-rounded individuals.
Wisconsin Startup Toolkit to Get Started on a Budget
1) Business Planning
Planning is key to success. As you form a Wisconsin business, it is even more important to have a business plan on which you can base business operations on. A business plan serves many purposes. Primarily, a business plan is the best tool to obtain sufficient startup capital. It is the tool that influence investors to put in the required funds for your startup.
For the business in general, a business plan serves as a blueprint and a benchmark of business progress. While it may be a challenge for a novice entrepreneur to write a business plan, it is not impossible. Through the help of business plan tools such as LivePlan, it is much easier to go through this task. LivePlan allows you to write a business plan for any purpose with its suite of tools, resources, templates, and samples.
2) Online Incorporation Service
Building a Wisconsin business is hard work. There are many facets to a startup that you have to take on. Delegating tasks is one option to make work easier and for you as an entrepreneur to focus on more important tasks.
Letting a professional online incorporation company take care of the incorporation process of your business is one way to relieve yourself of some startup tasks. With the help of online incorporation service providers like IncFile and LegalZoom you can easily get incorporated without having to go through all the intricate steps and processing all the load of paperwork.
3) Building a Business Website
Another facet to starting a business is building a business website. This website is an integral part to your business as it is your brand’s image online, and it represents your business for customers to reach you through the Web. While you may not be a technically savvy person to start with and design a website, there are a number of very user-friendly tools that allow you to create one.
With the help of Bluehost, you can easily create a WordPress website. This is because Bluehost features a one-click WordPress installation feature. Further, the tool uses a very friendly dashboard so that even individuals who are not technical experts can easily create a business website.
4) Accounting Software
One of the most tedious and repetitive tasks in starting and running a Wisconsin business is accounting and bookkeeping. This is also a crucial part in that it can significantly figure in in the accurate filing of tax and financial reports. Come tax season, precise accounting of all business expenses and finances will ensure that you have met all state requirements.
Gone are the days when you have to hire bookkeepers and accountants to figure your business finances. Rather, there is an emergence of various small business accounting software that can help you automate majority of these tasks. Some of these applications include Xero, FreshBooks, and QuickBooks. Each of these tools answers specific business needs and provides various business solutions.