City Hall - Brewer, Maine

Starting or Expanding a Business

Starting a Business

Congratulations on becoming your own boss! Starting a new business is often an overwhelming and daunting task, but your Brewer Economic Development Team wants to help you navigate the way! We can help connect you to the resources you and your business need to become successful – knowledge is power!

Step 1: Talk to your Brewer Economic Development team

Step 2: Write a Business Plan

Now that you’ve decided to start your own business, it’s critical to get your thoughts down on paper. While it may seem overwhelming now, a good business plan will pay off in the long run – it provides the road map for your business to see where you want to go and outline the plan for how are you going to get there.

Step 3: Get Business Assistance and Training

There are a multitude of resources out there to help get you started on your new venture. The SBA provides small business counseling, mentoring and training through a variety of programs and resource partners, located strategically around the country. Click here to find your local partners.

Step 4: Determine the best location for your business

Before you lease a space, buy a building or piece of commercial property, or commit yourself in any way to a location…STOP!!

Here are some points to consider before you lease, buy, or build:

Lease 

Is the property located in the right zoning district for my type of business? How do I know? 

Who is responsible for making alterations, updates, or changes to the building, the landlord or the business?

Will I need Planning Board approval?

Will I still have to do a site plan if it’s an existing building?

Buy

Is the property located in the right zoning district for my type of business? How do I know?

How would I know if the building is up to code?

Will I need Planning Board approval?

Will I still have to do a site plan if it’s an existing building?

Does it have the proper utilities in place or is that something I will have to take care of?

Is the property in a conservation easement zone?

Does the property have wetlands that may prevent me from building what I want to?

Build

Will I be assessed impact fees?

Is the property located in the right zoning district for my type of business? How do I know?

Is my proposed building too large for the lot I want to build on, i.e. does the project meet all the City setbacks?

Does it have the proper utilities in place or is that something I will have to take care of?

Is the property in a conservation easement zone?

Does the property have wetlands that may prevent me from building what I want to?

Do I need any state or federal permits?

Step 5: Finance your business

In business, cash is king. How will you need to finance your new business?

Here are some tips for looking for a loan that may be appropriate for your needs. 

Step 6: Determine the legal structure of your business

How you set up your business now can have great benefit (or heartache) later. Remember, it’s always best to seek professional advice from your attorney and accountant. 

Step 7: Register your business name with the State of Maine.

Step 8: Get a Tax Identification Number

Unless you’re a sole proprietor, Uncle Sam wants YOU to get a tax identification number so you can pay taxes on your business.

Step 9: Register for State and Local Taxes

This varies from state-to-state, so when in doubt, always check with your accountant!

Step 10: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

In addition to the State of Maine licensing and permit requirements, check with our Code Enforcement office to see if you need a Certificate of Occupancy (required for most businesses). 

For more answers check out Maine Business Answers.

Step 11: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Your business is doing great, but there aren’t enough hours in a day to keep up with current demand. While it’s a good problem to have, it may be time to bring on additional help.

Related Articles

Starting Your Own Business

Small Business Administration
www.sba.gov

Starting a Business – State of Maine
http://www.maine.gov/portal/business/starting.html

How to Start a Business
http://www.inc.com/guides/start_biz/

How to Hire Your First Employee
Inc. http://www.inc.com/guides/hr/20710.html

How to Write an Operational Plan for Your Business
http://www.inc.com/guides/201107/how-to-write-an-operational-plan-for-your-small-business.html

More How-to Guides
http://www.entrepreneur.com/howto/startyourbiz.html

Expanding a Business

Ready to grow and need additional space? Another location? More employees? Let the Brewer Economic Development Team help you along the way! We can help you find the resources and information you need to help grow your business.

These are some things you should keep in mind and questions to ask as you expand and grow your business.

Business Assistance and Training

There are a multitude of resources out there to help keep you moving your business along, and they can provide small business counseling, mentoring and training through a variety of programs and resource partners. Here are some additional groups that can help.

Before you lease a space, buy a building or piece of commercial property, or commit yourself in any way to a location…STOP!

Here are some points to consider before you lease, buy, or build:

Lease

  • Is the property located in the right zoning district for my type of business? How do I know?
  • Who is responsible for making alterations, updates, or changes to the building – the landlord or the business?
  • Will I need Planning Board approval?
  • Will I still have to do a site plan if it’s an existing building?

Buy

  • Is the property located in the right zoning district for my type of business? How do I know?
  • How would I know if the building is up to code?
  • Will I need Planning Board approval?
  • Will I still have to do a site plan if it’s an existing building?
  • Does it have the proper utilities in place or is that something I will have to take care of?
  • Is the property in a conservation easement zone?
  • Does the property have wetlands or vernal pools that may prevent me from building what I want to?

Build

  • Will I be assessed impact fees?
  • Is the property located in the right zoning district for my type of business? How do I know?
  • Is my proposed building too large for the lot I want to build on, i.e. does the project meet all the City setbacks?
  • Does it have the proper utilities in place or is that something I will have to take care of?
  • Is the property in a conservation easement zone?
  • Does the property have wetlands that may prevent me from building what I want to?
  • Do I need any state or federal permits?

Finance your business

As you know in business, cash is king. How will you need to finance your business growth?

Here are some tips for looking for a loan that may be appropriate for your needs.

Understand Employer Responsibilities

Your business is doing great, but there aren’t enough hours in a day to keep up with current demand and you can’t clone yourself. While it’s a good problem to have, it may be time to bring on additional help.

Related ArticlesExpanding Your Business

Small Business Administration
www.sba.gov

10 Ways to Grow Your Business
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/70660

Things to Consider Before Expanding Your Small Business
http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol75/expand.htm

How to Take Your Business to the Next Level
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220495

Should I Expand My Business?
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/203666

The Do’s and Don’ts of Business Expansion
http://www.smetoolkit.org/smetoolkit/en/content/en/2618/The-do’s-and-don-ts-of-business-expansion

How to Develop a Business Growth Strategy
http://www.inc.com/guides/small-business-growth-strategies.html

Overview and Disclaimer

This site is designed to provide you general information and an overview of important issues for business development, and it is not designed to provide you with professional advice. This site is updated regularly in an attempt to provide the most current and relevant general information.

You are encouraged to consult with an attorney, accountant and other professional that is qualified to give professional advice before making any business decision. The information contained in this site is designed to be a starting point, with links to other support websites. It is in no way an exhaustive list of all necessary steps that may need to considered and taken before a decision is made that may be specific to your business endeavor.

The City of Brewer has regulations in the form of Codes and Ordinances that contain requirements, guidelines, and review processes that guide in the development process.  The checklist above is intended to provide you with an overview of the range of issues that may have to be addressed by you as you move your project forwardIt is not intended to be an all-inclusive list, and it is your responsibility to meet all of the requirements that apply to your specific project.