Starting a Business

You have a great idea, now you want to turn it into reality. Starting a business involves planning, making important financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities.
Our mission is to grow Racine County’s property tax base and provide employment opportunities in Racine County.

A few questions to get your started

01. Market Research
02. Business Plan
03. Funding
04. Location
05. Legal Structure
06. Name
07. Register
08. Tax IDs
09. Licenses & Permits
10. Bank Account

01. Market Research

Have you conducted Market Research?

Market research can better tell you whether there is an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. It is a way to serrow in on the competitive advantage for your business. Learn More

02. Business Plan

Have you written a Business Plan?

A business plan is a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. You will use it to convince people that investing in your company is a smart choice. Learn More

03. Funding

Have you secured Funding for your Business?

The business plan will help you figure out how much money you will need to start the business. If you do not have that amount on hand, you will need to either raise or borrow the capital. Learn More

04. Location

Have you researched Locations for Your Business?

Whether you are setting up a brick-and-mortar business or launching an online store, the choices you make could affect your taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Learn More

05. Legal Structure

Have you considered Legal Structure Options?

The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your personal liability. Learn More

06. Name

Have you decided on a Name for Your Business?

Your business name reflects your brand and captures your spirit. You also want to make sure your business name is not already being used by someone else. Learn More

07. Register

Have you Registered Your Business?

If your business name is different than your personal name, you will need to register with the federal government, and maybe your state government, too. Learn More

08. Tax IDs

Have you gotten Federal and State Tax IDs?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your business. You will need it for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes. Learn More

09. Licenses & Permits

Have you applied for Licenses and Permits if applicable?

Keep your business running smoothly by staying legally compliant. The licenses and permits you need for your business will vary by industry, state, location, and other factors. Learn More

10. Bank Account

Have you opened a Business Bank Account?

A business bank account will help you handle legal, tax, and day-to-day matters. With the right registrations and paperwork, setting one up can be easier than you think. Learn More

    1. Business Plan Resources

    RESOURCESCORESBDCWWBICBiz StartsDomina Consulting*
    Class instruction to write Business Plans
    Personalized Business Plan Writing
    Creation of Financial Projections
    Online Courses, Webinars, Education
    * Paid services, recipients may be eligible for a grant

    2. Financial Planning & Preparation

    RESOURCERCEDCWWBICBiz StartsLegacy Redevelopment City of Racine City of Burlington
    Financial Counseling
    Kiva Crowd Funding
    Matching Grants for Start-ups

    Micro Loans for Start-ups
    Building Façade Matching Grant
    State and Local Incentives
    Low-Interest Loans for Start-ups
    and Existing Businesses
    * Paid services, recipients may be eligible for a grant

    3. Technical Assistance Resources

    RESOURCERCEDCSCORESBDCWWBICBiz StartsDomina Consulting*Legacy
    Redevelopment
    WMEPThe Business CouncilWisconsin Procurement InstituteWEDCSBA
    One-on-one coaching
    DBE Certification
    Women-Owned Business
    Supplier Diversity &
    Inclusion
    Government Contracts & Procurement
    Market Assessment Studies
    Market Growth and Facility Expansion Planning
    Mentor Support
    Export Planning and
    Training
    On Demand Recorded Content
    * Paid services, recipients may be eligible for a grant

    4. Small Business Certifications

    Governments and businesses often set goals for hiring diverse businesses. To position your business for success, consider pursuing certifications from National, State, and Municipal organizations.

    National Certifying Agencies
    Certification TypeBusiness Qualification
    The National LGBT Chamber of CommerceLGBTBE Certification51% owned and operated by LGBT individuals
    National Minority Supplier Development CouncilMinority Business Enterprise Certification (MBE)51% ownership by United States citizens who are Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic and Native American.
    National Veteran Business Development CouncilService Disabled (SD) and Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB)51% ownership by a veteran or veterans
    Women’s Business Enterprise National CouncilWomen Business Enterprise (WBE)51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women.
    Disability-owned Business EnterprisesDisability-owned Business Enterprises (DBOE) and Veteran Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBE)A business which is 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a person(s) with a disability.
    Federal HubZonesHistorically Underutilized Business ZonesLocation in a HubZone
    Federal 8(a) Program8 (a) Small Business51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are socially and economically disadvantaged
    Enhanced Digital Certification by SupplierGatewayDiverse Supplier CertificationMuliple certification options in one portable. Must meet minimum 51% ownership for identified groups.
    Byblack Certification by US Black of Chamber of CommerceBOBEU.S. Citizen and majority owned by Black person or persons
    Wisconsin Certifying Agencies
    City of MadisonTargeted Business Enterprise PRogram for SBE, MBE, WBE and DBEMeet definitions for identified categories of Small Business Enterprise, Minority BUsiness Enterprise, Woment Business Enterprise, and Disadvantaged Business Enteprise
    Dane CountySBE, MBE, WBE
    Milwaukee CountyDBE and SBE
    Metroplitan Milwaukee Sewerage DistrictSBE
    Wisconsin Department of AdministrationMBE, WBE, DVB (Disabled Veteran Business)
    Wisconsin Department of TransportationDBE51% owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
    Support for Navigating Certification Processes and Business Opportunities
    Domina Consulting, 262-902-2528Private consultant offering small businesses support in applying for certification.
    Wisconsin Procurement Institute, SE WisconsinNonprofit providing support to businesses seeking contracting opportunities with public sector, including Federal, State and Local government.
    The Business CouncilSupports ethnicall-diverse businesses through technical assistance and matchmaking opportunities.
    WWBIC Business Veterans Business Outreach CenterProviding support for Veteran owned businesses.
    SCORE For AllSCORE offers free mentoring, education, and resources to make the path to success easier and more direct. Identified resources for Rural, Women, Hispanic, Black, Veteran and Asian American Entrepreneurs.

    Additional Resources

    SourceDescriptionContact
    Business Planning & WorkshopsWisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)Expertise in business planning, financing and accessing resources that can assist with starting and growing a business.WWBIC, Racine Office

    www.wwbic.com

    262-898-5000
    Business Start-up QuestionsWisconsin Small Business Answer LineHelps established, new and aspiring business owners at no cost! Answer Line staff draw from extensive curated resources to provide timely answers to your business questions.800-940-7232

    wisconsinsbdc.org/business-answerline
    Customer Diversification, Market, Distribution and New Product AssessmentsWisconsin Innovation Service CenterQualitative research to help companies make informed decisions on market opportunities, customers and competition. Inventors can see the feasibility of a new product idea, identify licensing partners, and solve manufacturing challenges.Center for Innovation and Business Development, UW-Whitewater

    www.uww.edu/wisc


    innovate@uww.edu, 262-472-3265
    Entrepreneurial How-To Video SeriesSmall Business Development CenterExplore complex but important topics – Law, Lending and Accounting – in an approachable way on your own time.Entrepreneurial How-To Video Series
    Export AssistanceWisconsin Go Global InitiativeAccess import and export documentation, shipping logistics and distribution information, trade grants, market intelligence and trade data, and other consulting resources to help your business reach new markets.
    Wisconsin SBDC Go GLobal
    wisconsinsbdc.org/goglobal
    ExporTechWMEPJoin a carefully selected group of up to eight non-competitive manufacturers where you identify your gaps and hurdles to expansion and develop your customized export plan to dramatically drive growth.WMEP

    www.wmep.org

    Roxanne Baumann

    Director of Global Engagement, WMEP

    262.442.8279, baumann@wmep.org
    Financial Capability WorkshopsWisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)Assistance with personal finances including topics such as budgeting, repairing and understanding your credit and protecting your identity. In-person and online on-demand workshops are available.WWBIC

    www.wwbic.com

    Heather Lux

    262-898-5001, Heather.lux@wwbic.com
    Food and Beverage IndustriesFood and Beverage (FAB) WisconsinResources focused to assist businesses in the food and beverage industry, including an accelerator, “how-to” series for small businesses, technical assistance, and networking.FAB Wisconsin

    www.fabwisconsin.com
    Food Finance InstituteFood Finance InstituteOffers financial resources to every growing food, beverage and value-added farm enterprise. Edible Alpha

    ediblealpha.org


    Food Finance Institute

    foodfinanceinstitute.org


    info@foodfinanceinstitute.org


    (608) 263-0398
    Government Contracting and ProcurementWisconsin Procurement InstituteAssists Wisconsin companies with Government contracting, helping firms successfully enter and develop their Government market segment. More information available at:   www.wispro.orgWisconsin Procurement Institute

    www.wispro.org

    414-270-3600, INFO@WISPRO.ORG
    Manufacturing ResourcesWisconsin Manufacturing Extension PartnershipProvide a variety of services to assist Wisconsin Manufacturers to grow their operations. Services include company consultations and resources for continuous improvement, Lean Six Sigma, supply chain, human capital, automation, ExporTech and many others. www.wmep.orgWMEP
    MentoringSCOREOne-on-one, long-term business mentoring and consulting.SCORE Website
    To get connected to a local SCORE mentor call: 866-548-4358

    counseling.28@scorevolunteer.org
    Personal Financial AssistanceGreen PathOne-on-one free credit counseling, specializing in helping eliminate credit card debt, student loan debt and assisting homeowners with avoiding foreclosure.Green Path Financial Wellness

    800-550-1961

    GreenPath.com
    Personal Financial AssistanceFinancial Empowerment CenterOffers free one-on-one financial counseling to the City of Racine residents.Financial Empowerment Center
    Prototypes & Product DevelopmentGateway Technical CollegeComputer-controlled tools to inspire innovation through prototyping.Fab Lab Program

    262-898-7562

    www.gtc.edu/business-community
    Startup & Entrepreneurial ServicesUW-Parkside Small Business Development Center (SBDC)Coaching and guidance; financial lending assistance; business/marketing/strategic planning; business plans; market analysis; growth assistance for existing business and tech venture support.UW-Parkside SBDC
    www.uwp.edu

    Mary Fischer-Tracy

    262-595-3363, fischert@uwp.edu
    Technology Innovation Research Funding AssistanceThe Center for Commercial InnovationProvides one-on-one assistance to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin.  Center consultants are experts in commercialization processes and Federal Grant opportunities and processes.The Center for Commercial Innovation

    wisconsinsbir.org
    Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)Business development services to active duty service members, including Guard and Reserve, Veterans and family members of both.  Resources include Boots to Business, business training, counseling, assistance with loans, and assistance with veteran’s business certification.WWBIC/VBOC

    www.wwbic.com

    414-263-5450
    Water Technology ResourcesThe Water CouncilPromotes the growth and development of small and medium businesses operating in the water technology sector in the Great Lakes region. Connects small and medium-sized businesses to critical resources such as capital, training, networks, supply chains and technical assistance.The Water Council

    thewatercouncil.com

    Karen Frost, kfrost@thewatercouncil.com
    Wisconsin One Stop Business PortalState of WisconsinWisconsin's businesses can find the requirements and tools they need to start a business in Wisconsin.Wisconsin One Stop business Portal

    Market Research

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    RCEDC’s mission is to grow Racine County’s property tax base and by supporting business expansions, provide employment opportunities to Racine County residents. In 2023, RCEDC staff were able to facilitate 64 projects that included comprehensive site selection, loans, grants, and incentives resulting in $1.36 billion in private investment and $1.05 billion in new construction.

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