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Starting a Business in Beloit, WI

There are plenty of reasons to consider starting a business in Beloit, WI. At the top of the list is the city’s central location. Greater Beloit is strategically situated at the center of the Midwest, which, of course, is the country’s largest market. As the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation (GBEDC) notes (and rightfully so), “With its strategic location and access to markets, Greater Beloit continually plays a big role in Wisconsin public economic development.”

Sign on a door that says: Now we are Open - Support local businesses-

But there’s more good news about Beloit’s economic health. In 2020, Amazon opened a fulfillment center in Beloit. Even the pandemic couldn’t hold back progress. Several new eateries and two new hotels have opened here, and plans are underway for a new casino to be built, slated to be one of the largest entertainment complexes in Wisconsin.
Jennifer Hall, Beloit’s Economic Development Director and GBEDC President & CEO, plans on rolling out the red carpet for others looking to open a business here. “Beloit has a reputation for quickly responding to developers and community leaders looking to grow in the region,” Hall said in an interview. “Job creation and economic growth will be a significant priority as the City of Beloit and the GBEDC collaborate together.”
Wisconsin is also poised to help new businesses get started by connecting small business owners with government grants and small business loans. New business owners will also want to explore the economic development incentives offered locally and by the state.
Now that you’ve got a clear vision of why it makes sense to consider starting a business in Beloit, the question is: How do you make it happen? The following helpful Sound Advice will get you on the right track.

6 Key Steps to Opening a Business in Beloit

  1. Make a Business Plan — Every new business, regardless of what services or products you plan to sell, needs a solid business plan. It should lay out your short- and long-term goals for the next three to five years; identify strategies and investment options to reach those goals; determine budgets across key needs like rent, salaries, marketing, etc.; and detail how you envision your organizational structure.
  2. Choose Your Legal Structure Another key question to consider is how you want your company to be structured in the legal sense, and this is a good conversation to have with an attorney or your business banker. Each type of legal structure, like an LLC or C-corp for example, can have a different impact on the amount of tax you pay, how much control you have over your business, how profits are disbursed, and your responsibilities should your business incur a loss. Even the amount of paperwork you’ll have to deal with can be affected by which legal structure you choose.
  3. Set Up Your Tax ID — One important form most businesses must complete is an application for an EIN (Employer Identification Number), which the IRS will use to identify you for tax purposes. The process is quick and can be done online. It’s critical, though, as a business must have an EIN to register your business with the state of Wisconsin for tax purposes, hire employees, and to open a small business bank account.
  4. Apply for City Permits There are certain permits and licenses (occupancy, signage, business), as well as zoning approvals, every business must have. You’ll be using your new EIN for many of these activities, and of course, there will be forms to complete. You may be able to complete some of these online. Others may need to be notarized and delivered in person. The Wisconsin Business License office can provide details on the process and access to the forms you’ll need to complete.
  5. Set Up Your Financial Management System — Before you begin selling anything, you’ll need to set up a system for managing your income and expenses. Depending on your budget, you may want to work with an independent accountant. As your business grows, you may find it makes sense to hire an accountant who works exclusively for you. You’ll also want to invest in a good record-keeping program. Of course, you’ll also want to establish a relationship with a local bank like First National Bank and Trust. Our staff is experienced at assisting small businesses and helping them grow with wise money management; debit card and credit card options; flexible, affordable loans; and more.
  6. Get the Right Insurance Coverage — Businesses have different insurance needs than homeowners and individuals. Having business liability insurance isn’t just recommended; it’s required by law. In addition to covering your property, for example, you may want accident and injury insurance, errors and omissions insurance, product liability insurance, or coverage for delivery vehicles or other business vehicles, etc. Remember to explore health insurance and other benefits for you and your employees as well. Your business banker can recommend insurance advisors to help you decide what’s best.

We’re Here to Help Make Your Small Business a Big Success

For more than 135 years, First National Bank and Trust has been helping small businesses open, grow and succeed in Greater Beloit. We believe in lifting up our customers to be the most informed, confident and capable business owners they can be. We do that by providing Sound Advice at every turn, whether we’re sitting across the desk from you, visiting with you online, or through our extensive small business resource and education library.
To get our great relationship started, find the experienced First National Bank and Trust business banker closest to you and your business and give us a call:
Grand Avenue
Inman Parkway
Madison Road
Cranston Road

Buying commercial real estate? Check out our  Guide to Getting A Commercial Real Estate Loan in Southern Wisconsin.