starting a business

Starting a business of your own can be one of the great adventures of a lifetime. And, with any luck and a lot of hard work, a financially rewarding career path, too.

At Norway Savings, we can help. Check out the advice and links we offer here, then visit our friendly business experts anytime at your nearest Norway branch.

is entrepreneurship for you?

take stock

You’ll be your own boss and work for your own benefit. But you’ll also need to be a self-starter, make good decisions, and get along well with all kinds of people. Entrepreneurs work very hard; this can take its toll on families, too.

do your homework

Improve your chances for success by answering these questions: Is my business idea practical? Will it fill a need? Who are my competitors? Can I deliver a better quality product or service? How? Do I really have the right skills and style?

structure your business

Businesses can be organized either as sole proprietorships, general or limited partnerships, or corporations. Each of these has certain advantages and drawbacks, depending on the kind of business you’re starting. Check out the IRS’s Business Structures to learn more, and be sure to discuss the options with your attorney.

write a business plan

Don’t skip this step! A good plan helps you clarify your own thinking and shows potential lenders that you “mean business”. Useful model plan outlines are easy to find online or at any good bookstore.

seek financing

For many businesses, raising start-up and operating capital is one of the most basic needs. But it isn’t always easy. If you can show you are well-prepared and your business idea is truly sound, talk to a Norway Commercial Lender. We’ve got the expertise and the local business savvy to structure a business loan in tune with your plans.

know the regulations

Surprisingly, even the smallest businesses are often subject to a variety of local, state, and federal regulations. Resist the temptation to ignore these! In particular, check to see if you’ll need a business license, certificate of occupancy (contact your city government to learn if you need one), or trade name registration. If applicable, you should also apply for trademarkspatents, or copyrights.

get help

You’re not alone! Read up—and knock on doors. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) offer a wide range of advice, financial programs, and other expertise to help new and small business owners. At the local level, check out SCORESmall Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and Women’s Business Centers.

we have ignition

Before long, you’ll be launching a business of your own. Congratulations. Work hard, and remember to have fun! We’ll be right here to help with both.

useful links