Starting a Business


Thank you for considering starting a business in St. Joseph! The St. Joseph Economic Development Authority (EDA) would like to work with you to ensure your venture is a success. Following are suggestions which may assist you in your process.

Community Profile Details

St. Joseph Community Profile

Potential Business Opportunities in St. Joseph

Retail and service purchasing power, market share, sales potential and supportable square footage forecasts (PDF) developed for St. Joseph by McComb Group, LTD can help entrepreneurs research and define potential business opportunities in St. Joseph. Specific areas with potential appear to include: local law office, jewelry store, apparel store, dollar store, and mid-scale hotel with conference rooms and indoor pool. The business suggestions incorporate data from the McComb Group study, a review of college towns in Minnesota with populations similar to that in St. Joseph, and current prospects.

Evaluating a Business Opportunity

Before investing in a potential business opportunity, successful entrepreneurs, franchisees, and business purchasers must evaluate the potential success of the business venture. The Internet, your local library, State / Federal offices, local governments, white papers, research material, etc. are excellent resources to tap into when evaluating a business opportunity. Personal interviews can add further dimension to your evaluation. A market study completed for St. Joseph by McComb Group, LTD can add perspective to the local economy.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has resources to assist you with the process.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides the following resources and advice to help you evaluate potential business ventures. These resources include:

  • Buy a Business
  • Buy a Franchise
  • Finance Start-Up
  • Find a Mentor
  • Get Licenses and Permits
  • Lease Equipment
  • Name Your Business
  • Pick a Location
  • Protect Your Ideas

Business Organization

Before going into business you will need to decide why type of business organization is best for you. A myriad of tax and non-tax factors will likely influence your choice of business organization. Types of business organizations include: sole proprietorship, partnership (general or limited liability), corporation (C or S), professional organizations, cooperative associations, and business trusts. Legal, tax, and accounting professionals can provide valuable insight and information to you when choosing a business organization. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has published "A Guide to Starting a Business" which is an excellent source of initial information regarding business organizations. The SBA also has valuable information and resources on choosing a business structure.

Creating a Business Plan

Your business plan is your road map to a successful business venture. Business plans can be required to secure outside funding and credit from suppliers. In addition, an effective business plan provides for the operational and financial management and marketing of your business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is an excellent source of information when creating your business plan. Plan background and templates are available at the SBA's website. or at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development website.

SCORE - Free Technical Assistance

SCORE is a "nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneurial education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide. Their public service mission is to provide face-to-face and email business counseling to help small businesses evaluate plans, stabilize, grow, innovate, and succeed.


SCORE is composed of 10,500 volunteer business mentors, both working and retired, who counsel businesses from 389 chapter offices throughout the country. SCORE volunteers hail from every facet of the business community. Some have worked at large corporations such as Honeywell, 3M, and HP. Some have served in our military or worked for the local or federal government. Others have spent years cultivating their own businesses, providing employment and incomes to support families, and seek to share their experience with others.

Local Office

SCORE has a local office in St. Cloud with volunteers ready to assist you! For more information visit their website.

Legal Advice

Need free legal advice to assist in starting your business? Legal Corps may be able to assist you! The organization and its volunteer attorneys provide free legal counseling to low income business owners and small non-profit organization. For more information visit their website.

Technical Information / Financial Assistance for Business Owners

Technical and financial resources are available to businesses.

Thank you for considering St. Joseph for the home of your new business!