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How to Start a Legal Business in Wisconsin

Here is a startup guide to starting a legally compliant business in Wisconsin covering aspects like registration, licenses, and much more.

One of the major economies in America, Wisconsin has thoroughly remained a diverse state comprising of different businesses across sectors. Being a leading dairy producer, Wisconsin is famous around America for its cheese.

The other major industries in Wisconsin include manufacturing, paper products, information technology, and tourism.

With business-friendly policies and laws, Wisconsin has several small businesses doing well in the market.

The internet has strongly helped people to start businesses from home without any major investment. If you wish to start a business from home in Wisconsin, here’s a complete guide on how you can start a successful business.

If you are thinking of starting a business in Wisconsin, you need to follow the following steps:

10 Steps to Start a Small Business in Wisconsin

1. First Select a Business Idea

The very first step is obviously deciding on what business to start. Based on your expertise, resources and local market demand choose a business that is the best fit for you. If yet not decided, check out our article on top small business ideas in Wisconsin.

2. Business Plan

Having a proper business plan is important. This will help your business to perform well under different conditions. Once you start to brainstorm different ideas, start working on a business plan hand in hand. Start with strategies, benchmarks, targets, and the goals you wish to achieve.

3. Financing Your Business In Wisconsin

If you wish to start a business from home, the investment is very minimal. Wisconsin has a few investors and venture capital firms, so if you think your ideas can grow big enough, you can try to for funding. If you wish to finance your business, there are some great financing options available at attractive payback rates.

4. Naming Your Business

Before you choose a business structure, you will need an official name to register your business. Go for something unique, yet meaningful. Try a business name generator for some suggestions. Register your business name with the US Trademark department and buy an online domain with a .com extension.

5. Registering A Business In Wisconsin

Now you need to choose a business structure. To be legally operational in Wisconsin, you have to choose between a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, and LLC. Forming an LLC will come with added legal benefits and tax reductions.

6. EIN Number & Tax Filing

Now you need to apply for a Federal EIN at the IRS. The FEIN acts as a social security number so that you can file for taxes separately. Federal EIN also allows you to hire an employee legally in the United States.

7. Register With Wisconsin Department Of Taxation

To have to register your business with the Wisconsin Department of Taxation to be eligible for taxes. The licenses may vary from business to business. But generally, to sell tangible items, you will need a sales tax permit in Wisconsin. Selling services in the state may require a consumer’s tax permit.

8. Setting Up Business Bank Account & Accounting System

Now apply for a business bank account. This will keep all your business transactions in one place. You can also have a credit account for vendors. Set up an accounting system. Buy accounting software to make sure all your financials are in one place.

9. Business Insurance You Need In Wisconsin

Wisconsin has no mandatory insurance for any business, but it may vary. It’s better to have worker’s compensation insurance and professional liability insurance in case you are selling services in the state.

10. Promoting Your Business

Now it’s time to promote. Start with social media. It’s free and you can reach out to a wide audience via different social media channels. If you have competitors, it’s better to hire an agency to promote the business extensively.

Best Places To Start A Business In Wisconsin

Choosing the right location is going to determine how your business runs. Here are some of the best places in Wisconsin to start your business:


Wisconsin’s economy is diverse, having been backed by its laws and growing market. With a good business plan, you can easily start a successful business in Wisconsin within a short span of time.