Starting a Business

One of Beautiful Downtown Lewiston’s goals is to help small businesses thrive downtown! If you start your business in downtown Lewiston you will be joining a supportive and growing community of other business owners and economic development professionals who want to see you succeed.  Here are some of the ways we can help:

Business Plan

We can connect you with professionals who will help you develop a business plan.

Lending Opportunities

We can refer you to financial institutions for lending opportunities.


We can help you find the right downtown property to lease.

Permits & Licensing

We can connect you with the appropriate city officials for permits and licensing.


Through social media and other outlets, we can help you make a big splash when you open your doors!

Business Partnership

Invite you to join our organization as a Downtown Business Partner, which will provide you with various cooperative marketing opportunities.

Advocate for Downtown

Continue to advocate for downtown Lewiston and connect your business with resources to help you grow!

Helpful Links

Here’s a list of some helpful websites to help you get started with your business today.

Learn More

If you’re interested in starting a new business please contact BDL Executive Director Breanne Durham for more information. We look forward to working with you!

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Start-Up Busienss Check List

10 Steps to Starting a Business

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.


Step 1: Write a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 4: Finance Your Business

Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)

Register your business name with your state government.

Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number

Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

Small Business Administration (SBA) — SBA is an independent branch of the federal government that assists and protects the interests of small businesses. The agency has a great deal of information on locating and securing financial assistance to help with getting the doors open.