Small Business

Information is Key to your Successful Business

Small business owners and entrepreneurs know that information is key to launching or expanding a successful business.  The Auburn Public Library is pleased to direct you to the digital and community resources that will assist you in starting your business.  Our expert staff will help you find valuable business information as well as connect you with colleagues through our popular networking events and programs.

For your convenience a listing of community and digital resources has been created based on the step by step process of starting a business.   Please, visit these resources  or call us at 333-6640 Ext. 4 to speak to our helpful staff.

Steps to Starting a Business:

Develop a Business Plan

Find a location for your business

Locate funding for your business

  • www.thomasnet.com –   This register lists more than 155,000 U.S. and Canadian companies and the products they produce.   An effective tool to see what companies are in the market, where they are located, and what products they provide.
  • www.manta.com – Covering over 20 million small and mid-size U.S. companies, Manta provides information including location, estimated sales, and number of employees.
  • www.referenceusa.com –   Select a location and do a radius search to look up the number of similar businesses in the area.  This resource requires an access number from the Maine State Library which can  be acquired by filing on-line at www.maine.gov/msl/services/libcard.htm.
  • www.censusscope.org  – An easy to use tool to investigate U.S. demographic trends
  • http://www.avcog.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/24 – Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford County fact sheet from the 2010 United States Census.

Figure out your target market/market research

  • www.thomasnet.com –   This register lists more than 155,000 U.S. and Canadian companies and the products they produce.   An effective tool to see what companies are in the market, where they are located, and what products they provide.
  • www.manta.com – Covering over 20 million small and mid-size U.S. companies, Manta provides information including location, estimated sales, and number of employees.
  • www.referenceusa.com –   Select a location and do a radius search to look up the number of similar businesses in the area.  This resource requires an access number from the Maine State Library which can  be acquired by filing on-line at www.maine.gov/msl/services/libcard.htm.
  • www.censusscope.org  – An easy to use tool to investigate U.S. demographic trends
  • http://www.avcog.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/24 – Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford County fact sheet from the 2010 United States Census.

Determine the best legal structure for your business

Register your business name

Get a tax identification number

  • Register your Business with the Maine Revenue Service – This online service allows businesses to register with Maine Revenue Services for new Sales & Use Tax, Use Tax, Service Provider Tax, and/or Income Tax Withholding accounts.
  • Registering for a Tax ID Number – An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity.  This link will bring you directly to an on-line application.

Obtain business licenses and permits

  • Maine Business Licensing Assistant – Provided by the Department of Economic & Community Development, Maine’s online Business Answers service provides free information about doing business in Maine. The online Business Licensing Assistant will lead you through a series of questions about the type of business you are trying to start, and provide a list of licenses, permits or qualifications you need.
  • Auburn Planning and Permitting Services – Contact information for members of the City of Auburn Planning and Permitting Services Department.
  • Lewiston Business Licenses – Contact information for the City of Lewiston Planning Department along with a list of business license types.

Understand employer and employee responsibilities

Market your business

  • www.entrepreneur.com – Contains how to guides and selected articles on marketing and technology.  Also has great how to guides on starting your own business which include raising capital and writing a business plan.
  • http://connect.manta.com/index.php#categories-21 – A link from the Manta site, this is the spot to get marketing  tips from other small business professionals.
  • www.marketingpower.com – Offers a wide variety of information including best practices in marketing.
  • www.knowthis.com – One of the most comprehensive sources of marketing information for those involved in marketing, advertising, selling, promotion, and e-commerce.
  • www.marketingcharts.com – Articles on marketing and free downloadable marketing charts.
  • www.gaebler.com – A collection of articles on how to sell, market, and get your business off the ground.