How to Start a Small Business in Chelmsford, MA – A Beginner’s Guide


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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Massachusetts State

Start a small business in Chelmsford: Starting a small business in Chelmsford, MA is both tedious and joyful. If you’re looking to set up your own small business, but are clueless about where to start, then we got you covered here. Setting up a business in Chelmsford, irrespective of the size and volume, is not an easy game to play, especially if you’re in a dynamic city like Chelmsford. Located in Massachusetts state, Chelmsford has a population of 36182 that makes it not-so-easy to filter out your potential customers. However, it is not impossible.

When you plan to start a small business in Chelmsford, MA, it is comparatively tough because of the economic and demographic conditions. In this article, you will be learning about various factors of Chelmsford that will help you to decide what and how to start your business.

Let’s dive into the details about how to start a business in Chelmsford, MA. The steps here are generic and can be slightly different based on your local authority guidelines. You can start a small business in Chelmsford in two ways: do it yourself (not recommended) or hire a professional. It will be helpful if you hire professionals as they are cheaper and easier.

Starting a Small Business in Chelmsford, MA

As already mentioned, Chelmsford has a lot to offer to emerging entrepreneurs, irrespective of the size and nature of the business. Due to the economic environment and other demographic conditions, the city makes the path easier for any startup. Before we move on to the statistical data, let’s take a look at the following business structures you can establish for your business in Chelmsford, MA.

Important Points:

Establishing a small business in Chelmsford is relatively easier than as it needs small manpower, small investments, and small resources. Before you start processing your papers, you must consider a few important things:

  • What type of business do you want to start
  • What type of business structure do you want to form (LLC, Sole Proprietorship, etc.)
  • The current economic condition of the Chelmsford and Massachusetts state as a whole.
  • What is your initial capital requirement
  • Proper market research

Once you decide to establish your business in Chelmsford in Massachusetts, you must work on the above-mentioned points. The economic condition of Chelmsford, MA, is dynamic. You cannot predict what will happen in the next ten years. However, based on the previous and current economic data and trends it is easier to anticipate the future.

We recommend Zenbusiness LLC formation service that offers LLC formation at $0. If you’re starting an LLC in Chelmsford, MA, you can hire Zenbusiness for their easy formation process at $0. However, you must pay the mandatory state filing fee ($500). 

Important Facts and Stats About Chelmsford, MA

Demographic Stats in Chelmsford, MA

City NameChelmsford
State NameMassachusetts
State IDMA
Total Population36182
Family Size3.14
Female Population51.3%
Male Population48.7%
Average Population Age43.2
Old Age Population4.1%
Young Population (30s)12.6%
Veteran Population5%
Name of CountiesMiddlesex

Education and Labour Force Stats in Chelmsford, MA

Less than high school (%)4.1%
Highschool (%)17%
College (%)25.3%
Graduate (%)24%
Bachelor (%)29.6%
Stem Degree (%)55.1%
College or Above (%)53.6%
Labour Force Participation (%)69.5%
Unemployment Rate (%)5%
Poverty Rate4.7%

Income Stats in Chelmsford, MA (in millions)

Family Dual Income66.3
Average Household Income134291
Average Individual Income58604
Household Income $150k+44.6
Household Income $100k-150k18.3
Household Income $75k-100k11
Household Income $50k-75k10.2
Without Health Insurance1.7%

Read more: How to start a small business in Cedar Falls, IA

Step 1: Get a Business Idea

A Business idea is something you work on first before planning your entire business journey. You must have had an idea by now. If not, then there are a few points you might consider. While starting a small business in Chelmsford or anywhere in Massachusetts, make sure to follow their economic atmosphere. For example, the rate of unemployment in Chelmsford is 5%. Hence, you know if you’re getting manpower or not.

The average individual income in Chelmsford is $58604. It gives an idea of the average transaction of money in Chelmsford economy that helps in deciding on the price of your product/service.

Other points to be noted like market stability, competitors and their activities, demand for your goods, and a few demographic data. Such as the number of people in their 30s is 12.6 in Chelmsford, preferably having a stable income. The percentage of people owning their house is 82.7%. The rest of the population probably staying in rented places. These are some of the points to note while starting your small business in Chelmsford, MA.

You can explore the best business to start in Massachusetts to get an idea of what type of business you can start in Chelmsford, MA. Following are the top 5 businesses that work incredibly in Chelmsford in terms of revenue generation:

  • Digital Marketing Agency
  • Convenience Store
  • Car Rental Business
  • Business Consulting Firm
  • Life Coaching Business

Step 2: Make a Business Plan

Once you have decided what type of business you want to start, you should make a detailed plan. Your business plan must include the important factors related to your business, such as the structure of your business. You can set up a limited liability company, a corporation, or a sole proprietorship company for your business. Your business plan must include that as well. Depending on your business’s structure, the business cost should be calculated. You can check out the LLC cost in Massachusetts if you’re willing to start an LLC in Chelmsford. 

Besides the cost of the business, you must make a plan about the capital, resources, raw materials, place of the business, target buyers, and other aspects. A business plan, usually, is a 40-page document. This document records everything, from the business concept to the plan of action. It also includes your future goals and how you can achieve them.

Business Dissolution

Business dissolution or closing down the business is when you decide to dissolve your small business in Chelmsford. In your business plan, you must specify that as well. When you dissolve a business, you can either shut it down completely or shift the ownership to someone else. 

Normally, your business plan includes these factors as well. So that when your business is closed or shut down, it won’t be difficult to decide on an exit plan. 

Step 3: Get Capital

The next step is to arrange the capital you need to start your business. You can get small business loans or bank loans. There are other options to get funding. These are small business grants, bank advances, small money lenders, and other types of business grants in Chelmsford. 

As you start your business in Chelmsford, you can list down the banks that provide loans to support small businesses. Then slowly apply to those banks and financial institutions to get the loan easily. There are several ways through which you can get funding. These are: 

  • Crowdfunding
  • Seed funding
  • Venture capital funding
  • Small business loans
  • Bootstrapping
  • Accelerators

Step 4: Choosing a Business Structure for Small Business

The most important step is choosing the type of business structure you want for your small business. The most common type of business structure for a small business is a sole proprietorship and a limited liability company. Besides these two types, you can choose from other types of business structures. 

  1. Corporation: A very complex structure compared to other business structures. Register your business as a corporation if you have more than 10 employees initially. (Read more: How to start a corporation in Massachusetts)
  2. Nonprofit: This is a special business structure in which you couldn’t earn a profit. This type of corporation or LLC is created for charitable purposes. Income earned from Nonprofit organizations does not get taxed. 
  3. Limited Liability Company: LLCs are the easiest form of business structure. It separates personal assets from business assets. LLCs do not have double taxation. The owners must pay personal income taxes based on their income (from LLCs or otherwise). However, the Limited Liability Company (LLC) (unlike the corporation) does not have to pay any taxes based on its revenue/profit. 
  4. Sole Proprietorship: It is a type of business structure that does not need any formal registration. That means it is an unincorporated structure. The owner and the company are considered the same entity in this business structure.
  5. Partnership: If two or more people want to start a small business in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the partnership is the structure you can choose. In this structure, the partners are liable to pay individual income taxes and self-employment taxes. (Read More: Start a General Partnership in Massachusetts
  6. Limited Liability Partnership: LLPs have both features from LLCs and Partnerships. The partners can continue enjoying pass-through taxation like LLCs while maintaining the Partnership structure. 

Step 5: Get a Business Name

Before starting the registration process, you need to name your company. Make sure the name should be available in Chelmsford or in Massachusetts. Besides, depending on the business structure, you must add abbreviations such as Inc, LLC, etc. 

You must not get any name of your business that is misleading or confusing. It should be easy yet creative so people can recognize and remember the name. In Chelmsford, you can reserve the name for some time. If you want to reserve the business name for now and form your business later, you can go to the Massachusetts Secretary of State website to learn more about it. 

Step 6: Get Your Business Registered with Chelmsford

The next step is registering (filing) your business under the Secretary of State. If you are willing to establish a sole proprietorship, you will not be required to file or register your business. For any other business structure, it is mandatory to file the company under Massachusetts Secretary of State. To register your business, there are a few things you need to do. 

Get a Registered Agent

It is necessary to hire a registered agent at the time of forming your business. The Massachusetts Resident Agent is a person in Chelmsford who receives all your legal and official documents from the government on your behalf. Basically, this person is a bridge between the State and your company. Registered Agents must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. The person should be aged or above 18 years
  2. The person must have a permanent residence/physical address in Massachusetts 
  3. The person must be eligible to conduct business in Massachusetts or in Chelmsford

File Incorporation Certificate

The next task is to file your incorporation documents. If you are filing an LLC, you must file the Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. If you are forming a corporation, you must file the Articles of Incorporation. There is a state filing fee to be paid. For LLC, $500 and for Corporation $275 for filing online, in-person, or by mail to be paid.

LLCBuddy editorial team suggests hiring a professional business formation service to ease the work. We recommend a list of the best LLC services for your reference. 

Write an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is an internal document that includes in and out of the business. If you hire a professional business formation service, they help you draft the agreement. This is not always mandatory for businesses to file the Operating Agreement; however, it is recommended to file it to avoid future conflicts between partners/members of the company. The operating agreement includes the following:

  • Article 1: About organization
  • Article 2: About Management & Voting
  • Article 3: About Capital Contribution
  • Article 4: About Profit Distribution
  • Article 5: About membership changes
  • Article 6: About Dissolution

Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –

Zenbusiness – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

Step 7: Get a Tax ID and EIN

Once you are done with the business filing process, you must apply for the EIN or Employment Identification Number. It is similar to the Social Security Number but for the business owners. To obtain the tax ID or EIN, you must visit the IRS website to apply for the same. You can apply for EIN online or via mail. 

  • Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
  • Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free

Obtaining EIN from IRS does not cost any money. If you hire a formation service, you can get it easily without hassle or stressful procedures. Some of the formation services offer business formation at $0. So, if you hire a service, you are not required to pay anything, and the process will be hassle-free. 

Step 8: Get a Business Bank Account

The next step is to open a business bank account for all professional transactions. It is required for every small, medium, or large business to have a separate business account to avoid personal and professional finance conflicts. There are several banks in Chelmsford where you can open your account. 

After You Establish Your Small Business in Chelmsford, MA

When your business is formed, it is time to put the first stone towards selling your product/service and making money. Following are some points you must consider. 

  • Get a License and Permit: Based on the nature of your business, you must get a proper license and permits to conduct business in Chelmsford or Middlesex. For most businesses, obtaining a Trade License is required. Regarding the permit concerns, you must check with the Chelmsford local government or county offices for more information. You can check How to get a business license and permit in Massachusetts for more details.
  • Marketing Strategy: The next thing is to market your product and service. You must place an ad or any promotional activity to grab more attention from your potential customers. If you want to target local people, you can contact local newspapers or kiosks to place your advertisement. 
  • Social Media Reach: Social media platforms are the largest marketing platform today. Every individual in the country has a smartphone and at least an Instagram and Facebook account. You can reach out to potential buyers via these social media platforms by placing paid advertisements, boosting your posts, or sharing engaging visual content on your page using trending hashtags.

Cost to Start a Small Business in Chelmsford

When you start a small business in Chelmsford, you must calculate the estimated cost. The cost of starting a small business in Chelmsford or any city in Massachusetts depends on the structure of your business. If you are starting an LLC, the cost to start an LLC in Massachusetts is different than the corporation. For an LLC, the filing fee for an LLC is $500. On the other hand, if you start a corporation in Massachusetts, you will have to pay the state filing fee of $275 for filing online, in-person, or by mail at the time of filing your documents.

As a small business person, you must be aware of other costs related to your business, such as the registered agent cost. Now, you can be your own Resident Agent in Massachusetts to save money. However, it is not recommended to be a registered agent; you have to be present in the physical office during business hours, which can hamper other business-related tasks. Hence, appointing a registered agent at a reasonable price for your business will be wise.

Apart from that, you need permits, licenses, and other tax-related fees to conduct business in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Check with the local city offices to know more about it. If you have an LLC, you will enjoy pass-through taxation. On the contrary, if you set up a corporation for your small business in Chelmsford, you will have to pay personal and business income taxes.

More Facts and Stats on Chelmsford, MA

Kids Population (under 10 years)11.7%
Young Population (10-19 years)11.5%
Adult Population (Over 18)79.3%
Young Population (20s)10.9%
Young Population (40s)11.6%
Old Age Population (50s)16.6%
Old Age Population (60s)13.4%
Married 58.7%
Never Married27.6%
Own Houses82.7%
Average Rent1873
Limited English Speaking Population1.8%

How Fast Can You Start Business in Chelmsford, MA

One of the key factors that determine how fast you can start a business in Chelmsford is the ease of obtaining all the necessary licenses and permits. Thankfully, the town has streamlined this process to make it as efficient as possible for aspiring business owners. With a dedicated team of professionals at the ready to assist you every step of the way, obtaining the required paperwork is a relatively quick and painless process.

Another important aspect to consider when starting a business in Chelmsford is finding the right location for your endeavor. Chelmsford offers a variety of commercial spaces for rent or purchase, making it easy to find the perfect spot for your business to thrive. Whether you’re looking for a retail storefront or an office space, Chelmsford has ample options to suit your needs.

Additionally, Chelmsford is home to a vibrant and supportive business community. From networking events to mentorship programs, there are plenty of resources available to help new business owners get their feet off the ground. The town is also home to a number of organizations that are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed, providing valuable guidance and support along the way.

Of course, starting a business anywhere comes with its own set of challenges and roadblocks. In Chelmsford, entrepreneurs may encounter hurdles such as competition from existing businesses, navigating local zoning laws, or securing necessary financing. However, with the right mindset and a solid business plan in place, these obstacles can be overcome.

One of the key advantages of starting a business in Chelmsford is the town’s strong economy and growing consumer base. With a steady influx of residents and businesses, there is ample opportunity for new businesses to thrive and succeed. Whether you’re launching a new restaurant, boutique, or tech startup, Chelmsford offers a promising market for a wide range of industries.

In conclusion, the process of starting a business in Chelmsford, MA is relatively fast and straightforward, thanks to the town’s efficient processes, supportive community, and strong economy. By taking advantage of the resources and opportunities available, aspiring entrepreneurs can quickly realize their dreams of business ownership in this bustling town. So if you’ve been thinking about starting a business in Chelmsford, now is the perfect time to make your vision a reality.

Conclusion

Starting a small business in Chelmsford takes little of your money. However, setting up a business (even when it is small) takes up a lot of effort. But, with the help of business formation services, it is incredibly easy to form a small business and start selling your product immediately today. In this simple guide, we shared all the important steps to start a small business in Chelmsford. 

  • Get an idea
  • Choose the business structure
  • Make a plan
  • Get funding
  • Register your small business with Massachusetts SOS
  • Get EIN
  • Open a business bank account
  • Get a license and permit
  • Start selling

You can connect with us anytime if you have any feedback or experience of having a small business in Chelmsford.

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