How to Start a Business in Madison, WI – Useful Madison Facts 2023

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Start a Business in Madison, WI: When it comes to starting a business, entrepreneurs must look for the place with the most potential. Whether a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC, having a business in Madison, WI, is a plus for any entrepreneur. In general, setting up any form of business in Wisconsin, US, is the initial step to building an international brand.

Entrepreneurs across the globe are interested in starting and expanding their businesses in Madison, WI. With an urban population of 445499 (estimate), the city has a lot to offer to all emerging entrepreneurs. The main reason for this is the economic environment and flexibility of the business structure in Wisconsin. Like most places in the US, Madison, WI also offers business structures for all types of entrepreneurs; no matter what business you want to do, there’s a perfect solution for you. If you want to start limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, or a sole proprietorship, Madison, WI has a proper business environment for all.

How to Start a Business in Madison, WI

In this article, you will read about how to start a business in Madison and why you should choose Madison to start and run your business. We recommend you check below the important facts about Madison, WI; these might help you.

Madison, WI Household Income Statistics

Madison Median household income67565 USD
Madison households with dual income earners61.2 %
Madison households $150K+ Income14.4 %
Madison households $100K+ Income31.2 %
Madison households $100-150K Income16.8 %
Madison households $75-100K+ Income13.7 %
Madison households $50-75K+ Income18 %
Madison households $35-50K+ Income11.8 %
Madison households $25-35K+ Income8.2 %

Madison, WI Education & Labor force Facts

Madison residents with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)32.3 %
Madison residents with at least a 4-year degree58.5 %
Madison residents with a graduate degree26.2 %
Madison residents with a high school diploma but no more14 %
Madison residents with less than high school education4.1 %
Madison residents with some college but no more23.5 %
Madison residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (STEM fields)54.1 %
Madison households that own (rather than rent) their residence47.7 %
Madison residents 16 and older in the labor force71.7 %
Madison residents unemployed2.8 %

Madison, WI Demographics

Madison residents aged 0-99.5 %
Madison residents aged 10-1911.5 %
Madison residents aged 20-2926.6 %
Madison residents aged 30-3915.6 %
Madison residents aged 40-4910.2 %
Madison residents aged 50-599.9 %
Madison residents aged 60-698.6 %
Madison residents aged 70-795.1 %
Madison residents aged over 802.8 %
The average size of resident families in Madison, WI2.91
Estimated population per square kilometer in Madison, WI1253
Madison, WI urban population (estimate)445499
Madison, WI municipal population (estimate)258366

Now that you know what makes Madison of Wisconsin good for business, let’s get started with the exact steps on how to start a business in Madison.

How to Start a Business in Madison, WI

Starting a business in Madison, WI, needs planning, financial decisions, legal procedures, and a handful of other things. Be it a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC in Wisconsin, you must go through the following steps. These steps are general steps. They are subject to change depending on the structure of your business.Generally, starting a Limited Liability Company is easy to form. Read our guide on how to start an LLC before you start your own business. Here are the steps to set up your business in Madison.

Step 0: Decide on What Business to Start

Decide on What Business to Start

This is the first thing you work on, the type of business you want to start in Madison. Depending on that, you need to make your business plan. Apart from the legal documentation and process, you must include the following points in your business plan,

  1. Through market research on demand trend
  2. Complete Budget plan – funding your business. If you’re planning to start an LLC, then take a look at the cost of LLC
  3. What competitors are doing
  4. SWOT Analysis – check what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are
  5. Your targeted buyers

Once you have the entire plan with you, you can continue working on the legal structure of your business. LLCBuddy will guide you through the legal process of forming an LLC for your business. It’s very likely that you have already done this step 0, so that we won’t go deep into this step, let’s move to step 1.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

Choose Your Business Structure

The very first step after you decide on what type of business you want to start is to choose what type of business structure you want to form. You can form an LLC, a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a partnership. Each type of structure has different rules and regulations. For example, if you want to start a Wisconsin LLC, there are different types of tax and fee structures. An LLC formation is similar to forming a sole proprietorship. On the other hand, forming a corporation is much more complicated. The tax and fee structure is completely different in corporation formation.

Step 2: Name Your Business

Name Your Business

The next step in forming a business is to give it an appropriate name. Having a business name is not so easy task. You cannot pick a random name for your company. One has to follow proper naming guidelines before they name their company. Besides, before you settle a name, you must check if the name you are looking for is available to use. You can visit the official government site of Wisconsin to do the Wisconsin LLC name search before you pick the available name. Below are some of the naming rules you need to follow,

  1. You cannot name your business that has words or phrases like Bank, University, Government, or anything that can confuse people with a government sector. 
  2. If you are forming an LLC in Wisconsin, then you must include words like “LLC,” “LC,” “LLC,” “Liability Company,” and “L.L.C.” If it is an LLP, then you must include “LLP” in your business name.
  3. The name should reflect the nature of your business. Any name that can confuse people should not be picked.
  4. You can check if the name of your company is available. Through the business name search process, you can search if the desired name is available for use or not.
  5. You can reserve your business name for a certain time before you form your business in Madison, WI by filing a name reservation application.

The above-mentioned points are basic naming rules that all businesses have to follow while naming their company. As mentioned above, these rules are subjected to change depending on the structure of the business.

Step 3: Get a Registered Agent

Get a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person who receives all types of legal and official documents on behalf of the business. Whether a suit against your company or formation-related documents from the state, a Wisconsin LLC Registered Agent is responsible for receiving these documents at his/her official address. In general, anyone who has the right to conduct business in Madison can be a registered agent. However, there are some requirements to becoming a registered agent.

  1. The person has to be 18+ years of age.
  2. Must be a citizen of the Wisconsin
  3. Must have a physical street address in the Wisconsin
  4. Must have legal rights to conduct business in the Wisconsin

Anyone who fulfills the requirements can be a registered agent. Also, anyone from the company, your spouse, any relative, or yourself can be a registered agent. But, it is recommended that you hire a professional registered agent to look after your documentation. You can choose from the best LLC services that also offer registered agent for LLCs.

Step 4: Register Your Business

Register Your Business

The next step is to register your business under the Secretary of State, Wisconsin. The Articles of Organization (or certificate of incorporation) of your company should be submitted online, by mail, in person, or by fax to the Wisconsin SOS. You need to pay the state filing fee either by Credit Card or by check to the SOS while registering your business in the Madison, WI. Your Wisconsin LLC articles of organization should have the following details about your business

  1. Company/Business name, address
  2. Registered Agent Name, address
  3. Member-managed or manager-managed (in case of LLC)
  4. Type of business

Depending on the type of business structure, you may have to add some more information to the formation document.

Step 5: Write the Operating Agreement

Write the Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that has all the structural information of your business. In most states, it is not mandatory to create an operating agreement. However, it is highly recommended to have one as an internal document. This document records information such as,

  1. About Business
  2. Members and management
  3. Capital contribution
  4. Profit Distribution
  5. Change of membership
  6. Dissolution

In future, if any member wants to leave the company or you want to dissolve the business, then the Wisconsin operating agreement has everything recorded, from clauses to contributions.

Step 6: Obtain EIN

Obtain EIN

EIN or Employer Identification Number is required to file taxes, open a business bank account, and if your business has employees. EIN can be obtained from IRS. It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. However, EIN is different from SSN. It is solely used for business purposes, especially for general tax filing. You have to fill out the form and submit it to the IRS website. It does not cost you anything to obtain EIN.

Step 7: Get Business Bank Accounts

Get Business Bank Accounts

Once you obtain the EIN for your business, you are free to open a business account in the US. Having a US business bank account can ease your business transactions in Madison, WI. It increases your business credibility and liquidity. It will also be helpful for business loans.

Step 8: Create Your Business Website

Create Your Business Website

Business websites are as important as your business structure. It is necessary to have a catchy business website with all the information regarding your company. Along with the website, you need some more things. Things such as logos, business cards, business emails, domain names, and social media accounts are needed to promote your business. You can hire a professional business service to get all of these services under one roof.

Other Things to do After Starting Your Business

  1. Once your company is set in the Madison, Wisconsin, you need to file your taxes and apply for licenses (if needed).
  2. Apart from the license and permits, you need to get insurance for your business. Such as General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance are some of the insurances you need to get if you are about to start an LLC.

Important Madison Stats for Starting a Business

Before you start a business in Madison, it is required that you know some facts about the city. Following are some of the stats to consider before starting a business.

Education & Employment

Madison has a diverse population that comes from various educational backgrounds. There are students who haven’t finished their high-school education, whereas there are people who are more than just college graduates. Check the table (Education & Labor Force) for detailed data. From the data, it is clear that the city has enough educated and skilled people who can contribute to the labor force.


As we talk about the urban population density, the young population percentage in the city is approximately 26.6 (people in their 20s) and 15.6 (people in their 30s). This means that having any business that is new and tech-based might be profitable. The median age of the population in the city is 31.2. On the contrary, if anyone wants to start a business that is related to any old-age service, such as caregiver, primary old-age support, or something of a similar sort, then Madison has approximately 2.8 (people in their 80s and above) percent of old people. Check out the table (Demography) above for more information.

Real Estate

Another important factor to mention about Madison is the home value of owned properties. The average value of owned houses is 262062. Also, the percentage of people living in their own houses is 47.7. This reflects the real estate market of the city. For a metropolitan city, this is a considerable number.


It is inevitable that living in a big city is different from living in a town or a comparatively smaller city. It directly affects lifestyle and health. It is obvious that having health insurance is important, no matter which city or region you are residing in. But there are people in Madison who still do not have health insurance. The rate of people not having health insurance is 3.8. This depicts the lifestyle and overall health demography of Madison. As you plan to start your business in this city, you must consider this stat as well.

Income & Lifestyle

The income pattern of the people in this city is given in the table (Income) above. In Madison, a part of the population has a dual family income that reflects a better standard of living. As in, people have more than one source of income. The table above shows the income percentage of various slabs.

Also Check – How to Start Business In Little Rock, AR

Reasons to Start a Business in Madison

Madison offers a bunch of business-friendly services for entrepreneurs. A proper business environment, skilled labor, tax advances, deductions, and much more are awaiting if you are interested in starting your business in Madison. Here are some of the reasons,

Stable Economic Growth

Madison or any other city in Wisconsin has stable economic growth and an environment that helps any business to grow successfully. The economic structure of Wisconsin shows not only balanced but also a sustainable condition of economic growth, which in turn triggers the businesses to flourish in the state.

Minimize Personal Liabilities of the Entrepreneur

If you’re considering starting an LLC in Madison, then it will be your best choice. An LLC protects your personal assets and minimizes your personal liabilities. This is one of the many reasons why having an LLC in Madison is a wise choice. Also, if you are opting for an LLC, the tax deductions will be more than having a corporation.

Federal and State Tax Relaxation

There is a series of federal taxes that an entrepreneur has to pay when operating a business in the US. Depending on the state your company is located in, the state taxes are being imposed. For an LLC, both of these taxes are much lower compared to other business structures. Along with tax impositions, some tax deductions (state-wise) lower the filing fees and other government charges. Check out the Wisconsin LLC tax structure to know more about the tax structures for LLCs in the state.

Government Incentives for Entrepreneurs

Federal and state governments in the US ensure that entrepreneurs get a proper business environment in the state or city they are operating their business. The government provides a few incentives to the business holders in Wisconsin or any other state. That means if you are operating any business in Madison, then Wisconsin State will provide an incentive for creating jobs, contributing to the state’s GDP, and/or balancing the state’s tax structure.

Low Corporate and Other Business Taxes

Corporations and other business structures (except for an LLC) are liable to pay a corporate tax in Wisconsin. Also, there is a Sales Tax that all businesses, including LLCs, have to pay. However, the rate of taxes is very low. Besides, as the businesses receive incentives, the tax burden gets lower.

Skilled Labour & Quality Manpower

In Madison, it is easy to hire employees for your business. They are not only skilled but also well-educated to help your business grow. As mentioned above, the 71.7 is the percentage of labour participation. Hence, it is clear that having a business in Madison will make a lot of difference to the existing labor force.

Demand for New Market and Industry

In Madison, Wisconsin, there is an uprising demand for new industries and new markets. Entrepreneurs who are willing to start a business in any of the cities of any state are given enough opportunities to stay in business. Business licensing, tax deductions, incentives, and relaxation of business taxes are some of the benefits that encourage start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in Madison.

If we follow the US Data, the median value of commute time for the residents to their work is approximately 19.8. If you are starting a business here, you must keep in mind that commutation can be a point to consider.

Intellectual Property Protection

The US government receives roughly more than 1 million applications for IPR every year. The federal government makes sure that there is no infringement of any patent or property rights. It does not matter which city in which state you are running your business. The rule of Intellectual Property Protection is the same for all. If you have a foreign business in the US, then you might get more benefits under the IPR act.

Other Benefits

Madison (aka ) is ranked at 2 in terms of importance. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, there are some other benefits that businesses enjoy in Madison. For example, technological advancement, a stable political environment, renewable resources, sustainable non-renewable resources, and some more benefits make things easier for entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses. According to US Data, the percentage of young people in Madison is 15.6. Hence, it would be great to start a business that is related to tech here as you might get a good number of clients.

Next Read – How to Start Business In Franklin, TN

Why Start Business In Madison Wisconsin

Whether you are looking to start a new business or looking to improve on an existing business, Wisconsin has a plethora of resources to assist you. The state boasts a low cost of living, low startup costs, and a prime location. Wisconsin also ranks first in the federal pandemic funds for businesses, which encourages innovation. Wisconsin is also home to many iconic businesses such as Kohler, Harley-Davidson, and Johnson Controls.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is a statewide organization that provides a variety of resources to help companies grow and succeed. The organization works with universities, industry trade groups, workforce organizations, and other local economic development organizations to provide companies with the tools they need to be successful. The organization also offers refundable tax credits to growth oriented companies.

The UW-Madison Small Business Development Center offers a variety of free business courses to help entrepreneurs launch their business ventures. The UW-Madison also offers the most comprehensive free business directory in the state, complete with a list of local businesses and their contact information.

Another resource in Wisconsin is the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, which offers a variety of financial awareness and asset building programs for women and veteran-owned businesses. The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative has been serving women and veteran-owned businesses for more than twenty-five years. The organization offers free one-on-one business mentoring, direct loans, and financial awareness programs.

Wisconsin also boasts a number of notable startup success stories, including the Milwaukee Tool, Epic Systems, and the Xcel Energy Center. The state also ranks high for quality of life, education, and business and economic development, making it an ideal destination for start-ups of all sizes. Wisconsin has a healthy economy and a balanced state budget that allows it to fund education and workforce development programs while keeping the tax burden low.

Wisconsin also has a robust startup support system, including the Wisconsin Technology Council, which offers an Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit. The state is home to many notable companies such as Exact Sciences, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Epic Systems. These companies will soon expand their Wisconsin headquarters, creating more than 1,300 jobs.

In addition to the many resources available to start and grow a business in Wisconsin, the state also boasts a thriving startup culture. The state boasts a plethora of startup-related events and organizations, including Startup Wisconsin, which was formed to assist emerging companies and entrepreneurs. This organization will provide funding, networking opportunities, and programming for startups in 12 Wisconsin cities including Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, and La Crosse. The Wisconsin Technology Council also offers a number of free and low-cost business courses, including the Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit.

The Wisconsin State Library also has an excellent website with a number of informative resources for new and existing business owners. This website provides information on everything from how to start a business to a directory of businesses in the state. Another helpful website is the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which offers a comprehensive list of road construction projects and highway safety tips.

FAQ About Madison, WI

What can I do with an LLC in Madison, WI?

You may launch any kind of company in Madison, WI, if you have an LLC. Create a solid marketing strategy, get finance to launch your company, and manage it in Madison, WI.

How do I apply for a LLC in Madison, WI?

In Madison, WI, establishing an LLC is a straightforward procedure. Prior to submitting LLC formation documentation, you must first file paperwork with the Secretary of State. Afterwards, you must see the County Clerk and submit documentation (if needed).

Does Madison, WI require small business insurance?

Unfortunately, there is no certain method to determine if Madison, WI needs small business insurance. This is so because each city has its own unique set of rules and laws. You should get in touch with your local government if you’re unclear if Madison needs small business insurance.

Why is Madison, WI so popular?

Madison, WI has been so famous because of its diverse people, culture, and artistic scene. Madison is a commercial metropolis, but visitors are drawn here by the rich culture, people, and educational opportunities.

How much does it cost to create an LLC in Madison, WI?

The price to form an LLC in Madison, WI depends on a number of variables. It may be influenced by the number of members, the nature of the organization, and the yearly fees. In Madison, WI, an LLC generally costs $130.

How do I get an EIN number in Madison, WI?

To apply for an EIN number, visit the IRS website. A business name, a business address, and a signature are required to complete the form. The EIN number will be sent to the address you provided. Visit the IRS website to get an EIN number in Madison, WI.

How many unicorns are in Madison, WI?

At this time, unicorns may be found everywhere. There is little doubt that Madison, WI, is not an exception. The city of Madison, WI, is home to a few unicorns. Unicorns are very well-liked in Madison, some of them.

How much is a seller’s permit in Madison, WI?

In Madison, WI, a seller’s permit is quite affordable. You may lawfully sell products in Madison if you have a permission. Before you may lawfully sell products, you may need to get a number of additional permissions and licenses.

Why you shouldn’t move to Madison, WI?

Your company is the only factor preventing you from relocating to Madison, WI. You shouldn’t relocate to Madison if you can’t discover the greatest atmosphere there for your firm. You shouldn’t relocate if Madison can’t help you find purchasers for your company.

Is Madison, WI LLC friendly?

An LLC is beneficial in Madison, WI. The state provides a variety of advantages for business owners, which is why. For startups, it provides tax advantages, quick company financing, employment advantages, and other perks.

Which is the cheapest business to start in Madison, WI?

Many low-cost companies may be found in Madison, WI. An internet company is a good place to start if you want to open a business in Madison, WI. Furthermore, Madison, WI offers low-cost ways to establish a home baking or teaching company.

What legal documents do I need to start a business in Madison, WI?

To establish a company, you need a business license in Madison, WI. Depending on the sort of company, several cities demand various licenses. For further information, consult with the Madison municipal authorities. A general business license is often required to start a company.

What is the best area in Madison, WI to live?

When you have this question that where to live in Madison, WI then find the place best fitted for your job/business. Depending on the targeted buyers you have for your business, you can choose the area to live in Madison, WI.

What business makes money the fastest in Madison, WI?

It takes some time to get richer quickly in Madison, WI. It will take at least a few months to generate a solid profit if you want to open your company in Madison. You may earn money from your company in Madison, WI more quickly after it has stabilized.

Can I start my own business with no money in Madison, WI?

Madison, WI is a city where you may start a company with little capital. You could, however, be required to pay taxes and licensing costs as well as filing fees. For further information, you should contact your neighborhood’s authorities.

What are 5 things you need to start a business in Madison, WI?

When you plan to start your business in Madison, WI, you need to be prepared with these 5 things, a. A solid business plan, b. A name for your business, c. Funding, d. Permits and Licenses if needed, e. Marketing strategy/plan to promote your business.

What should I know before moving to Madison, WI?

Before you move to Madison, WI you must know a few things. First, if the city fulfills the reason for you to move in. If it is for business purposes, then make sure Madison has everything you need for your business. Besides, you must know about the standard of living.

How long does it take to register a business in Madison, WI?

It takes a few days to register a business in Madison, WI. The process is simple, and the city has a helpful website with all the information and forms you need. You can register online, and the process is free.

Is Madison, WI a good place to start a business?

Madison is a great place to start a business. With a low cost of living and high quality of life, Madison, WI is a great place to start a business. This is especially true if you want to be a part of a thriving and growing community in Madison, WI.

How can I create a company in Madison, WI?

Madison, WI offers several opportunities for business creation. You have access to a wide range of materials. Decide on the kind of company you desire as your first step. An LLC is simple to set up, so if you’re unsure, you may always start there.

What business are moving to Madison, WI?

Some popular businesses like restaurants, hotel businesses, designer apparel businesses, and so on continue to move into Madison, WI. The likelihood of having major brands in Madison is increasing along with the economy.

What big business can I start in Madison, WI?

In Madison, WI, several significant companies have been founded. For instance, a business that offers waffles, cookie cutters, or ice cream in the form of a FL.

How do you make money with an LLC in Madison, WI?

Selling your goods or services is a simple way to earn cash if you have a Madison, WI, LLC registered. Locate prospective buyers and advertise your LLC to attract additional customers from throughout the state or the nation.

Do you have to renew LLC Every year in Madison, WI?

A excellent option to start your own company is via an LLC. However, you are required to renew your LLC annually. Make careful to do it by the deadline if you’re in Madison, WI. Before the deadline, you must renew your LLC in order to prevent any inconsistencies.

What requirements does Madison, WI require to start a business?

The permission to do business in Madison, WI, is the primary condition for opening a business there. Before you launch your firm, inquire with the local government about the specific rules and licenses required to operate in Madison.

What is a LLC in Madison, WI?

In Madison, WI, an LLC is a kind of company entity that resembles a sole proprietorship. A limited liability corporation has several traits with a partnership-run organization. Because of pass-through taxes, LLCs in Madison, WI are exempt from paying company income tax.

Can I be my own registered agent in Madison, WI for LLC?

You may act as your own registered agent for an LLC in Madison, WI. You must be older than 18 and have the legal authority to do business in Madison, WI in order to register as a registered agent there.

Will house prices go down in Madison, WI?

In Madison, WI, the cost of homes may decrease or increase. Given how quickly the real estate industry is expanding, it is a little difficult to say. As a result, Madison, WI’s odds of seeing price drops are lower.

Do businesses pay taxes in Madison, WI?

Yes, some firms in Madison, WI, must pay taxes. You can be required to pay taxes to both the state and the federal government, depending on the form of your firm. Depending on the kind of company you have.

Is Madison, WI good for startups?

It should come as no surprise that Madison, WI, is one of the greatest cities in the nation to start a business. More than a thousand businesses are based in the city, and Madison’s tech industry is flourishing, supporting more than 100,000 employment. Madison is a great place to reside as well.

Why businesses are moving to Madison, WI?

In recent years, many businesses are moving to Madison, WI. The growing economy of the city is the main reason. In the recent past, the industries and service sectors have been contributing to the state economy incredibly. Hence, businesses are eager to move to Madison.

Is it hard to start a small business in Madison, WI?

If you have the correct concept, starting a small company in Madison, WI, is a terrific idea. There are several prospects for small enterprises in this thriving metropolis. Finding a niche that isn’t currently crowded is one of the finest methods to launch a small company.

How can I make money from home in Madison, WI?

You may want to think about working as a freelance writer if you’re searching for a method to earn money in Madison, WI. There are various ways to earn money as a freelance writer in Madison, WI, but you may also work from home and choose your own hours.

How do I start a LLC in Madison, WI?

Starting an LLC in Madison, WI involves numerous factors to take into account. What kind of LLC you wish to establish must first be decided. Single-member and multi-member LLCs are the two different sorts. You must then submit the required documents to the Secretary of State.

Do you need a business license to be self employed in Madison, WI?

When working for yourself in Madison, WI, you’re not necessarily required to get a license. Regarding home-based companies and self-employment laws, you should verify with the Madison authorities. The kind of company will determine this.

In Conclusion

Starting a business in Madison is not only easy but also profitable. A large portion of the US and even people from other countries are registering their business in the US for intercontinental brand building. Besides, Wisconsin has a sustainable economic atmosphere that is enough to encourage newbies to start and run their businesses in Madison, WI.

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