Starting a Business

An up-and-coming city with more than 73,000 residents, North Port is an ideal location to open up your dream business. Conveniently located between Tampa and Fort Myers in Sarasota County, the City of North Port is easily accessible off Interstate 75 and U.S. 41. The community is home to a young, vibrant, educated workforce and residents here are always excited to see new businesses open their doors.

For general advice and direction, the City's Economic Development Division is able to assist you and guide you to various resources for the community. Staff inside the Planning and Zoning Division is also here to help.

For an overall flow of what it takes to start a new business, here is the suggested 6-step process.

Step 1: Attend entrepreneurship classes

The area boasts of a variety of technical assistance offerings. Before you draft your business plan it is paramount that you avail of these workshops and lectures available to you, some of which are paid for by the various business support groups.

Step 2: Vet your business concept

This is when the prospective business owner envisions what the business is, what the market and the competition looks like, what products or service the business will offer, and the prospects for a successful business execution.

Step 3: Discuss your idea with experts

The region can lean on many small business experts that can help a prospective business owner vet and solidify the business plan. We highly recommend that the entrepreneur consult with the various experts in the area.

Step 4: Build a budget, create a marketing plan

These are two crucial components of a solid business plan, so take your time and do a full research and industry analysis, including checking out sites that may be available and ideal for your business.

Step 5: Finalize your business plan

Congratulations! Now that you have a solid business plan, it is strongly recommended that you work closely with your small business consultant (or mentor) to put your plan into action. For financing needs, contact local banks and/or banks with whom you have a relationship with. Work closely with your mentor or consultant to take you through this crucial portion of your business planning. The Economic Development Division lists some alternative financing sources on the Economic Development Links page. Operate on the assumption that there are no grants available to small businesses in the country.

Step 6: Execute your business plan

Congratulations on making it to this part of your journey. Continue to take advantage of the resources available to you as you implement your business plan and work toward your dream business. Remember to include these 3 important partners in your business execution – a banker, a CPA, and a lawyer.

Here are the suggested regional partners to assist you at this point.