Start a Business


Starting a business is an exciting and challenging experience. The Maine Office of Business Development is here to help entrepreneurs like you at every step of the way to make the process as smooth as possible. Start your journey to business ownership with the resources below, and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Business Answers

Answers to all your business questions

Maine Resource Compass

Filterable database of 350+ resources from across the state


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA offers a variety of programs to help entrepreneurs get their business off the ground, including funding resources and free counseling through its partner organizations.

Download the SBA’s Small Business Resource Guide for Maine (PDF) to learn more about SBA and other federal programs to help small businesses. Also includes a list of Maine funders, Chambers of Commerce, and more.

Startup Maine

Download Startup Maine’s Guide to Resources for Maine Entrepreneurs (PDF) for Maine-specific resources for business financing, local economic development partners, networking, and more.

CEI Women’s Business Center

SBA partner that provides free business advising, workshops, and events for women in business.

ACE (Association for Consulting Expertise)

ACE maintains an online directory of members who provide consulting services to businesses. There is no vetting of these consultants, so any potential client needs to do their own due diligence.

Business Incubators

Click here for a list of Business Incubators throughout Maine that can help your business get off the ground.

Pitch Competitions

Competitions where entrepreneurs and business owners pitch their business ideas to judges in an attempt to win funding.

Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

Maine MEP can assist with plant layout, equipment arrangement, and lean manufacturing flow recommendations to get your business’s factory up and running efficiently. Business Portal

The Business Portal has more information on business rules and regulations, licensing, taxes, employer resources, and resources by industry and profession.


Nonprofit Resources

Click here for a list of dedicated resources for starting and operating a Nonprofit. 


SBA partner that provides free business mentoring, workshops/webinars, actionable tools and resources to optimize your business.

Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

SBA partner that offers a wide array of business advising for Maine entrepreneurs. They also have great resources on their website, including funding options, this Startup Checklist and this helpful FAQ (PDF)

Tell Us About Your Business

If you are starting a business in Maine, the OBD team is ready to connect you to the resources you need to help meet your business goals. Start by sharing information about your business with Maine DECD.  Fill out a Maine Startup Information Form (SIF) here. It’s fast and easy!

Note: Information that you wish to keep confidential should not be included in your SIF submittal.