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20 Best Business Ideas to Start in Maine

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

20 Best Business Ideas to Start in Maine

Maine, the largest of the New England states, is making a strong recovery from pandemic recession. The state relies on its services and manufacturing sectors, as well as tourism, and most sectors are already on an upward trend. 

Since Maine lies along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, a fishing charter business would be a good idea. Other businesses that could thrive in Maine are summer camps, apple orchards, and tourism-related ventures. Find more great Maine business ideas below to jumpstart your thinking.

1. Real Estate

how to start a real estate business

In Maine, a real estate business requires a brokerage license issued by the Maine Real Estate Commission. Start by obtaining a license through completing required education and passing the exam. It’s crucial to understand local real estate markets and regulations. Networking with local agents and joining real estate associations can provide valuable insights and leads. Always ensure your properties meet state safety and zoning standards.

2. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

To start a health care business in Maine, you’ll need to comply with state licensing requirements, which are overseen by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. It is important to maintain high standards of patient care and privacy, adhering strictly to HIPAA regulations. Consider specializing in services for Maine’s aging population for a targeted approach. Building a reputation for quality care will be key to success.

3. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

Starting a manufacturing business in Maine involves registering your business and possibly obtaining environmental and safety licenses, depending on your production type. Focus on quality and local resources to reduce costs. Maine’s workforce is skilled in various manufacturing disciplines, so investing in local talent is beneficial. Also, explore state incentives for manufacturing businesses.

4. Retail

retail store business idea

To open a retail store in Maine, you must register your business and obtain a seller’s permit from the Maine Revenue Services. Choose a location with good foot traffic to increase visibility. Stock products that cater to the local population’s needs and preferences. Effective marketing and exceptional customer service are vital for repeat business.

5. Insurance

How to start a insurance agency

Starting an insurance company in Maine requires a license from the Maine Bureau of Insurance. You must pass an exam and meet continuing education requirements. The insurance market is competitive, so find a niche, like specializing in maritime or agricultural insurance, which are prominent in Maine. Building trust through transparent customer interactions is crucial.

6. Graphic Design

How to start a graphic design business

Graphic design businesses in Maine can start without specific licensing but registering your business is recommended. Stay updated with the latest design software and trends. Networking with local businesses for contracts can provide steady work. Maintain a strong online portfolio to attract diverse clients.

7. Tourism Agency

How to start a travel agency business

Starting a tourism agency in Maine requires registering your business. Maine’s rich natural landscapes offer opportunities in eco-tourism and adventure tourism. Building strong connections with local accommodations and service providers can enhance your packages. Effective online marketing can attract tourists from both inside and outside the state.

8. Bottled Water Company

How to start a bottled water business

To start a bottled water company in Maine, you need to comply with state health and safety standards and obtain necessary permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Focus on sourcing pure water and implementing sustainable bottling practices to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. Effective branding is key to differentiating your product in the market.

9. Summer Camp

How to start a campground

Operating a summer camp in Maine requires compliance with licensing standards from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Maine’s natural settings make it ideal for outdoor-focused camps. Ensure safety and fun learning experiences to build a good reputation. Partnering with schools and community organizations can boost enrollments.

10. Fishing Charter

How to start a charter boat business

A fishing charter business in Maine requires a Coast Guard captain’s license and possibly other local permits. Knowledge of local waterways and fish behaviors will enhance the client experience. Offering varied fishing packages can appeal to different skill levels and interests. Safety measures and customer service are top priorities.

11. Apple Orchard

apple orchard business idea

Starting an apple orchard in Maine involves land acquisition and understanding of agricultural practices. Register your business and explore federal and state agricultural programs for funding and support. Local farmers’ markets are great channels for direct sales. Consider agri-tourism additions like tours and seasonal festivals to increase revenue.

12. Cattle Farm

How to Start a Cattle Farm

To operate a cattle farm in Maine, register your farm and meet state agricultural standards. Understand local feed sources and veterinary care for cattle health and productivity. Marketing your products directly to local butchers and restaurants can increase profitability. Consider organic certification to attract premium markets.

13. Brewery

How to start a brewery business

Opening a brewery in Maine requires a federal brewing permit and a state liquor license. Maine has a vibrant craft beer scene, so creating unique flavor profiles can help stand out. Focus on local ingredients to appeal to regional tastes. Hosting events and tours can build a loyal customer base.

14. IT Business

How to start a software company

Starting an IT business in Maine involves registering the business and staying current with technological advancements. Focus on offering services such as cybersecurity, which is increasingly vital for businesses. Building relationships with local businesses can secure contracts. Ensure reliable customer support to retain clients.

15. Locksmith Service

How to start a locksmith business

In Maine, the locksmith trade is not regulated. Even though Maine doesn’t require a locksmith license, you’ll need to register your business legally. Offering 24/7 services can set your business apart. Focus on building trust with your clients, as security is a personal matter. Marketing your services to local businesses and homeowners is essential.

16. Frozen Food

How to start a frozen food business

Starting a frozen food business in Maine requires compliance with food safety regulations administered by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Offering local specialties can appeal to both residents and tourists. Effective distribution networks are crucial for expanding your market reach.

17. Shirt Printing

How to start a t-shirt business

Shirt printing businesses in Maine need to register their business. Keeping up with the latest printing technology and fashion trends can give you an edge. Offering customizable options can attract a wider customer base. Online marketing and e-commerce are effective ways to reach more customers.

18. Grocery Delivery

How to start a grocery delivery business

Launching a grocery delivery service in Maine requires a business registration and possibly a vehicle fleet. Focus on timely and reliable service. Partnering with local grocery stores can expand your offerings. Marketing your service to the elderly and busy professionals can tap into key demographics.

19. Assisted Living Facility

How to Start an Assisted Living Facility

Starting an assisted living facility in Maine requires licensing from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Providing high-quality care and ensuring compliance with all health and safety regulations is paramount. Offering activities and amenities that enhance the quality of life for residents will make your facility more appealing.

20. Craft Shop

How to start a craft business

Opening a craft shop in Maine involves registering your business and sourcing unique local crafts. Maine’s tourist market provides a significant customer base. Focus on local artisan products to attract customers seeking authentic Maine goods. Hosting workshops and live craft demonstrations can enhance customer engagement and sales.


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20 Best Business Ideas to Start in Maine