We earn commissions if you shop through the links below. Read more

20 Best Business Ideas to Start in Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin

Wisconsin is known for cheese and other dairy products, as well as beer. Its largest city, Milwaukee, is home to MillerCoors LLC and a number of other major breweries. Wisconsin also relies on its manufacturing and biohealth sectors. 

The state boasts business-friendly policies, so you would have a pretty easy time getting into jet ski and boat rental, or opening a hotel, restaurant, nursery, or pet store. Explore our below list of brilliant business ideas in Wisconsin to find your entrepreneurial inspiration!

1. Real Estate

how to start a real estate business

In Wisconsin, real estate agents need a license from the Department of Safety and Professional Services. For starting a real estate business, focus on understanding local market trends and building a strong network. Invest in good marketing and establish an online presence to attract clients. Always stay compliant with local zoning and housing regulations.

2. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

Health care providers in Wisconsin must be licensed through the state’s Department of Health Services. To start a health care business, ensure you have the necessary certifications and stay informed about changes in health care laws. Building partnerships with local hospitals and clinics can be beneficial. Emphasize patient care and confidentiality in all your operations.

3. Insurance

How to start a insurance agency

Starting an insurance agency in Wisconsin requires a license from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. Key tips include staying updated on state insurance regulations and understanding the specific needs of the local community. Offering personalized services can set your business apart. Also, consider offering online consultations to reach more clients.

4. Wholesale

wholesale business idea

For a wholesale business in Wisconsin, no specific state license is needed, but local permits might be required. Focus on finding reliable suppliers and understanding your market’s needs. Develop strong relationships with both suppliers and customers. Efficient inventory and logistics management will be crucial for your success.

5. Retail

retail store business idea

Retail businesses in Wisconsin must register with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Success in retail comes from understanding your target market and managing your inventory effectively. High-quality customer service and a strong online presence are vital. Keep track of local market trends to stay competitive.

6. Graphic Design

How to start a graphic design business

Graphic designers in Wisconsin can operate without a specific state license, but registering your business is recommended. Build a robust portfolio to showcase your work. Networking with local businesses and maintaining an active online presence are essential for attracting clients. Always deliver consistent and high-quality work to retain customers.

7. Remodelling Business

How to start a remodeling business

Wisconsin doesn’t explicitly offer a general contractor license. Instead, it requires contractors performing the typical duties of a GC to carry a Dwelling Contractor License. Make sure you have liability insurance and are compliant with local building codes. Build a reputation for quality and reliability. Effective project management and clear communication with clients are key to success in this field.

8. Jet Ski Rental

How to start a jet ski rental business

Operating a jet ski rental in Wisconsin requires adherence to specific state safety regulations and possible licensing through local authorities. Focus on safety and customer training. Being located near popular water bodies is crucial (Lake Michigan and Superior along with Huron, Erie and Ontario). Maintain your equipment well to ensure customer satisfaction and safety.

9. Shipping Business

How to start a distribution business

Starting a shipping business in Wisconsin doesn’t require a specific license but check for any local permits needed. Establish strong logistics and consider partnerships with national carriers to expand your reach. Efficient tracking systems and reliable customer service are crucial. Understand your clients’ needs to offer tailored shipping solutions.

10. Rental Property

How to start a rental property business

For managing rental property in Wisconsin, familiarize yourself with state landlord-tenant laws. No specific license is required unless you provide certain services. Providing well-maintained properties and respecting tenant rights can help in retaining tenants and avoiding legal issues. Consider hiring a property management service to streamline operations.

11. Hotel

How to start a hotel

Running a hotel in Wisconsin requires licensing with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Location is key; choose a place close to tourist attractions or business centers. Focus on exceptional customer service and maintain high standards of cleanliness. Marketing your property effectively will also be crucial.

12. Restaurant

How to start a restaurant business

Opening a restaurant in Wisconsin requires several licenses, including a retail food establishment serving meals license from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Check with your local authorities for any health related licenses. Creating a unique dining experience and maintaining high food safety standards are essential. Keep a close eye on customer preferences and market trends to adjust your menu accordingly. Effective marketing strategies will attract more patrons.

13. Boat Rental

How to start a boat rental business

Boat rental services in Wisconsin must comply with state boating laws. Wisconsin doesn’t require a boat operator licensing. Location is critical, and safety measures must be a priority. Offering a variety of rental options can cater to different customer needs. Regular maintenance of boats ensures safety and customer satisfaction.

14. Construction Company

How to start a construction company

A construction business in Wisconsin requires a state contractor’s license. Ensure you have comprehensive insurance coverage and comply with safety regulations. Building strong relationships with skilled subcontractors and suppliers is important. Focus on quality workmanship and timely completion of projects to build your reputation.

15. Assisted Living Facility

How to Start an Assisted Living Facility

Operating an assisted living facility in the state of Wisconsin requires a license issued by the Department of Health Services. Focus on providing quality care and comply with all health and safety regulations. Hiring experienced and compassionate staff is crucial. Regularly update your facilities to ensure comfort and safety for residents.

16. Nutrition Consultation

How to start a nutrition business

Starting a nutrition consultation business in Wisconsin might require certification depending on the services offered. Stay current with nutritional science and local health trends. Build trust through personalized and evidence-based advice. An online presence can help reach more clients and provide accessible services.

17. Manufacturing Business

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

A manufacturing business in Wisconsin should comply with both local and federal regulations, including environmental and safety standards. Efficient production processes and quality control are essential. Building good relationships with both suppliers and distributors will help streamline operations and ensure product availability.

18. Microgreens Business

How to start a microgreens business

Starting a microgreens business in Wisconsin requires understanding of agricultural practices but no specific license. Focus on organic growth methods to appeal to health-conscious consumers. Local farmers markets and restaurants can be key clients. Ensure consistent product quality and reliability in supply.

19. Plant Nursery

How to start a plant nursery business

Operating a plant nursery in Wisconsin involves compliance with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Knowledge of plant care and local climate conditions is essential. Offering a variety of plants and gardening supplies can attract a broad customer base. Excellent customer service and knowledge sharing can set your nursery apart.

20. Pet Store

How to start a pet store business

Opening a pet store in Wisconsin requires compliance with state pet dealer regulations. Providing healthy pets and high-quality products is crucial. Knowledgeable and friendly staff can enhance customer experience. Stay informed about pet care trends to offer the latest products and services.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 Best Business Ideas to Start in Wisconsin