University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension: Small Business Education

Resources for Food Entrepreneurs
Orono, Maine – University of Maine Cooperative Extension has launched a new online resource designed to be particularly useful to aspiring or existing food manufacturers wanting to produce specialty food products. VISIT the website to learn more!

Ratio Institute’s Sustainable Food Retail Certification


Helping food retailers succeed, with strategic sustainability.






The Sustainable Food Retail Certification program helps food retailers achieve operational excellence and meet sustainability goals by benchmarking performance, reducing costs, and increasing margins.

See how Certification can strengthen your business.

Learn more about program requirements in the Sustainable Food Retail Standard and Certification Guide.

PLUS: The Retail Learning Institute has partnered with Ratio Institute to bring to independent retailers a free tool to assess where they can increase efficiencies through sustainability practices. Take the FREE Self-Assessment Today.

Start or Grow a Business


To get started, it’s wise to:

1) Develop a business plan, complete with pro-forma financial statements.

2) Decide whether to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability corporation or corporation.

3) It’s best to consult an attorney if you decide to incorporate, form a limited liability company or a partnership. Incorporation papers are available at the State, Bureau of Corporations – 207.624.7736 or

4) It’s also critical to protect the name of your business by filing a Trademark or Service Mark with the Secretary of State’s office;

There are a number of local, regional and state organizations ready to be of assistance, but it can be confusing.  The MGFPA should be your first stop, so please pick up the phone to call – 207.622.4461 or send an email to


The Maine SBDC has been recognized as a leader in the small business economic and development arenas. The SBDC concept is a simple but effective one: assist entrepreneurs and small businesses through no-cost confidential business advising and training.

The Maine SBDC program helps build and strengthen small businesses through business advising, training and educational resources. Certified business advisors provide guidance on topics such as business feasibility, business plan development, capital acquisition, financial management, marketing and sales, e-commerce, customer service, personnel management, small business strategic planning and more. Visit: 


Looking for help with Starting a Business, Business Licensing,
Corporate Resources, Business Taxes, or Employer Resources? Visit:


Learn more about Maine’s unbeatable location, workforce, and training programs. Visit: