Retail Sq. Ft.  is designed to be an entry portal and central point-of-contact for any retail business interested in starting, expanding or relocating within downtown New Haven. We are as invested in your success and prosperity as you are. That’s why all of our knowledge, experience, research and contacts are at your disposal. If the answers you seek aren’t addressed here, you can contact Chris Ortwein, Retail Sq. Ft. Manager at

How We Can Help

You’ve got your idea and initial plans. You’re ready to begin the process of opening a business, but aren’t sure where to start.  Retail Sq. Ft. is here to help you navigate the approval process and provide the information you need to open your retail business or restaurant in downtown New Haven.

Getting Started

The most common mistake for a new business start-up is being undercapitalized and lacking a firm grip on the financial realities of running a business. Next is overlooking important details - an example is opening for business without a State Tax Number. Be sure to refer to the checklist listed on these pages. One final pitfall to avoid: many new entrepreneurs believe they can do everything themselves. You should depend on qualified advisors: an attorney, accountant, banker and business counselor.

Get help from a business attorney when starting a business. If you cannot afford one, contact the Yale Law Clinic (203-432-4800), which provides free legal services to potential New Haven business owners.

A Certified  Public Accountant (CPA) can help your business with a multitude of services from compliance work such as accounting and taxes, to management advisory services and even personal financial planning. Contact the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA) CPA Referral Service at 800-232-2232.(CMS).

New Business Checklist

Please answer "YES" or "NO" in response to the following:

  • Written a description of the products and/or services that you will be providing, and you have defined the market area you are going to serve.
  • Written a business plan, defining both your short range and long range goals and objectives.
  • Written financial plan, including projected profit and loss statements and cash flow statements, for a period of at least two years for each of three cases your    expected case, the best case and the worst case.
  • Outlined the money requirements for your start up costs and for your three cash flow projections, and secured financial backing to cover the worst case   projection for at least two years.
  • Studied your market, checked zoning regulations and state and local licensing requirements, and found a good location for your business.
  • Developed a marketing plan and budget.
  • Decided on the type of business you will operate - sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation.
  • Acquired and sought advice from an attorney, an accountant, a banker, and an insurance agent, for your business.

If you answered "NO" to any of the above...then you are not ready to start your business.

Get further help developing your business plan--call Retail Sq. Ft. at 203.401.4245 x. 205