Things to Consider Before Opening a Business in Dearborn

Downtown ECD

Dearborn is a community with a diverse population, unique demographics, and a large number of business districts to choose to open a business within. Use these guidelines to find the right spot for your business and ensure that it will survive, thrive and contribute to the community for years to come!

Demographic Characteristics

Understanding the demographic profile of your potential customers is vital to your success. Demographic studies, such as the U.S. Census, report the characteristics of a population; for example, the size, growth, density, age, race and average incomes of a targeted group. The following links detail the U.S. Census data for the City of Dearborn:

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments Community Profile

U.S. Census Quick Facts about Dearborn

Target Market

Identify who will buy your product or service as they are likely to have similar characteristics. Consider such factors as the age, sex and income of the target market; leisure and lifestyle habits; whether they need or want your product or service.

Effect of Traffic Counts and Patterns

Consider the speed and volume of traffic near your planned business. pdf The Traffic Counts map can be accessed here (1.96 MB) . Walkability, visibility, parking and proximity to public transportation can all be important factors to consider, depending on the type of business.

Considerations in Selecting a Retail Site

The City of Dearborn includes multiple unique business districts, including downtowns, industrial areas, and shopping complexes. Review the various districts before purchasing or leasing a commercial building to be sure that it’s a good fit for your intended use.

Contact the chambers of commerce and community development offices in desired areas

Locate and map competitors

Contact several commercial realtors to evaluate their properties.

Anticipate the following when planning your facility:

  • Visit similar non-competing businesses and find out if they would choose that site again. Why? Why not?
  • Why did the last tenant leave the vacant property you are considering? Ask former tenants and neighbors.
  • Have an attorney review your lease. The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association can assist.
  • Check out the competition and see what they're doing right.
  • Consider if your neighbor's business is good for your business.

Local Ordinances

Regardless of your business, you must comply with local zoning ordinances and building codes. If you intend to use a property for something outside of its current zoning allowances, you will be required to submit a request for rezoning.

Click here to access the City’s Zoning Map

Click here to access the City of Dearborn Zoning Ordinance

Note: If your proposed location is within the east or west downtown boundaries, there are additional guidelines within the BD- Downtown Business District that must be followed.

Do not rely on legal interpretations from leasing agents, landlords or contractors. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Help in Choosing a Location

Choosing a location has risks so do your homework. You will save money by providing a consultant with pre-selected locations rather than letting them do the search. Bankers, lawyers and realtors can be a resource on possible locations. Ask an experienced real estate attorney to review a lease before you sign.​

Industrial and Commercial Real Estate

The MEDC maintains a searchable database that provides you access to available industrial and commercial property in Michigan. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all properties available in the City of Dearborn.