Whether you are a current business or looking to relocate to Gorham, the Gorham Economic Development Corporation can serve as a resource and advocate for your business. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the GEDC engages with Town staff, elected officials and community leaders to attract, preserve and promote desirable economic development in the Town of Gorham.
We encourage businesses to contact the Town of Gorham’s Department of Community and Economic Development for assistance. The Department is comprised of three divisions: Planning, Economic Development and Code Enforcement, and provides the best place to start for answering your questions or addressing any issues through the license, permit and approval process for the Town.
BUSINESS SERVICES INCLUDE
Starting a New Business in Maine
The State of Maine provides comprehensive information on the requirements of starting a business in Maine, which can be found on the Starting a Business website:
- Registering your business, getting a business license, registering as an employer.
- Registering online for Maine sales & use tax and/or income tax withholding
- Registering Marks with the State of Maine
- Business workshops, financing, and small business assistance.
An online Business Licensing Assistant is available through Maine.gov to lead you through a series of questions about the type of business you are trying to start, and provide a list of licenses, permits or qualifications you need.
Doing business in Gorham
In addition to any State license requirements, businesses will likely require additional licensing and permitting approvals by the Town of Gorham prior to opening. The Department of Community Development is available to answer questions from current and prospective businesses in Gorham. Typically, we invite businesses to join a Town staff meeting involving multiple departments, where businesses can share plans and discuss next steps for approval. This helps to establish a working relationship between Town and business owner, and clarify the expectations and guidelines for advancing a project.
Below are brief descriptions of Departments and Divisions within the Town of Gorham and their role in engaging businesses for local permitting and approvals.
Department of Community Development: The Department of Community Development is comprised of three different divisions, which includes Planning, Code Enforcement & Assessment, and Economic Development.
Economic Development: The Economic Development Division focuses on business attraction and retention efforts to allow for the expansion of the business community in Gorham, thereby stabilizing and expanding the tax base and creating jobs for its citizens. We serve as a liaison and point of contact for businesses interacting with the Town, ensuring their needs are addressed in a timely and efficient manner.
Phone: (207) 222-1628
Planning: The Planning Department Division processes all applications for land use development requiring Planning Board review, in particular a subdivision and site plan review. Some site plan projects can be reviewed administratively by staff and in collaboration with other departments, while the more complex development projects must be reviewed by the Planning Board. Phone: (207) 222-1620
Code Enforcement & Assessment: The Code Enforcement Officer provides interpretation of the Gorham Land Use and Development Code and other state regulations. Code Enforcement issues Use Permits and other permits, as necessary, and Certificates of Occupancy to businesses after consideration of zoning regulations and compliance with applicable building codes and other laws.
Phone: (207) 222-1605
Town Clerk: The Town Clerk Office is responsible for a variety of services on behalf of the Town, including issuance of most licenses, including Victualer’s (food service) and Liquor; and payment of taxes. In some cases, a business must file a Certificate of Sole Proprietor with the Town Clerk, following receipt of a Use Permit from the Code office.
Phone: (207) 222-1670
Fire Prevention and Safety: The Town of Gorham enforces specific fire safety regulations for residential and commercial buildings, including a Fire Sprinkler Ordinance for new and existing buildings. Fire safety regulations are reviewed as part of the local permitting process, and may include additional follow up prior to receipt of a Certificate of Occupancy. Code opinions can also be issued during initial concept discussions to help guide projects.
Phone: (207) 222-1660
Public Works: The Department of Public Works maintains Gorham’s core services and advises on site configuration for business entrances and traffic flow, ensuring lots allow for ready access to all types of vehicles. In addition, DPW is responsible for ensuring the Town’s compliance with permit regulations on stormwater runoff, erosion control, and water quality, which are included as part of a project’s overall site plan review for new construction.
Phone: (207) 892-9062