How to Find a New Business Before They Open

by Chris Blank; Updated September 26, 2017

If you are a job seeker hunting for new opportunities, or are simply curious about the goings on of your neighborhood or town, one way of getting a head start on learning of new developments is to discover new businesses before they actually open their doors. With the help of public records and other announcements, it is possible to find out about a new business before it opens.

Step 1

Check news stories. The opening of a new business is often considered newsworthy. This is especially true if it means the possibility of new jobs coming to town.

Step 2

Inspect public records for building permits. The place to check is usually named the Department of Buildings or something similar. Check for new commercial construction or renovation.

Step 3

Search "doing business as" and business license records. These records are usually published as public notices in the advertising section of the local paper. In many areas, the records are also searchable online.


  • In some locations, public records are gathered and published either online or in hard copy and are made available free or at low cost.

    Large businesses may be reported in the general news pages, but you should also check the business pages for news about smaller businesses.


  • The information available may pertain to a company headquarters rather than the local business. This is especially true of large companies planning to open an office in a new location.

About the Author

Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.