Starting a new business is a very exciting prospect, one that requires research, preparation, and often times hard work. The rewards are plenty: be your own boss, profit from your own labors, provide jobs for your community; provide valued services or products for your community, to name a few. There are risks to be sure; the most obvious being risking hard saved capital and maybe a less obvious risk is personal sacrifice. Starting your own business will likely cost more money than you think and will take up more of your personal time and resources than you plan. So why do it? When you succeed the success is yours!
There are great resources you should avail yourself of when considering opening your new business. Some of the best online sources are the Small Business Administration, the State of Alaska and the City of Cordova. Your bank is also another important resource for your new venture. Work with them in every way possible as you do your research and planning.
In a nutshell your path to small business ownership may look something like this:
1. Join your local Chamber of Commerce
2. Write a business plan
3. Find a business mentor
4. Choose your business location
5. Get your finances in order
6. Settle on the legal structure of your business
7. Get a Taxpayer Identification Number with the IRS
8. Get an Unemployment Insurance Identification Number from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
9. Get your State of Alaska business license
10. Get your City of Cordova business license
11. Understand all of your responsibilities as a business owner.
This is not an exhaustive list and you should do your own complete research and planning.
As you do your research about starting your business you will learn about basic bookkeeping and how imperative it will be to the success of your business. You may want to start out with a bookkeeping service and as you become more comfortable with your business and all that it requires you may find that using a bookkeeping program such as QuickBooks suits you well. The bottom line is keep good and true records. Track all your expenses and all your income. Track your employees hours as well as your own. Work with a tax preparer. Keep up with your accounting on a daily basis and you will find that it will not overwhelm you.
City of Cordova Business License Application
Small Business Administration - http://www.sba.gov/
Internal Revenue Service - http://www.irs.gov/
State of Alaska – Business - http://alaska.gov/businesshome.html
State of Alaska Department of Revenue - http://dor.alaska.gov/
US Census Facts – Alaska - http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/02000.html
Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development - http://commerce.alaska.gov/
Resource Development Council for Alaska - http://www.akrdc.org/