Doing Business in Cordova


Starting a new business is a very exciting prospect, one that requires research, preparation, and often times hard work. It 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? The rewards are plenty: be your own boss, profit from your own labors, provide jobs for your community, offer valued services or products… Plus, when you succeed the success is yours!


    Even if your business is already running, it can be really helpful to write a business plan. It gives your business the best possible chance of success by ensuring that you pay attention to both the broad operational and financial objectives of your new or existing business and the details, such as budgeting and market planning. Here’s the great news: our friends at Alaska SBDC can help you put one together for FREE!


    Sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, corporation, limited liability company, business trust, non-profit… There are lots of ways to set up your business, and your structure can give you great benefits. Doing your research right away and picking the right fit for your business is essential. Learn more…


    This often starts with a financial analysis. Again, this is something we can help you work on as part of your Business Plan with our friends at Alaska SBDC. Scroll up and fill out the contact form to get started. Learn more about incentivized loans…


    First, you’ll need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is issued either by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or by the IRS. A Social Security number (SSN) is issued by the SSA whereas all other TINs are issued by the IRS. Learn more…

    Then, you’ll need an AK Unemployment Insurance ID number. Does every business need Unemployment Insurance (UI) coverage? Most do. “For UI Tax purposes, any person, firm, corporation, Limited Liability Company, or other type of organization that hires one or more individuals to perform services for its direct benefit during any portion of the day is an employer… Alaska statutes do not provide for UI coverage for self-employed individuals… Out-of-state and multi-state employers must set up accounts for workers who are hired in Alaska and perform work in Alaska. Employers may also be required to report to Alaska the workers who are hired out-of-state and brought to work in Alaska… Fishing operations are excluded under Alaska law when there are less than 10 crew members, and the crew is paid on a share basis. Tender operations and fish processing wages, however, are reportable.” Learn more…

    And then business licenses:

    The City of Cordova requires a State of Alaska business license in order to issue a City of Cordova business license, so do this first. Cordova Chamber also requires both a City and State business license to become a member. Click here to get started.

    Once you have your State of Alaska business license, you can get your City of Cordova business license. This must be renewed annually, and is connected to your quarterly Sales Tax reporting. Click here to get started.


    Cordova Chamber of Commerce membership is a sound business decision that can help you start on the right track and open up all sorts of resources for you and your business! We provide business training classes that are included in Chamber membership and many services to help you spread the word about your business and connect with your customers, other businesses, and outside resources. Scroll down for more info or click to Learn more…


    Connecting with others in the business community can create for you a better reputation, increased visibility, a stronger support network, improved business growth, and more impactful professional relationships. Maybe you already know someone who you look up to professionally. If not, contact us at the Chamber to get connected to your local business community through our networking events, committees, groups, and mentor program. Spending time with and learning from others who have been where you are can be invaluable!


    Whether you’re planning to operate online or in a brick-and-mortar location, you’ll still need space to do your work. Start by contacting your bank or loan officer to see what you can afford. Then contact a local real estate agent to see what’s available. Sometimes you can even find local, state or national incentive programs to help make this easier. Alaska is a great place to do business, and Cordova is poised for growth. Learn more about business incentive programs…


    We believe that small businesses are the heart and sole of the community. They provide our goods and services, and support our non-profits and school groups. Learning legal and fair business practices is paramount, and reading our Cordova Chamber of Commerce code of ethics is a good place to start. You should also explore business insurance options. Joining the Chamber is also a great way to make sure you are on the right track. Learn more…


    As part of your chamber membership, you will have access to basic bookkeeping classes and you’ll learn how imperative it is to the success of any business. Depending the scale of your business and your comfort level, you may want to start out with a bookkeeping or accounting service. Then as you become more comfortable with your business and all that it requires, you may find that using a bookkeeping program like Mint or 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. For those completely new to business, this Young Entrepreneur’s Glossary may prove very helpful.

When considering opening a new business, there are great resources of which you should avail yourself. 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. This is not an exhaustive list and you should do your own complete research and planning. Here are some other helpful resources:



  • Business Training Classes & Development Resources at our Business Empowerment Series classes throughout the year
  • Business Community Connections through Chamber Networking Events & Classes
  • Promotion through our Online & Print Directories, Visitor Center and Shopping, Dining & Tour Lists
  • Ribbon Cutting Support & Event Promotion through our Online Calendar & Email Announcements
  • Access to Discounted & Targeted Cooperative Advertising in Local & Statewide Publications