Starting a Business in Cordova

We’re Here to Support Small Business!

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!

Your path to small business ownership may look something like this:

  • Write a business plan

    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! Scroll up and fill out the form to get more info.

  • Find a business mentor

    Maybe you already know someone who you look up to professionally. If not, contact us at the Chamber to sign up for a business mentor. Spending time with and learning from others who have been where you are can be invaluable! Scroll up and fill out the form for more info!

  • Choose your business location

    This can be challenging, but there are resources available. 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…

  • Get your finances in order

    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…

  • Settle on the legal structure of your business

    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…

  • Get a Taxpayer Identification Number with the IRS

    A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. 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…

  • Get 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…

  • Get your State of Alaska business license

    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.

  • Get your City of Cordova business license

    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.

  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce

    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 also provide many services to help you spread the word about your business and connect with your customers. Scroll down for more info or click to Learn more…

  • Understand your responsibilities as a business owner.

    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. Joining the Chamber is also a great way to make sure you are on the right track. Learn more…

  • Keep accurate records

    As you research about starting your business, you will learn about basic bookkeeping and how imperative it is to the success of any business.  You may want to start out with a bookkeeping 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:


Alaska Small Business Development Center
Internal Revenue Service
State of Alaska – Business
State of Alaska Department of Revenue
US Census Facts – Alaska
Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Resource Development Council for Alaska

For Up to Date Funding and Grant Notifications

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Joining the Chamber is a Sound Business Decision!

You’ll Receive:

  • Business Training & Support

    Your membership will now include access to the Cordova Business Empowerment Summit! This event aims to facilitate a gathering of Cordova business leaders and provide them with education and guidance to uplevel their organization on multiple fronts. Including vital resources to our business community, the two-day event in November will be followed by a second session in April. We also offer access to skill-building, facilitated collaboration sessions to connect you with other businesses, and networking events to help you grow and scale with less pain and more control.

  • Healthcare Coverage

    Cordova Chamber Members and their employees are now eligible for SALA healthcare coverage. This progressive alternative to healthcare insurance is a popular and low-cost option for employers to offer competitive benefits to employees and and good option for entrepreneurs to get coverage for themselves. Click here to learn more.

  • Business referrals

    We are often the first contact for visitors planning a trip to Cordova or their first stop upon arriving in town. We also get hundreds of online searches and calls each year from individuals checking to see if a business is a chamber member or looking for a business to fill their needs.  We refer only chamber members on our Catering, Lodging, Tours, and Services list that is shared with visitors, groups, and at events.

  • Publicity & Exposure

    We are often the first contact for visitors planning a trip to Cordova or their first stop upon arriving in town. We also get hundreds of online searches and calls each year from individuals checking to see if a business is a chamber member or looking for a business to fill their needs.  We refer only chamber members on our Catering, Lodging, Tours, and Services list that is shared with visitors, groups, and at events.

  • Recognition

    In addition to the promotion that comes along with a Chamber membership, you can gain expanded exposure for your business by sponsoring one or all of our signature events that are open to the entire community. Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival, the Old Time 4th of July Celebration, Cordova Fungus Festival, and the annual Hometown Holiday Kickoff & Tree Lighting all provide excellent exposure for your business or organization. You can even become an All-event sponsor (click here for more info). We also offered elevated opportunities for participation and recognition in community wide projects through our Corporate Level Memberships. Contact us for more info.

  • Credibility

    Did you know 69% of consumers believe that chamber membership is a sign of a reputable, stable business? 70% believe that it demonstrates that you use good business practices. Being a member of the chamber gives your business real credibility.

  • Community

    Joining the Chamber means joining a community of business owners. Membership in the Chamber is also an investment in your business future as well as our community’s future. As a chamber member, you will help sustain and improve the quality of life that you, your family, and your employees enjoy. Experience the rewards of leveraging your resources and working with other local business leaders to help make the community where you live and work a better place. Click here to learn more about getting involved.