August 19, 2019  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Iowa Entrepreneurs  
  Keokuk, Iowa Resources for Entrepreneurs is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Opening a Business in Keokuk, Iowa

Contemplating starting a business in Keokuk, Iowa? We walk you through the process of opening a business in Keokuk.

Are You Sure You Want to Do This?

Before you get too far along in the process, take inventory of your entrepreneurial instincts and capabilities.

Because entrepreneurship is not for everyone, we recommend you do the following to help you assess whether you should move forward with starting a business:

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Keokuk. Ask them candidly what it's like to run a business.
  • We recommend reading Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Seek the advice of somebody who knows you well. The people who know you best are often in the best position to tell you bluntly whether you will be a good entrepreneur.

Which Business to Choose?

Choosing a business that is right for you is very important. To help you decide on a business type, we encourage you to read Business Ideas That Don't Make Sense.

For in-depth how-to guides on how to start specific businesses, browse our Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Starting a Personal Loans Business guide or our Opening a Tires Retreading & Repair Business guide.

Remember that you are starting a business in Keokuk. The business you want to start may already be well-represented in Keokuk. Study Keokuk demographics and do a competitive analysis as part of your startup planning process.

Keokuk, Iowa Demographic Information

Keokuk has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.

To give you a better feel for Keokuk demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Keokuk.

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 644
5-9 Employees 317
10-19 Employees 156
20-49 Employees 108
50-99 Employees 36
100-249 Employees 15
250-499 Employees 15
500-999 Employees 0
1000+ Employees 0
All Keokuk Businesses 1291

As a new Keokuk entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Keokuk for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.

Business Type # of
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Ambulance Services 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 1
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 1
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 5
Beauty Salons 4
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 1
Boat Dealers 1
Book Stores 3
Bowling Centers 1
Business Associations 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 1
Canvas and Related Product Mills 1
Car Washes 2
Caterers 1
Child and Youth Services 1
Child Day Care Services 4
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 1
Civic and Social Organizations 2
Collection Agencies 1
Computer and Software Stores 2
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 1
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 2
Credit Unions 6
Dental Laboratories 1
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 1
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 1
Discount Department Stores 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 7
Electric Power Distribution 1
Electrical Contractors 7
Elementary and Secondary Schools 1
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Engineering Services 3
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 1
Family Clothing Stores 1
Family Planning Centers 1
Florists 1
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing 1
Framing Contractors 1
Freight Transportation Arrangement 1
Full-Service Restaurants 16
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 3
General Automotive Repair 5
General Freight Trucking, Local 2
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Warehousing and Storage 1
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 2
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 1
Grantmaking Foundations 1
Hardware Stores 1
Household Appliance Stores 2
Industrial Building Construction 1
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 13
Internet Service Providers 1
Janitorial Services 2
Jewelry Stores 1
Landscaping Services 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 8
Logging 1
Machine Shops 6
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Marine Cargo Handling 1
Meat Markets 1
Men's Clothing Stores 2
Motorcycle Dealers 2
Museums 1
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 1
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Housing Operative Builders 1
Newspaper Publishers 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 1
Nursing Care Facilities 1
Office Administrative Services 1
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 2
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 2
Offices of Chiropractors 4
Offices of Dentists 7
Offices of Lawyers 7
Offices of Optometrists 2
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 2
Payroll Services 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 2
Photography Studios, Portrait 2
Port and Harbor Operations 1
Quick Printing 1
Radio Stations 2
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 1
Residential Property Managers 2
Residential Remodelers 4
Retail Bakeries 1
Roofing Contractors 1
Securities Brokerage 3
Septic Tank and Related Services 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 1
Shoe Stores 2
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 2
Solid Waste Collection 2
Sporting Goods Stores 2
Steel Foundries (except Investment) 2
Tax Preparation Services 1
Telemarketing Bureaus 1
Temporary Help Services 2
Temporary Shelters 1
Tire Dealers 3
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 1
Travel Agencies 1
Used Car Dealers 4
Used Merchandise Stores 4
Vending Machine Operators 1
Veterinary Services 1
Video Tape and Disc Rental 3
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 1
Wet Corn Milling 3
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 2
Women's Clothing Stores 2

Forming a Company in Keokuk, Iowa

A critical step is ensuring that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will protect you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporating is a very popular way to form a business. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. If you are starting a business in Iowa, it doesn't mean you are required to incorporate in Iowa. In fact, you are allowed to incorporate in the state of your choosing. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There are many nuances to forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Dissolving a Corporation. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Keokuk, Iowa, our information on Incorporating in Iowa may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Iowa.

Raising Money for Your New Venture

Getting your Keokuk business the capital it needs to succeed requires strong organization skills and perseverance. Bootstrapping, which means growing the business without outside funding, is the best alternative, but that's not a viable option for many startup plans.

Take advantage of our many articles on raising capital, such as SBIR Funding.

For Keokuk entrepreneurs who need startup capital, check out our List of Iowa Angel Investors and our List of Iowa Venture Capital Firms.

The Art of Selling

Being able to sell is critical to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Keokuk or are selling to customers throughout Iowa, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

Good selling involves demonstrating that your wares meet your customer's needs. Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

Compensating Sales People is a good article to read, one of dozens in the Selling for Entrepreneurs section of our site.

Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Skills

The best business owners recognize that they don't know everything.

With your business being located in Keokuk, Iowa, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Iowa universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also worthwhile to see if there are any networking organizations for Keokuk entrepreneurs.

Next Steps

You have a dream -- starting a business in Keokuk. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.

From this point on, you control your own destiny.

We are here to help Keokuk businesses to be successful. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Keokuk, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Keokuk, Iowa

Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Keokuk.

  • Resources for Keokuk, Iowa Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Keokuk entrepreneurs.
  • Iowa Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Iowa.
  • Iowa Small Business Development Center - The Iowa SBDC conducts research, counsels, and trains business people in management, financing, and operating small businesses. They provide comprehensive information services and access to experts in a variety of fields. This is a great resource for Iowa entrepreneurs!



Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money


Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety