Iowa Business Startup Guides

Start a Business in Lake City, Iowa

Are you starting a business in Lake City, Iowa? This article discusses the most important things to consider when opening a business in Lake City.

Are You Sure You Want to Do This?

Before you get too far along in the process, assess 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 Lake City. Ask them candidly what it's like to run a business.
  • We recommend reading Should You Become an Entrepreneur?. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Have a candid conversation with friends and family. The people who know you best are often in the best position to tell you bluntly whether you will be a good entrepreneur.

Lake City, Iowa Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size
# of
1-4 Employees
5-9 Employees
10-19 Employees
20-49 Employees
50-99 Employees
100-249 Employees
250-499 Employees
500-999 Employees
1000+ Employees
All Lake City Businesses

As a new Lake City entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Lake City 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
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
Full-Service Restaurants
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services
General Automotive Repair
General Freight Trucking, Local
Golf Courses and Country Clubs
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing
Hardware Stores
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages
Janitorial Services
Jewelry Stores
Limited-Service Restaurants
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing
Musical Instrument Manufacturing
New Car Dealers
Newspaper Publishers
Nursing Care Facilities
Offices of Chiropractors
Offices of Lawyers
Offices of Optometrists
Pharmacies and Drug Stores
Residential Remodelers
Savings Institutions
Veterinary Services
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing

Choosing a Company Name

A good company name can give a big boost to a new startup. It might seem like an easy thing to do, but there are many things to consider when naming a business.

Company names should be fun to say, and they should help people to understand what you do and how you differentiate yourself in the market.

For other considerations regarding naming a company, we recommend this article: Branding Advice.

As a final piece of advice, remember that because you are opening a business in Lake City, it's very important that you make sure no Iowa company has already registered the company name you have selected.

Company Formation in Lake City, Iowa

It's very important that you choose the right legal structure for your new entity. Among other things, forming a legal entity for the business limits your liabilities.

When forming a company, you will decide among many company types, such as 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. Just because you are starting a business in Iowa, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Iowa. As it turns out, you are allowed to incorporate in any state you would like to. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There's a lot to know about forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Corporate Formalities. You should also consider getting professional assistance from your business lawyer. On a final note, since you will be starting a business in Lake City, Iowa, our web page covering Incorporating in Iowa may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Iowa.

Don't Skip the Business Plan

A business plan is vital in laying a solid foundation for your business success. In effect, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Failure to write a business plan is a recipe for disaster.

If you want more information on writing business plans, we recommend reading Free Business Plan Templates. You can also get free counseling sessions provided by your local SCORE chapter in Iowa.

Where to Get Money to Start a Company

Obtaining startup financing for your Lake City business is a difficult chore. In fact, financing your new business may be the hardest challenge you ever face.

On the bright side, this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled Business Cash Advances.

For Lake City entrepreneurs who want to raise money for a new venture, check out our List of Iowa Angel Investors and our List of Iowa Venture Capital Firms.

Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Skills

Successful entrepreneurs know that they don't know everything.

With your business being located in Lake City, Iowa, you should check out some of the learning programs at local Iowa educational institutions. Another way to keep up on your learning is to investigate Lake City networking organizations.

Next Steps

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

From this point on, you control your own destiny.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Lake City and elsewhere to achieve real success. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Lake City, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Lake City, Iowa

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

  • Resources for Lake City, Iowa Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Lake City 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!

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