Since 1916, the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce has lead the way for the businesses of Council Bluffs to plan and execute a transformation. 

If you need help with your small business, contact us at (712) 325-1000.

How to start a business

Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also an incredibly challenging undertaking. The resources in this section will help you learn about what it takes to start a business.


As a business owner, you will need a solid understanding of your market and current economic conditions to plan for business growth and success. The following resources provide statistics on a variety of U.S. industries and business conditions.

Business Types

One of the first decisions you will make is the type of business you will open. Before making your decision, explore the opportunities that are available like a home-based or online business. Business types include green, startups & high growth, home-based, online, and many more. 

Write Your Business Plan

A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. 

Choosing your business structure

The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications. Learn about the different types of business structures and find the one best suited for your business.

Registering your business

Choosing and registering your business name is a key step to legally operating your business and potentially obtaining financial aid from the government.

Choose Your Business Location & Equipment

These resources can help ensure your small business is compliant with leasing terms and zoning ordinances. It also provides information about buying or leasing equipment or buying government surplus.

Licenses & Permits

To run your business legally, there are certain federal and state licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the requirements for your small business.


As a small business owner, you are subject to some of the laws and regulations that apply to large corporations. These resources can help you understand which requirements do apply to your business.

Business Financials

Improve your odds of business success by understanding your financing needs as well as the options that are available to help you start, manage and grow your business.

Finance Your Business

You have a variety of options when it comes to financing your small business. Explore your opportunities that range from traditional loans to grants and bonds.

filing & paying taxes

Find out if your business needs to obtain a tax ID and what the benefits and requirements are.

hire & retain employees

Ready to hire employees for your business? Learn about employment and labor laws to make sure your business is in compliance.


Ready to hire employees for your business? Learn about employment and labor laws to make sure your business is in compliance.


  • 149 W. Broadway
  • Council Bluffs, IA 51503
  • Phone 712-325-1000
  • Toll Free 1-800-228-6878
  • Fax 712-322-5698
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