Starting a business easier on peninsula

How easy is starting a business on the Kenai Peninsula in 2015? Due to improving technology and more resources to assist prospective business owners, it’s never been easier, according to many around the community.

To start a business on the Kenai, a person must get a state of Alaska business license and a Kenai Peninsula Borough sales tax certificate. Other permits vary depending on the city, and nature of the business.

According to Kathy Fagerstrom, program coordinator for the Alaska division of corporations, business and professional licensing, the state of Alaska began offering business licenses online in August 2000. Before that, applications had to be filled out and sent in by mail.

Scott Cunningham, who owns several McDonald’s restaurants on the peninsula, said the state of Alaska website is relatively easy to navigate. He said that when he initially applied for a business license over two decades ago, it was done through the mail. However, the internet has made the process more convenient.

“It does make it a lot easier,” Cunning-ham said. “It’s super simple.”

Bryan Zak, assistant state director for the Alaska Small Business Development Center, also said getting a general business license online is a fairly simple process.

“Compared to years past, I would say it’s definitely easier,” Zak said. “The main reason for that is where the internet and technology is as far as the usefulness of information to help you get a business started.”

Zak said the online process is not only easy — it’s quick as well. “Obtaining a business license the state of Alaska business-licensing site, you are able to go to the site and actually complete the paper within 15 minutes and have a business license,” Zak said.

The Alaska Small Business Development Center, which offers free consultations to people wishing to start a business, has many locations around Alaska. Their website also provides tools to help people in different stages of business development. Zak said such tools and resources weren’t readily available in years past.

“I definitely feel like it’s so much easier than it ever used to be,” Zak said. “In the past, finding a good business planning tool or financial projection model tool was difficult. You may find it if you took a class at the college or something, so it was a more long-term commitment from the person thinking about starting the business.”

The biggest mistake small business owners make is not doing a financial projection he said.

“If you don’t do a financial projection first, and you go ahead and move forward without looking at a cash flow or a financial projection for that business — that would be a big mistake,” he said.

More in News

Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove poses for a photo on Jan. 9, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The veteran Alaska legislator was passing through Homer while waiting to take the M/V Tustumena ferry to Kodiak. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Clem Tillion, PFD founder and former legislator, dies at 96

Tillion died Wedneday, Oct. 13, at Halibut Cove home.

Thunder Mountain High School on April 18.  Earlier this fall, vandalism including stolen soap dispensers and toilets clogged with foreign objects such as paper towel rolls were a problem at schools nationwide and in Juneau. But, principals say the local situation is improving. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
After brief surge, vandalism subsiding at local high schools

Principals say internet trends, stress likely behind incidents.

In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Alaska man faces federal charges after authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill Murkowski, according to court documents unsealed Wed., Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)
Delta Junction man faces charges over threatening Murkowski’s life

Authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill the senator.

Donna Aderhold recites the Homer City Council oath of office and is sworn in for duty at the city council meeting on Oct. 11. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
New council members sworn into duty Monday

Newly-elected Homer City Council members Shelly Erickson and Jason Davis and re-elected… Continue reading

Runners participate in boys varsity race at the Ted McKenney XC Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The trails recently reported incidents of vandalism and theft. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Vandalism and theft reported at Tsalteshi Trails

One trail user reported stolen skis recently and multiple signs have been defaced.

At left Bonita Banks, RN, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) nurse at Homer Medical Center, and at right, Annie Garay, RN, Community Health Educator, pose for a photo at South Peninsula Hospital on Sept. 27, 2021, at Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
New hospital community health educator starts

Garay, a Homer raised nurse, came home to ride out COVID-19, wound up doing pandemic nursing.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Montessori school goes to universal indoor masking

As of Tuesday, eight KPBSD schools were operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Crabbers look at cuts to quotas

Tanner, opilio crab quotas cut on top of cancellation of fall king crab fishery.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Judge sides with psychiatrists who alleged wrongful firing

Two psychiatrists said they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office.

Most Read