Start a Business
Waukee recognizes the vital role of local businesses in the economic growth and stability of the community. Starting a business involves planning, making key financial and legal decisions, and connecting with individuals who will help make your business successful. The following steps can help you plan and launch your business in Waukee.
1. Write a business plan
- Write down your idea and some notes about your idea. Then, get started on your business plan. For assistance, request counseling with the Small Business Development Center.
2. Apply to Venture School (optional)
- The University of Iowa Venture School is a statewide program that emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship. The 6-week program is offered online and in person in Iowa City, Des Moines, Quad Cities, and Cedar Falls.
3. Request Business Counseling
- The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides no fee, confidential, customized business counseling to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
- The City of Waukee refers local entrepreneurs to the SBDC to help them develop their business ideas. Community & Economic Development staff can help entrepreneurs locate specific information (demographics, consumer spending, zoning and building codes, etc.) to support a business plan.
4. Understand the Regulatory Environment
- If you wish to operate your business under a trade name, visit the Dallas County Recorder to register your trade name.
- Iowa licensing requirements vary by the type of business. Review the Licensing Resources for Small Business fact sheet or visit IASourcelink.com for more information.
- The City of Waukee does not require local licensing. Community & Economic Development staff is available to help entrepreneurs understand zoning regulations and apply for building and sign permits, if needed.
5. Choose a Business Location
6. Finance Your Business
- The SBDC assists entrepreneurs in identifying financing opportunities, projecting cash flows and creating loan proposals.
- Waukee Community & Economic Development staff evaluates business for local financial incentives and supports businesses’ applications for state economic development incentives.
7. Discover Local Resources
- In addition to the Small Business Development Center, there are many local resources that support small business.