Starting a Business in La Vista
Thinking about opening a business? Looking to expand an existing one? This page provides excellent information and step-by-step instructions on how to get started doing business in the City of La Vista.
If you are new to business and want more information on starting out, read on. For business veterans needing information on how to get going in La Vista, see our Developer Tools page.
Steps to Opening a Small Business
Make the Decision
If you are thinking about opening a business, make sure it is the right decision for you. The Small Business Administration website has a wealth of information to help you determine if you are ready to proceed.
Create a Business Plan and Decide on a Structure
Planning is key to a successful business. Not only will it help steer the business along your intended course, but it will force you to take a critical look at what the business entails and how you can overcome obstacles before you run into them. How your business is structured must also be decided, whether you intend to be the sole operator, have a partner, or create a separate legal entity. Take a look at the SBA’s sections on planning and structuring for more information.
Get Professional Advice
A good place to start is to contact the local SCORE chapter - SCORE Omaha. They are a national non-profit organization that offers free advice from working and retired business professionals who volunteer to help new business owners get started and stay on course.
The big question, of course, is how will you finance the first stage of your business? Many small businesses are started with personal savings and investments from family and friends, but start-ups can also seek traditional bank financing, generally through SBAs Guaranteed Loan Programs.
You can also check out the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce for more information on how to obtain financing within the area.
Name Your Business
Before choosing a name, think about its web-readiness: can you obtain a suitable domain and social media identity? If not, consider tweaking the name to create a stronger web presence. Take a look at the SBA’s suggestions for more help.
Next, you will need to find out if your name is available and register it with the State of Nebraska.
Obtain Licenses and Permits
This is the first step that will involve the City of La Vista directly. There are different permits for different businesses and needs.
The City of La Vista requires permits for all signs within its boundaries. See Signs for more information.
Locate Your Business
When looking for a suitable location, you can use the city’s Zoning Map (PDF) to see where your business could be fit. For some situations you may need a Conditional Use Permit (PDF) to operate your business in a certain location. You will also want to think about possible site concerns like landscaping requirements and building codes.
21 Questions to Ask When Leasing or Purchasing a Site for Your Business (PDF) - a useful guide for the site selection process.
For more information, see the Community Development Department website.