Begin with the US Small Business Administration’s website to write a business plan, get assistance and training, apply for your Federal Tax ID number, and more!

9 Steps to Starting a Business

Remember: Because each business is different, each business startup pathway will never be exactly the same. Be sure to check back to our “Go Local!” page for intermittent assistance throughout your business startup process.


Go Local!

 You’ve done your research, and created a business plan; it’s time to connect with local partners in Cullman. See opportunities and resources that are available right outside your front door!


 
Find Local Resources in each of the following categories which are detailed below:

 

Legal Advice

Filing for your Business License and Name Reservation
Capital Funding and Financing
Business Incentives
Local Tax Information
Zoning Requirements
Insurance
Real Estate
Accounting
Developing a Marketing Plan
Create Business Materials

 

|Acquire Legal Advice |

These law offices provide guidance for all your small business needs, such as which type (Corporation, LLC etc.) of business entity to establish.

 
List of Chamber Member Attorneys


| Filing for your Business License and Name Reservation|

Reserve your Company Name Here


 After reserving your company name, complete your Business License Application for the City , or Business License Application for the County.

Take Name Reservation receipt and completed application to Probate Office at County Courthouse with two payments:


Alabama Secretary of State: $100.00 (Check)

Probate office: $51.00

 

 
|Capital Funding and Financing|

As you complete initial planning and research, you’ll need to begin considering how you’ll find access to funding for your startup. These options will help identify where you need to begin.

 

Friends & Family, Credit Cards (Lines-of-Credit), and Crowdfunding

Gain insight to alternatives or supplementation of SBA backed loans by visiting here.



 

Small Business Administration (SBA) approved loans:

While these loans are issued by third party approved lenders, each is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration as viable financing options for startups and small business expansions.

 

|Commercial Loaning Options|

NARCOG
The North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) operates a small business fund in partnership with local banks & through direct loans to eligible businesses in the range of $10,000 - 250,000. 

Southern Development Council, Inc.
The SDC will partner with local banks to develop an appropriate SBA loan for your small business.

 

Peoples Bank of Alabama
Business Lines-of-Credit, Term Loans, Construction Lines and Loans, and SBA loan options.

 

Premier Bank of the South
Flexible and Customized Financing, Local Loan Decisions, Fast Response To Your Needs, Short Term And Long Term Financing, and Small Business Administration Loans.

 

Alabama Farm Credit
Specializing in agricultural financing in Real Estate, Agribusiness Loans, Equipment Financing, Poultry Loans, Operating Loans, and Improvement Loans.

 

BBVA Compass
Providing Convenience Lines of Credit, Traditional Lines of Credit, Business Credit Cards, Business Term Loans/Equipment Loans, Commercial Real Estate Loan, and SBA (Small Business Administration) Loans.

 

Wells Fargo
SBA Lending options, Loans and Credit, Insurance

 

EvaBank
Offering Small Business Checking Accounts and a variety of Small Business Loaning options.

 

First Community Bank of Cullman
Business Banking, Business First Checking, Business Interest Checking, Business Savings Account, Business Money Market, and Business Loan options.

 

Regions Bank
Lines of Credit, Leasing, SBA Loans, Visa Business Credit Cards, Servicemember Rights, Industry Solutions, and Regions CashCOR.

 

Traditions Bank

 

Citizens Bank and Trust
Business Loans, Business Lines of Credit, Commercial Real Estate Loans, and Business Credit Cards.

 

Woodforest National Bank
Lines of Credit, Small Business Preferred, and Merchant Select Commercial Lending.

*If you are a Chamber Member and should be listed on this list, please contact Magan Bartlett at mbartlett@cullmanchamber.org*



 


|Business Incentives and Taxes|

Contact Cullman Economic Development Agency to determine if your company qualifies for Income Tax Capital Credits, or Property and Sales Tax Abatements by visiting their website here. 

 

See the New Business Guide for Alabama Taxpayers here.

 


 

|Zoning Requirements|

Determine if your prospective business location and facilities are up to the Municipal Code of the City of Cullman by visiting here.

 

|Insurance|

Start here to research area insurance companies who are able to provide coverage for your small business needs.


 

|Real Estate|

 

Click Here to see a list of Chamber Members categorized in Real Estate. 

 

|Accounting Services|

 

Click Here to see a list of Chamber Members categorized specializing in Accounting. 

 

 

|Developing a Marketing Plan| 

 

Research

·         Begin by researching marketing methods that you can apply to your business by answering questions regarding your target customers, competitors, marketing goals, marketing budget and others here. (https://www.sba.gov/blogs/do-you-have-marketing-plan)

 

·         If you represent a portion of Retail that attracts out-of-town customers, chances are you are tourism bases retail. Read this guide to build your tourism retail marketing. (Link needed, from Cecelia)

 

·         Complete free Marketing Courses online at the SBA’s Learning Center here. (https://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/search/everything/marketing)

 

·         Attend free seminars hosted by the Chamber regarding Small Business marketing and how to best utilize the tools you have available.

 

·         Finally, schedule a Ribbon Cutting with the Chamber – we’ll even bring the Mayor! Contact Magan Bartlett (mbartlett@cullmanchamber.org) at the Chamber to schedule.

 

|Create Business Materials|

As your business nears opening day, it’s important to develop resources to aid in daily operations. These companies can help in the preparation of all your marketing and promotion materials.

 

Cullman Quick Copy
(256) 739-0699

 

Business Solutions of Cullman
(256) 736-2360

 

Business & Industry Solutions
(256) 739-2872

 

Em.D.Design
(256) 636-1724

 

Sassy Southern Printing
(256) 507-0510
 

Modernistic Printers Inc.
(256) 734-3523



Alabama Web Press, Inc.
(256) 734-5104



Creative Design & Screen Printing LLC
(256) 734-7242


Cullman Sign & Banner
(256) 737-9811



Quality I/N Signs & Outdoor Advertising
(256) 734-9030


The Awards Palace, LLC
(256) 737-8787

The Final Touch
(256) 775-6877

 

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C U L L M A N  A R E A  C H A M B E R  O F  C O M M E R C E

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Open Monday – Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM

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