10+ Best Small Business Ideas to Start in Alaska [2023])

Discover the top small business ideas to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey in Alaska in 2023. Find your path to success today!

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 07, 2024

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Hey there, future business tycoons! Ever dreamt of starting your own business? Well, what if we told you that the Last Frontier, Alaska, is teeming with opportunities just waiting to be discovered? Yes, you heard it right! And the best part? We're not talking about large-scale, intimidating ventures. Instead, we're focusing on small, manageable, yet profitable businesses you can kick-start right in the heart of Alaska.

As we step into 2023, it's high time we embrace the entrepreneurial spirit, don't you think? So, whether you're an Alaskan local or an adventurous soul planning to relocate, this article is just for you. We've got a list of 10+ best small business ideas that are not only feasible but also have the potential to flourish in the unique Alaskan landscape.

So, ready to embark on this exciting journey with us? Let's dive in and explore the possibilities together. Who knows? By the end of this article, you might just find the inspiration you've been waiting for to start your dream business. Let's get started, shall we?

Tourist Guide Service

A Tourist Guide Service is a professional service that provides expert guides to help tourists explore and understand a new city or destination. This service is a good idea for several reasons:

  • Knowledgeable Guides: The guides are usually locals or people who have an in-depth understanding of the area. They can provide valuable insights about the history, culture, and traditions of the place.
  • Convenience: With a tourist guide service, you don't have to worry about planning your itinerary. The guides will take care of everything, from taking you to the best spots to ensuring you don't miss out on any must-see attractions.
  • Security: Tourist guide services ensure your safety in a new place. They know the safe routes and areas and can guide you accordingly.
  • Language Assistance: If you're visiting a place where you don't speak the local language, a guide can help you communicate and understand the local customs and etiquette.

In conclusion, a Tourist Guide Service can make your travel experience more enriching, convenient, safe, and enjoyable.

image of a Tourist Guide Service

Fishing Charter Business

Alaska, known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and abundant fish populations, is an ideal location for a fishing charter business. This business venture offers numerous advantages, catering to both local and international fishing enthusiasts. Here are some compelling reasons:

  • Abundant Fish Species: Alaska is home to a wide variety of fish species, including salmon, halibut, and trout. This diversity attracts anglers of all levels, providing opportunities for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
  • Scenic Beauty: The state's breathtaking scenery, pristine waters, and untouched wilderness add to the overall fishing experience. This natural beauty can be a major draw for customers, enhancing their fishing trips with picturesque views and wildlife sightings.
  • High Demand: Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Alaska. Locals and tourists alike seek out fishing charters for guided trips and deep-sea excursions, ensuring a steady stream of business.
  • Favorable Regulations: Alaska's fishing regulations are designed to protect its fish populations and habitats, but they also support the charter fishing industry. For instance, the state allows year-round fishing for some species, which can extend the business season for charter operators.
  • Economic Impact: A fishing charter business can contribute to the local economy by creating jobs and supporting related industries, such as tourism, hospitality, and retail.
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Examples of successful businesses:

Alaska, known for its breathtaking landscapes and unique opportunities, has been a fertile ground for small businesses to thrive. Despite its remote location and challenging weather conditions, entrepreneurs in Alaska have successfully established ventures that cater to the needs and interests of both locals and tourists. From outdoor adventure companies to niche food establishments, here are some examples of small business ideas that have not only survived but thrived in the Last Frontier:

  • Glacier Tours: Alaska's stunning glaciers attract thousands of visitors each year, making glacier tour companies a popular and successful business venture. These companies offer guided tours, boat trips, and even helicopter rides to allow visitors to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Alaska's glaciers up close.
  • Dog Sledding Adventures: With its rich history of dog sledding, Alaska provides the perfect setting for dog sledding adventures. Small businesses have capitalized on this unique Alaskan experience by offering tourists the opportunity to mush their own team of sled dogs through the snowy wilderness.
  • Wilderness Lodges: Alaska's vast and untouched wilderness has attracted nature enthusiasts from around the world. Wilderness lodges offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the Alaskan wilderness while providing comfortable accommodations, guided hikes, and other outdoor activities.
  • Salmon Fishing Charters: Alaska is renowned for its abundant salmon fishing opportunities. Small businesses specializing in salmon fishing charters have flourished, offering tourists and locals the chance to experience the thrill of catching salmon in the pristine waters of Alaska.
  • Artisanal Craft Shops: Alaskan artists and craftspeople have successfully established small businesses selling unique handmade crafts, such as intricate wood carvings, jewelry made from local gemstones, and traditional Native Alaskan artwork. These artisanal craft shops cater to both tourists looking for authentic Alaskan souvenirs and locals seeking one-of-a-kind pieces.

Wilderness Survival Training

Wilderness Survival Training is an essential program that equips individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to survive in the wild. It involves learning about various survival techniques, understanding the nature of different habitats, and acquiring skills to navigate through challenging terrains. This training is beneficial for several reasons:

  • Preparation for emergencies: This training prepares you for unforeseen circumstances that may arise while exploring the wilderness, such as sudden weather changes or encounters with wild animals.
  • Building confidence: It enhances your confidence and self-reliance, knowing that you can survive in the wild with minimal resources.
  • Learning essential survival skills: You will learn vital survival skills such as building a shelter, finding food and water, making a fire, and first aid.
  • Understanding nature: The training also fosters a deeper understanding and respect for nature and its inhabitants.
  • Physical and mental resilience: It helps build physical stamina and mental resilience, as surviving in the wild requires both physical strength and mental toughness.

Overall, Wilderness Survival Training is a good idea because it prepares you for the unexpected, develops resilience, and deepens your appreciation for the natural world.

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Local Handicrafts Store

Alaska, with its rich cultural heritage and unique craftsmanship, is an ideal location for a Local Handicrafts Store. The store will not only showcase the exquisite talent of local artisans but also provide a platform for them to sell their creations, thereby promoting local businesses and contributing to the local economy.

  • Unique Products: The local handicrafts of Alaska are unique and intricate, reflecting the rich heritage and culture of the region. These include hand-carved totem poles, beaded jewelry, and native art.
  • Support Local Artisans: The store will support local artisans by providing them a platform to display and sell their creations. This will help them sustain their craft and livelihood.
  • Attract Tourists: The handicraft store can act as a major tourist attraction. Tourists visiting Alaska would be interested in buying these unique, locally made products as souvenirs or gifts.
  • Boost Local Economy: By promoting local products, the store will contribute to the local economy. It can also create employment opportunities for locals.
  • Promote Cultural Heritage: The store can play a crucial role in preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Alaska. It can educate visitors about the rich history and craftsmanship of the region.

Bed And Breakfast

Alaska, known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and unique cultural heritage, makes for an ideal location for a Bed and Breakfast. The state's natural beauty and adventurous activities attract tourists from all over the world, creating a high demand for comfortable and homely accommodations.

  • Scenic Beauty: A Bed and Breakfast in Alaska can provide guests with breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, and possibly even the Northern Lights. This makes for an unforgettable stay and experience.
  • Unique Experiences: Alaska offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and more. Guests at a Bed and Breakfast can easily access these activities, making their stay more enjoyable.
  • Personal Touch: Unlike large hotel chains, a Bed and Breakfast in Alaska can provide a more personalized and intimate experience. Guests can enjoy home-cooked meals and warm, friendly service.
  • Local Culture: Staying at a Bed and Breakfast allows guests to immerse themselves in local Alaskan culture. They can learn about the state's history, traditions, and lifestyle from their hosts.
  • Eco-Friendly: Many Bed and Breakfasts in Alaska are committed to sustainable practices, contributing to the preservation of Alaska's pristine environment. This can be an important factor for eco-conscious travelers.

Related business ideas:

Mobile Food Truck

Operating a Mobile Food Truck in Alaska presents numerous unique opportunities and advantages. Despite the cold weather, there is a thriving market for this business model. Here are some reasons why venturing into this business can be profitable:

  • High Demand: With limited dining options, especially in remote areas, there is a high demand for mobile food services in Alaska.
  • Flexibility: Mobile food trucks can relocate to different locations depending on the season, events, or customer demands, making them highly flexible.
  • Lower Costs: Compared to a traditional restaurant, a mobile food truck requires lower startup and operational costs.
  • Unique Food Options: Food trucks offer the opportunity to provide unique, gourmet food options that may not be available in local restaurants.
  • Event Catering: Mobile food trucks can also cater to events, festivals, and parties, providing an additional source of income.
  • Tourist Attraction: Food trucks can serve as a novelty and attract tourists looking for a unique dining experience.

Snow Removal Service

Operating a Snow Removal Service in Alaska is a highly beneficial venture due to a number of reasons. Alaska, known for its harsh and long winters, experiences heavy snowfall which creates a constant demand for snow removal services. These services are crucial in maintaining day-to-day activities and ensuring the safety of the residents.

  • High Demand: Given the heavy and frequent snowfall in Alaska, there is a high demand for snow removal services. This makes it a potentially profitable business opportunity.
  • Safety: Accumulated snow can pose serious safety risks including slip and fall accidents, car accidents, and even structural damage to buildings due to the weight of the snow. Snow removal services are crucial in preventing these accidents.
  • Essential Service: Snow removal is essential for maintaining daily life in Alaska. It ensures that roads are drivable, sidewalks are walkable, and entrances to buildings are accessible.
  • Commercial Opportunities: Apart from residential areas, commercial properties such as businesses, offices, and shopping centers also require regular snow removal. This broadens the potential client base for a snow removal service.
  • Seasonal Employment: A snow removal service can provide seasonal employment opportunities, contributing to the local economy.

Boat Rental Service

Alaska, known for its stunning natural beauty, offers a plethora of water-based activities and sights that can be best experienced through a boat rental service. Renting a boat in Alaska not only provides an opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscape at your own pace but also offers a unique perspective of the Alaskan wilderness.

  • Wildlife Viewing: Alaska is home to a diverse range of wildlife. Renting a boat can provide close encounters with whales, seals, sea otters, and various species of birds in their natural habitat.
  • Fishing Opportunities: Alaska's waters are teeming with various species of fish, making it a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. A boat rental service allows for deep-sea fishing experiences.
  • Scenic Beauty: Renting a boat provides a unique perspective to appreciate Alaska's scenic beauty, including its majestic mountain ranges, glaciers, and pristine waters.
  • Flexibility: A boat rental service offers flexibility in terms of time and itinerary. You can plan your journey according to your interests and schedule.
  • Adventure Sports: For the adventurous, boat rentals can provide access to a variety of water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding.

Local Produce Farming

Local produce farming in Alaska is a great idea for several reasons. This type of farming promotes a sustainable and healthy lifestyle, supports the local economy, and provides fresh, seasonal produce to Alaskan residents. It also helps to reduce the environmental impact caused by transporting goods over long distances.

  • Sustainability: Local farming practices often use less energy and produce less waste, contributing to a more sustainable environment.
  • Supporting local economy: By supporting local farms, money is kept within the local economy, promoting growth and stability.
  • Fresh produce: Local farms provide the freshest produce, as the time from farm to table is significantly reduced. This not only ensures better taste but also higher nutritional value.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Local farming reduces the distance that food needs to travel from the farm to the consumer, resulting in lower carbon emissions.
  • Seasonal variety: Local farms often grow a variety of crops based on the season, offering a diverse range of produce throughout the year.

Photography Service Specializing In Northern Lights And Wildlife

Alaska, known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and the mesmerizing Northern Lights, is a paradise for photographers. A photography service specializing in Northern Lights and wildlife in Alaska is a brilliant idea for several reasons:

  • Unique Experience: Capturing the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The natural phenomenon offers a unique opportunity for photographers to create breathtaking images.
  • Diverse Wildlife: Alaska is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bears, moose, eagles, and whales, providing ample opportunities for wildlife photography.
  • Scenic Landscapes: The state's diverse landscapes, from icy glaciers to lush forests, offer stunning backdrops for both Northern Lights and wildlife photography.
  • Increasing Tourism: With a growing interest in eco-tourism and nature photography, more and more tourists are flocking to Alaska, creating a demand for specialized photography services.
  • Professional Guidance: A specialized photography service can provide expert guidance, helping photographers of all levels to capture the best possible shots of these natural wonders.


Founder and CEO

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.