How To Start A Business In California

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How to Start a Business In California

California has a number of requirements to start a business.  You may need to check with your local government for any additional licenses or permits you will possibly need.  Below is information on how to register your business in the state of California.
Getting started- California’s official website about how to start a business in California is found here: California Business Portal

1. Register your business name.

Find out more about registering a fictitious name here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/ChooseaFictitiousBusinessName.aspx .  Your fictitious name must be registered with your county clerk.  Find your county’s form here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/CountyClerkandFBNForms.aspx

2. Select your business structure.

Sole-proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc.  Find out more here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/DefiningaBusiness.aspx

3.  Register your business.

You can register your business with the state of California here: http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/RegisteringaBusiness.aspx

4. Open a business checking account.

You will need to open a separate bank account for your business with your new business name.

5. Research taxes and possibly hire an accountant.

You may want to file your own taxes if you are a small company. As you grow, it will be easier to have an accountant do the work. More info about taxes here: http://www.taxes.ca.gov/doingbus.shtml and http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Starting-a-Business

6.  Get liability insurance.

Find an insurance agent that offers liability insurance.  This may or may not be necessary, depending on what type of business you are starting

7.  You may need to register as a contractor.

If you are doing any type of home improvement work, you must apply for a contractor’s license in the state of California.  The registration application is found here: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/About_Us/Library/Forms_And_Applications.aspx .

8. Worker’s compensation.

The insurance agency that provided your liability insurance should be able to help with this.

9. Get health insurance.

Since you will be self-employed, you will need your own health insurance.  If you have employees, you will need a plan that will include their health needs also.

10. City license.

You may be required to obtain a license to do business in a particular locale, whether you are a resident, or not. http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/RegisteringaBusiness/Locallicensesandpermits.aspx

11. Permits.

Depending on the locale, you may need to apply for permits before commencing certain types of business. http://www.business.ca.gov/StartaBusiness/RegisteringaBusiness/Locallicensesandpermits.aspx

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