How to Start a Business in California


Starting a new business in California is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Many people do not realize that there are many things to consider before you open your doors for the first time. Fortunately, we have put together this guide on starting a business in California to make the process as easy as possible.

Start by Registering your Business

In California, you’ll need to register your business with the Secretary of State’s office. This can be done online or in person via mail.

The documents and information you will need to provide include:

  • A completed Articles of Incorporation form
  • The filing fee (currently $100)

Register for a State Sales Tax Permit

You must register for a state sales tax permit and pay taxes on all of your sales. You will also be required to register with the state and local government, as well as pay taxes on all of your purchases.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a formal document that describes the goals, strategies, and actions of your company. It’s designed to help you make good decisions about your business and show potential investors what they can expect if they give you money.

A good business plan answers these questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish in this industry?
  • How will I differentiate myself from my competitors?
  • What are the risks I’m taking by entering into this industry, and how will I mitigate them?
  • Who will be my target market(s)?

Find the Best Location

When considering locations for your new business, it’s important to pay attention to location, location, location. The most successful businesses in the world are located where their target market is. If you’re opening a restaurant, you want to be near restaurants or grocery stores that serve the same type of food as yours. If your target market consists of people who work in Silicon Valley and live in San Francisco, then setting up shop on the edge of downtown Palo Alto isn’t going to help you much—unless those customers happen to be traveling by foot from between the two cities (and no one does that).

Get Finances in Order

One of the most important things you can do when starting a business is to get your finances in order. When you’re first starting out, it’s important to keep track of how much money comes in and goes out. You should also keep good records of all your expenses because they may help you claim deductions on your taxes or even apply for grants down the road.

The best way to set up an accounting system is by opening a separate bank account for your business, which will help you keep track of all its transactions. This account should be separate from any personal accounts that you have so that there’s no confusion about which money belongs where—you don’t want to accidentally spend company funds on something for yourself! If possible, get a credit card specifically designated for use by the business so that no personal purchases can be made with it (and vice versa).

Set up a Tax-friendly Compensation Plan for Employees

Consider setting up a tax-friendly compensation plan for employees, including yourself. If you’re in the business of providing services to your customers, there’s a good chance that you are an employee instead of an owner—and this can have a significant impact on how much money you take home each month.

When setting up your compensation plans, think about how much of your time (and skill) is needed to make sure clients or customers are happy with what you provide them with. You may be working 60 hours per week on client projects but only taking home 20% of what they pay because the other 80% goes towards employee salaries, benefits, and taxes.

To optimize profits while staying compliant with IRS regulations regarding employee wages and contributions into retirement accounts like 401(k), consider offering three different types of compensation packages: salary; incentive bonus; equity in the company

Buy the Right Equipment

Equipment is an important part of running a business. From computers, printers, and office furniture to machinery like trucks and forklifts, buying the right equipment can help you get your work done faster and more efficiently. However, there are many things to consider before purchasing equipment for your company—and it’s not just about the price tag. For example, if you plan on selling products or services in retail stores that require deliveries from a warehouse or distribution center, then


Starting a new business can be complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone; contact us today to get started! We can help you with all aspects of starting a business, including:

  • Finding the right location
  • Deciding on your product or service
  • Selecting the right legal structure for your company (LLC vs. Corporation)
  • Registering for state and federal tax Conclusion

Starting a new business can be complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone; contact us today to get started!

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