For many entrepreneurs, coming up with a business idea is the fun part. The real challenges come when you try turning that idea into a legitimate and legal business. Even in corporate-friendly California, with no state–wide business operating licensing requirements, you still need to apply for relevant permits at the county and municipal levels before you can start doing business.
This article explains some of the most common steps associated with registering your business in California.
Because every city and county in California has licensing requirements, there are no universal steps that apply across the state when starting a business. However, below are the steps you’re most likely to run into when applying for a small business permit in California.
Before applying for a California small business license, you must first establish a legal structure for your operations.
For a more detailed overview of the relative pros and cons of each corporation structure, be sure to check out our longer article on how to register a small business.
READ: How to start a business in California
Once you’ve formalized your legal structure, the next step involves applying for a business license in your town or county. Because each jurisdiction sets separate filing requirements, you’ll need to check with local agencies to determine which steps apply to your unique region, niche, and corporate structure. A good starting place is your town hall. However, there may be local trade organizations that can also point you in the right direction.
If you need help locating the proper agency, get started here.
Depending on your business, you may be required to obtain a seller’s permit or professional license.
If you have questions about obtaining a seller’s permit, click here for more information.
The requirements for obtaining a business license can vary by jurisdiction. Having the following items prepared can help speed the process along.
We hope this article offers you some insight on how to get a small business license in California. Once set up, you’ll be ready to start making sales. When that time comes, you’ll need a way to accept payments and manage your business.
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This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or tax advice. Readers should contact their attorneys, financial advisors, or tax professionals to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter.