Step by Step Guide to Starting a Business in California

A person working on starting a business in California
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

If you want to run your own business, then you need a solid foundation for it! To this end, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to start a business in California.

Have a basic business plan

You need to understand that starting a business in California requires careful planning. You can’t just decide to do it and then follow through on a half-baked idea.

Until you are absolutely sure you have at least a basic business plan ironed out, taking further steps is not worth it. If you want to start a moving company, will you be focusing on short or long-distance moves? If you want to practice law, what sort of cases will you prefer to handle?

Even if you want to get into the tourism industry, you need to know exactly how you want to pander to them. Not having at least the basics means you’re a lot more likely to just waste your investment.

Settle on your preferred legal structure

You also need to be familiar with the legal business structures available to you. When starting a business in California, you have four options. Partnership, sole proprietorship, corporation and a limited liability company.

In the end, it all depends on the type of liability protection and tax benefits that you want. As well as what sort of financing options might open up to you if you advertise your idea before finalizing things.

Figure out your budgeting and funding

We mentioned financing. Well, this is, without a doubt, one of the most important parts of starting a business in California that you need to figure out. Registering your business will cost money. Getting employees and facilities will cost money.

Say you are looking into delivery orange county options when moving in and are trying to quickly get all you need, that’s going to cost money, too. The good news is, there are several viable options you can choose when setting up in California.

The most useful would be a small business grant offered by the state of California to encourage startups. Alternatively, there’s the regular business loans for startups, as well as the Small Business Administration microloans that go up to fifty thousand dollars.

Getting the licenses and permits

There are several licenses and permits before you can start working on making your financial dreams a success. They are:

  • Getting a general business license, which every California business needs.
  • Regulatory licenses and permits, related to health and safety, the environment, and similar.
  • Professional and occupational licenses that relate to your field.
  • Acquiring a federal Employer Identification Number (or EIN) to separate your business from your other finances when it comes to tax purposes.
  • Tax registration, in order to properly pay your dues.

Securing the required office space

As we mentioned before, when starting a business in California, one of the most important things to set aside money for is office space. Now, picking the right office for your business is surprisingly tricky.

You don’t want to go too small, since that would make it hard to work and function in it. And, as the moving and storage experts from Affordable Reliable Moving Company point out, you really want some storage space on-sight.

However, while having some extra space for future business expansion is fine, you don’t want to have an office that’s too big, either. That’s just wasting precious resources, which can go towards renting a storage unit, for example.

Fill out the basic info of your business correctly

While it may seem obvious to most, some people forget how important basic business info is. This is why a crucial step when starting your own California business is to sort that all out ahead of time! What address will you put down?

What mail and phone number? Finally, what’s the actual name of your business? It is possible to change pretty much all of these things down the line. But not very easily, or very quickly. If you mess up the address, phone number, or email, or bind them to your own, you’ll be dealing with the consequences for a long while.

Registering your business

Of course, actually registering your business is an important step.

This is where your earlier selection of legal business structure becomes relevant since you need to specify it when registering. Again, it is crucial that you’re certain you know exactly what you want, since making any changes to this is even harder than what we covered in the previous paragraph.

Remember to take out insurance

Among the things you should never start a business without, insurance is high up on the list. Especially since it can actually be relatively easy to overlook it, and it’s not technically a must-have according to law. However, the second something goes wrong, you’ll be dearly glad you have it!

Especially during the early days of running your business, when a setback can mean an abrupt end of your dreams. A good example would be managing company vehicles. Sure, changes are, nothing will happen to the vehicles and you’ll be fine.

But, if they get damaged or break down, you need to replace them quickly if they’re vital for your business. Which insurance would allow it?

Assistance with bookkeeping and administration

The final of thing we recommend you do when starting a business in California is to hire someone to help you with accounting and administration, at least at the start. As a business owner, especially if you plan to take on the bulk of the work yourself, you’ll have a lot to do.

This means you’ll have very little time for additional tasks, and making a mistake in a hurry when doing finances can be devastating. Getting some expert financial management assistance ensures this doesn’t happen, and you’ll have the time to dedicate yourself to your business better.

Starting a business in California to pursue your dreams

As you can tell from our step-by-step guide to starting a business in California, the process is both intimidating and surprisingly easy at the same time. Of course, it will only be easy if you do enough work ahead of time. If you rush into the process, you’ll just suffer needlessly.

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