Step 1: Come up with a business plan
This will help you figure out what the needs of your business will be, such as location and operating costs. The Sacramento Valley Small Business Development Center is one resource that can help in the formation of your plan.
Step 2: Decide the structure of your business
The structure of your business determines its taxes and liability. Whether you plan to operate as a partnership, corporation, or a limited liability company, you’ll need to register with the California Secretary of State.
Step 3: Establish a base of operations
Be sure to contact the Community Development Department to make sure your chosen location is properly zoned for businesses — or get a home occupation permit to run a company out of your house.
Step 4: Secure startup funds
If the funds aren’t coming from your personal savings or an investor, head over to the Small Business Administration to see if any of the loan options they offer are right for you.
Step 5: Pick a name
Pick out a super catchy name and get it registered with the Sacramento County Department of Finance. This is a requirement unless the business takes its moniker from your name.
Step 6: Get a BOT certificate from the city
Sacramento doesn’t require a business license, but you will need to get a Business Operations Tax certificate and file that bad boy with the city’s Revenue Division.
Step 7: Prep for your employees
You’re almost ready to start hiring — but first you’ll need to get an Employer Identification Number, contact Social Security, register with the Employment Development Department, and obtain Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Step 8: State and federal permits
If you plan on selling things — specifically “tangible personal property” — you’ll have to snag a seller’s permit from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. You can also check for any additional regional, state, or federal permits that may be required for your specific business through CalGold.
Step 9: Gotta pay those taxes
Nobody likes surprises — especially when they cost you money. So we’re telling you now that once per year, you’ll need to send in a Business Income Tax Statement to the state’s Franchise Tax Board.
Step 10: Even more permits
Step 11: Take advantage of local programs
The Sacramento Employee and Training Agency can help you fill out your staffing needs, and The Sacramento Inclusive Economic Development Collaborative can provide one-on-one assistance for prospective business owners who experience difficulties navigating any of the steps above.