Starting a Business in California: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting your own company in California can be challenging but rewarding. Learn how to create a successful business plan, find financing options, pay taxes and more.

Starting a Business in California: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting your own company in California can be a challenge. You need to have the right funding, time, personal and professional support to make your business dreams come true. Paying state taxes on company income is part of your personal state tax returns (Form 540). Partners pay state taxes on company income on their personal tax returns.

In addition, California companies must also file Form 565, Company Income Statement. Besides California taxes, there are always federal income taxes and employer taxes. The IRS Publications 334, Tax Guide for Small Business and 583, Taxpayers Starting a Business are great resources to get started. Creating a business plan is essential for success.

It's a model of all aspects of your business, including sales, marketing, advertising, promotion and placement. The Small Business Administration website has a great tutorial on how to create a business plan. Before you start your own business in California, it's important to make sure you're ready for the challenge. Whether you're planning to be a sole proprietor or starting an LLC in California, owning a business requires hard work and dedication. The California Business Investment Services unit offers customized site selection services for businesses, real estate executives and site selection consultants.

You can search for the city or county where you plan to operate your business and select the type of business you plan to start. Press releases are a great way to communicate important information about your California business to media outlets and potential customers. It's also important to open a separate business account to make it easier to track your income and expenses. Top startup financing options include self-financing, family and friend loans, small business start-up loans, business grants and SBA microloans. Getting a separate phone number for your California business is also recommended if you want to keep your real phone number out of those annoying “public records” websites (and stop spam phone calls).Using a dedicated business bank account and business credit card is essential to maintaining the protection of personal assets.

States, counties and municipalities apply sales and use taxes to California businesses on transactions. A business credit card will also help build the credit history of your California company, which in turn will help you raise capital later on. With its thriving economy and 39.2 million people, California remains a land of opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in starting a new business. SCORE offers volunteer business professionals and expert mentors to advise and guide entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses. California is generally referred to as a relatively high-tax state, something that business owners universally recognize. The answers below will help you submit the necessary documents, pay the appropriate fees, and understand the basics of starting a business in California.

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