FAQs – Filterable

How do I get a state business license?

The State of California does not issue or require a generic general business license. Licenses are issued by various state agencies for specific types of business, activities, and professions. Refer to the Occupational Licensing Database for more information.

How do I register my business name or set up a legal structure?

To verify if a name is already being used in California, check the Secretary of State website. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, sole proprietors, general partnerships and trade names register organizational paperwork with the Secretary of State (303-894-2200). Trade name registration with the Secretary of State does NOT establish exclusive rights. However, it is required when doing business under any name other than the first and last names of the owner(s)/organizer(s). For more information, refer to the Legal Structure chapter of the Startable Business Resource Book.

How do I get a state tax identification number?

You can apply for a state tax identification number using the online form CR 100 – New Employer Registration.

Where do I get a government grant to start a new business?

Unfortunately, there are really no government grants – state or federal – available for starting a business. There are very specific targeted government grants but they rarely apply to start-ups. These grants are called Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants. SBIR grants are usually issued by a federal agency that is seeking research and development in specific areas including military weapons development, biotechnology, and other high-tech fields

Where do I get basic information about the quality of life and the cost of living in Startable?

The Startable Office of Economic Development publishes the Startable Data Book, which has a basic information guide regarding the State of California as a whole. There are over 50 local economic development offices and more than 150 chambers of commerce that frequently provide more specific local information.

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