Starting a Business

Thinking of Starting A Business?
Here are some resources where you can find help in deciding if business ownership is right for you, creating your first business plan and determining next steps:

Legal Business Structure?
Will your new business be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation. The resources listed above can help, or you may want to consult with an attorney or tax accountant to help you determine which is the best legal structure for you.

Brick-and-Mortar Location?
If your business will operate out of a physical structure, there are several things to take into consideration:

Financing Needed to Start Your Business?

Register Your Business Name.
If your business will operate under a name other than your own, you must file a fictitious business name statement with the Sacramento County Department of Finance.

Business Operations Tax Certificate.

  • Businesses that operate within the City of Sacramento must file a Business Operations Tax Application with the City Revenue Division
  • Once your BOT application is filed, the Revenue Division will contact the Community Development Department to ensure that the business will be conducted in an appropriately zoned location. This process usually takes approximately three days.

Hiring Staff?
If so, there are a few steps you need to take:

  • Get a Tax Identification Number. If you plan to hire anyone who is not a member of your immediate family, you must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Social Security Taxes. Both self-employed business owners and employers with one or more employees must register with the U.S. Social Security Administration.
  • State Income Tax Withholding, Unemployment and Disability Insurance. California businesses must register with the state Employment Development Department (EDD) within 15 days of hiring your first employee. EDD regulates state disability insurance, unemployment insurance taxes, income tax withholdings and employment training taxes.
  • Workers’ Compensation. California employers are required to obtain Workers Compensation insurance coverage. For information and resources, visit the State Industrial Relations Department.
  • Free Information and Employer Services at Sacramento Works.

Selling A Product?

  • Businesses selling tangible personal property in the state of California must apply for sellers’ permit/resale numbers by contacting the State Board of Equalization.
  • Will your business serve or sell alcohol? Find more information here: Alcohol Sales

Business Taxes