Fictitious Business Names  Business License  Sellers Permit / Resale License  Federal Tax Id   State Tax Id

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How to Start a Business

A guide to basic requirements.

Welcome! We are glad you have selected your business and hope we can assist you in getting started.

First, Clear Your Business Location

 Make sure the zoning is correct for your new business address.

• Every business must meet zoning requirements and restrictions to insure that it’s business category and site are compatible.

• A few businesses that heavily impact their area require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Application - typically a 5-month process in which environmental impacts are studied by Planning and are then subject to Planning Commission approval or denial.

Second, obtain a Fictitious Business Name Statement, or Incorporate.

File a fictitious name statement and file your “doing business as” name in a local newspaper.

• If you use your initials or first and middle name along with your last name in the name of your business, such as A. L. Smiths Consulting, or Al  L. Smith Materials, you do not need to file for a fictitious name. If you use just your initials, first name or last name such as AU Plumbing, Albert Construction, or Jones Fishing, you need to file for a fictitious name.  If you use any name other than your legal, given name or initials, you will have to file a fictitious name.

• Prior to filing a fictitious name statement, it is recommended that you determine if your business name is already in use.

Third: Resale License, Seller's Permit, or Sales Tax Certification

Obtain a  resale permit, Sales Tax Application if required. File proper State Tax forms and obtain labor standards for employees.

Some businesses are required to obtain a permit  for “selling or acquiring any tangible items for repair or use in their business.” You must have a resale permit if your business is commercial, home-based, sales, or repair-oriented. You must have a resale permit for whatever parts or supplies are purchased at wholesale for later resale.

Fourth:  State Tax Id: EIN Employer ID

• If your business will have any employees other than yourself, check with the state on state withholding taxes, disability and unemployment insurance.

• For businesses employing only the owners, contact the Franchise Tax Board for state withholding and corporation state taxes.

Fifth:  Federal Employer Number  FEIN  or  Federal Tax Id

You need a federal tax id for a business id number and employer tax id.

Sixth:  Small Business Administration

•  Small Business Administration for financial and management training.


Business License:

Most businesses or professionals are required to have a business license.

Information you need for a business license:

  1. Business address approved by Planning Department (not in all cases).

  2. Fictitious name and any local or State permits.

  3. State resale permit number  if required.

  4. > Your business name and address

  5. > Your business telephone number

  6. > Description of your business

  7. > The number of employees on staff

  8. > The property owner’s name and the telephone number of the person to contact in case of an emergency

  9. > The name, address, and telephone numbers of any contractors who will be involved in the operation of your business (i.e., gardener, janitorial service, consultants, etc.)

  10. > Your Social Security number

  11. > Your Federal I.D. number

  12. > Your State Employee LD. number

  13. > Your Driver’s License number

Additional requirements:   Depending on the type of business you plan to conduct, you may required to have:

  1. > Health Permit

  2. > Fire Inspection

  3. > Contractor’s License

  4. > Building Permits

  5. > An Alcoholic Beverage Permit