1. Do Your Research
In the digital age, you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips that can help you get a head start on the nuances of starting a business, from paperwork and legalities to tips and insights. Meanwhile, the San Diego Public Library is also a great place to read up and take notes in a quiet, professional setting. That should give you the basic insight on how to form a business in San Diego.
While you may still be in the education phase of starting your business, you should also make a conscious effort to take advantage of any networking opportunities that these resources offer.
2. Visit These Offices
3. Weigh the Options
4. Create a Business Plan
5. Give Your Business a Name
At this point, there’s a good chance you have a name for your business, and perhaps even a vision for your brand. If you don’t, that’s perfectly fine, but you will want to settle on a business name before you move forward. If your business name will be anything other than your surname, it is considered a fictitious business name and will have to be registered with the County of San Diego. Besides, if you are determined to start a business in San Diego, help and inspiration are readily available in the city itself. Visiting places like Mission Beach or even San Diego’s famous Belmont Park could help you come with a name while you unwind!
6. Choose a Legal Structure
Different business entities hold different tax liabilities. The types of business entities you will likely consider are:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Partnership (General or Limited)
- S Corporation
- C Corporation
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
This is another step where you’ll want to seek professional advice—this time, preferably from a tax consultant, accountant, or attorney. Once you settle on a structure, you will register your business with the Secretary of State. It’s also the time to ask around and find a reliable bookkeeper in San Diego.
*This process will involve its own series of steps, depending on which entity you are creating.
7. Obtain the Necessary Business Licenses
Different types of businesses require different licenses. For example, California requires restaurant owners to complete mandatory training and obtain a California Food Handler Card. A restaurant that intends to serve alcohol also requires liquor licensing from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Additionally, there are permits and checks relating to crowd control, exits, and handling of emergencies.
The CalGold website from the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is an extremely useful tool that provides a comprehensive database of required licensing for any business entity in any industry.
8. Understand Your Taxes
Knowing how to start a business in San Diego also means knowing all the obligations that come with it. Possibly the most challenging part of being a first-time business owner is navigating the tax waters, especially when it comes time to select an office site and hire your first employees. Unless you’re extremely comfortable with interpreting tax information, it’s best to hire a San Diego tax preparer like David York’s Tax Service.
Even better, David York can assist earlier in your startup process and actually set up your business for you. Click here to see how we help new businesses sprout to life every day, all over San Diego. Let us put you on the fast track to realizing your entrepreneurial visions!