Putting the Pieces Together for Your Business
A step-by-step guide to starting a business in Nevada County
May 22, 2017
Starting a business is an exciting proposition, however a level of risks and challenges are always part of the undertaking. However, you can improve your chances of success with proper planning and preparation.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenue.
Choose a Business Structure
The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications. Learn about the different types of business structures and find the one best suited for your business. If you will be establishing a corporation, S-corporation, partnership or a limited liability company you must register with the California Secretary of State.
California Secretary of State
Business Program Division
Choose and Register Your Business Name
Choosing and registering your business name is a key step to legally operating your business and potentially obtaining financial aid from the government. If you intend to name your business anything other than your personal name, you must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Nevada County Clerk.
Nevada County Clerk
Choosing a Business Location
If you are seeking a location for your business, before you sign a lease or apply for permits thoroughly investigate zoning ordinances through the local planning department to be sure that your choice is zoned for your particular business activity. In some cases, zoning regulations will require a type of use permit for your business. Commercial Realtors can offer assistance in locating and leasing or purchasing a property for your business. If you are constructing a new building, a land use permit may be required. Issuance of certain types of permits may take up to six months and may include a public hearing, although some types of permits can be obtained more quickly.
Commercial Real Estate Broker Lock Richards has this advice for anyone looking to start or relocate a business: The first step in choosing an ideal location is to identify your needs. An experienced commercial leasing agent ("CLA") can be very helpful here. Before ever showing you a building, a good CLA will ask you a series of questions about your needs regarding issues that you may not yet have considered. Are you looking to project an image that attracts customers and enhances client relations? Do you need convenient and accessible space? Could certain physical building amenities (more parking, larger offices, greater power, dock-high loading, etc.) create efficiencies and improve your operations? Do you need better exposure or more visible signage? Is your space efficient or are you paying rent on square footage that is simply being wasted?
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Next comes searching the market. You can attempt this on your own, but there are numerous benefits to using the services of a CLA. First, many of the best commercial properties never see a real estate sign. A CLA who spends every hour of every working day leasing commercial properties may often have knowledge of prime soon-to-be-available properties that can lease up before ever hitting the market. Second, a CLA will equalize the playing field by representing your interests, arming you with market knowledge not otherwise available, and uncovering competing options that can make landlords sharpen their pencils. Third, you will have a single point of contact who will save you time, allow you to focus on your primary business, and provide you with an objective viewpoint.
No business license is required to conduct business within unincorporated Nevada County. A business license is required within the incorporated city limits of Grass Valley and Nevada City. If your business is within city limits, contact the business permit and licensing section of your city's government. Additionally, special permits are required for businesses such as second-hand dealers, taxi services, kennels, automobile wreckers and massage studios. Some occupations such as accountants, cosmetologists, optometrists, real estate agents and brokers etc., may require additional state licensing. Contact the California Department of Consumer affairs to determine what licensing board governs your profession.
Improve your odds of business success by understanding your financing needs as well as the options that are available to help you start, manage and grow your business.
Finance your Business
There are a variety of options when it comes to financing your small business. Explore your opportunities that range from traditional loans to grants and bonds. To help you identify what government financing programs may be available to help you start or expand your business, check out the "Access Financing" Wizard from Business USA, a guide to government resources that access financing for your business. Keep in mind that SBA and Business USA do not provide grants to start or grow a business.
Having separate business and personal accounts is essential. Contact the lender of your choice directly. A Fictitious Business Name Statement may be required to open a business account
Filing and Paying Taxes
Find out if your business needs to obtain a tax ID and what are the benefits and requirements.
Hire & Retain Employees
Learn about employment and labor laws to make sure your business is in compliance.