10 Steps to follow: How to register a business in California?


Do you want to know how to register a business in California? Starting a business in California with the best economic climate, you will have better access to venture capital than anywhere else in America. It is an excellent choice for new entrepreneurs to set up their business in California. 

Generally, businesses wishing to conduct business in California must register with the Office of the Secretary of State of California to form their legal entity, pay the appropriate fees, be registered as employers, and obtain proper licenses and other licenses from the relevant city county. 

You may need additional permits, licenses, or certificates that your business needs to acquire, but it depends on your business type.

Use the Business Registration section of the California Business Navigator. Try to find out what forms and steps you need to follow to get a legal entity, pay taxes, register as an employer, sell real estate, and register at the city and county level in California. 

Follow our simple step-by-step guide and move to the fast pace of financial and personal freedom. If you get stuck on the road, contact a business in your local area for help.


10 Steps to follow on how to register a business in California:

Choose the right business idea

This is the first step as new entrepreneurs to decide what type of business you want to start. Find a unique idea that suits your interests and your personal goals. Your business idea will help keep you motivated and increase the inequality of your success. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of small business ideas to help you get started.

Plan your business

Successful businesses go through careful planning for the long run to survive. Before investing a significant amount of money, analyze your idea, and create a good plan. At the very least, you should have the right answers to the following questions below.

Name of your company

Business naming is challenging for the first time. You have to choose a brand type of name that establishes as a brand later time. Follow California’s naming rules, resonates with your customers, and find it available as a URL or not on the internet.

Product development

  • Does your business solve any problems? 
  • Do you offer products or services to sell?

Sales and marketing

  • Who are your potential customers? 
  • How do you attract them?
  • How do you convert them into clients?

People and partnership

  • What role do you need to take at your business?
  • How professional relationships do you need to build with your client?

Financial planning

  • How many clients do you have to cover the break-even point?
  • How much will be the cost to set up your business?
  • And where will you get funding?

Build your business

In California are having two options for registering your business in California as a legal entity. These are LLC and a corporation. You have to Increase credibility. And it is essential to protect personal liability from your business. For small businesses, LLC is a great option to register as a legal entity. 

If you compare other business organizations, LLCs are more comfortable to set up. It is also easy to operate, and you will get a good tax facility. You have to pay $70 to set up an LLC in California.

Protect your domain

Check online whether your business name is available as a web domain or not. If available, then buy the domain. If you don’t plan to build a business website today, no problem, but you have to buy the domain name. Otherwise, someone may purchase the domain. So to make sure the domain name that’s yours.

Register for tax

Most businesses require EIN called an employer identification number. It has an alternative name as a tax ID number, with limited exceptions. They are using this number to identify a business in an EIN’s federal tax filing. Without this EIN, you can not hire employees or open business bank accounts.

Be aware of the critical California taxes:

  1. For selling a physical product, you usually need to register for the California Sales Tax.
  2. If you hire employees, you need to register for California employer tax, including holding tax, unemployment insurance tax, and disability insurance.

Create business banking and credit accounts

It is essential to get a business banking account and credit accounts to protect personal assets. If business accounts and personal accounts are mixed, suing your business will put your personal assets. Examples are your home, car, and other valuables) at risk. In business law, this is always referring to as your corporate veil hole.

There are two types of account you open protect your business:

Business Bank Account

A business bank account separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, necessary to protect personal assets. This simplifies accounting and tax filing.

Getting a Business Credit Card

It will be helpful for you if you do separate your personal and business expenses. Make a credit transaction for your company, which will help you raise capital (e.g., small business).

Set up accounting system

An accounting system is necessary to track your business performance. The accounting system simplifies annual tax filing. You have to install quality accounting software that lets you download your bank and credit card transactions.

Obtain permission and license.

To operate your new business legally, you must follow government rules and regulations. In many cases, we found you may need one or more business permits and licenses. For example, a restaurant may need health permits, building permits, signature permits, etc.

Get insurance for your business

Business insurance will help to cover your business risk and focus on growing your business. There are several common types of business insurance that you should consider-

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Professional liability insurance

We are recommending you that purchase a general liability policy because all small businesses need this. Companies offering professional advice or services, such as consulting and accounting firms, should also consider professional liability policies. 

In California, the business of one or more employees, including officers and LLC members, must have workers’ compensation insurance.

Distinguish your brand and promote 

Strong and memorable businesses go up with a trustworthy brand. When developing your brand, you should consider:

  • What does your business mean?
  • What is the core value of your business?
  • What will gain the trust of the customer?

Suppose you have the confidence to get the right answers, then your time to take your business name. The name of your business is good branding. And it would be the foundation of a successful branded business. 

Promote your business

There are several ways to promote your business, but two effective ways are:

  • News advertiser
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Set up a web presence

professional website is critical for your business’s long-term success, no matter what industry you are doing business in. A website will allow you to get potential customers online. They will discover the products or services you offer, and it also increases your business’s credibility.

Despite having a website, you should consider other social media site to promote your business:

  • Set up social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc.)
  • Create accounts on other review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, etc.)
  • Signing up for a local Google profile

Read also: 8 Steps: How To Get A Business License In VA

FAQ: How to register a business in California

How do I register a small business in California?

To run a business in California, follow these steps:

  • Choose the right business idea.
  •  Plan your business.
  • Build your business.
  • Register for taxes.
  • Create business banking and credit accounts.
  • Set up accounting. 
  • Get permits and licenses.
  • Insurance for your business

How much cost to run a business in the state of California?

Cities in California operate business licenses, so prices vary from place to place. Typically, business licenses cost between $ 50 and 100 100.

What is an excellent business to start in California?

To choose a business in California, follow these options:

  • Gas station.
  • E-commerce.
  • Complementary educational business.
  • Wholesale electronic trade.
  • Shoe store.
  • Beauty materials.
  • Real estate rental equipment.

How can a beginner start a business?

  • Do your research.
  • Make a plan.
  • Plan your finances.
  • Choose a business structure.
  • Choose your business name and register.
  • Get a license and permit.
  • Choose your accounting system.

Do you have to pay California 800 California LLC fees in the first year?

All LLCs doing or organizing business in California must pay an annual tax of $ 800. The annual tax will be valid even if you do not conduct business until you cancel your LLC. From the date of filing with SOS for your first-year yearly tax payment to the 15th day of your fourth month.

How can I avoid the 800 800 franchise tax?

The best way to avoid paying back-to-back $ 800 franchise tax is not to let your California LLC exist until the end of the year.

Read more: Top 10 Steps: How To Get A Business License In Tn (Tennessee)