File a Fictitious Business Name with the County Clerk’s office. www.acgov.org.
Food and drink businesses get Health Clearances from Alameda County, www.acgov.org.
State of California
Register a trademark, service mark, or trade name, with the California Secretary of State, www.sos.ca.gov.
Payroll tax information, forms and reporting requirements can be found at the California Employment Development Department, www.edd.ca.gov.
State tax return information and filing, plus seller’s permits from the State Board of Equalization, www.boe.ca.gov.
Federal Agencies & Requirements
Before doing business or hiring your employees, you will need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), by applying online with the IRS, www.irs.gov.
Your workers need to fill out a Form I-9, an Employment Eligibility Verification form.
You must also get workers’ full names and Social Security Numbers (SSN). An ITIN number (which is only available to individuals that are not eligible for U.S. employment) is NOT acceptable in the place of a SSN.
Workers need to fill out and sign a Form W-4, an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate form, if they want withholding allowances.
Establishing Your Business
Pacific, Gas and Electric (gas, electric), (877) 743-7782, www.pge.com
Accountant: Get professional help on your tax returns to ensure that they are completed accurately.
Attorney: Hire an attorney to aid in looking over your lease before you fully commit to the space, and to deal with any other legal issues that may arise.
Establish a network of mentors:
SCORE: www.eastbayscore.org: Confidential in-person or online counseling, mentoring; many services are free; seminars
Alameda County Small Business Development Center, www.acsbdc.org: free and confidential services to assist small businesses with financial, marketing, production, organization, engineering, technical problems, feasibility studies, workshops and seminars throughout the County
Minority Business Development Agency’s Minority Business Centers: www.mbda.gov: Increase access to capital, contracts, new markets for minority-owned firms