Essential Legal Resources for California Small Businesses & Startups

Here is our list of the essential legal resources every small business and startup in California should have. This is great information to start and grow your business. These legal resources can help with establishing, growing, and closing out a business as necessary.

California Requirements For Forming Your Business

California Permits for Your Business

  • CalGOLD. Helps you determine what business permits, licenses, and registration requirements are required for your business.
  • California Seller’s Permit. You can read more here, but you need a California seller’s permit if you “[i]ntend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.” If you do need a California seller’s permit, you can obtain a permit here.
  • California Resale Certificate. Information on why a business might need a California resale certificate can be found here. A form resale certificate can be found here.

SF Requirements For Registering Your Business

  • San Francisco Business Registration Certificate. If you are doing business in San Francisco for more than 7 days a year, you are required to complete an application to obtain a San Francisco Business Registration Certificate within 15 days.
  • San Francisco Fictitious Business Name Statement. If you will conduct business in San Francisco under a name other than your full legal name, the full legal name of a legal entity (such as a corporation), or any name that suggests additional owners, you must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the San Francisco County Clerk’s Office. Frequently asked questions about San Francisco Fictitious Business Name Statements can be found here.
  • License 123. License 123 is a free online tool that helps businesses navigate San Francisco’s permitting and licensing requirements.

California Tax Obligations For Your Business

Federal Tax Obligations For Your Business

  • EIN. The online application to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) can be accessed here.

Planning Your Business

ADA Compliance

  • The San Francisco Office Of Small Business has some legal resources available here on ways to bring your business into compliance and to mitigate your risk of a lawsuit.

Financing Resources

Converting Your California Company

  • The California Secretary of State Office’s guide to convert from one type of entity to a different type of entity.

Obligations for Dissolving Your California Businesses

Disclaimer: This article discusses general legal issues and developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current law in your jurisdiction. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Bend Law Group, PC expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.