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Home / Videos / Business / Why and How to Start Your Small Business in Southern California

Why and How to Start Your Small Business in Southern California

by Guest Contributor
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Why start a business in Southern California? A primary reason is the state itself has one of the biggest economies in the world. This means that in starting a business there, you’ll be able to avail yourself of an enormous amount of networking and funding opportunities in the area. California also has a strong culture of entrepreneurship.

Start with a Business Plan

No matter what type of business you are creating, when you are starting a new business, a business plan is the place to start. You’ll have to have one if you’re seeking investors, but don’t assume you won’t need one if you aren’t. A business plan isn’t just for the eyes of others but serves as a checklist for yourself, to help you make sure that you have addressed such things as market research, cash flow and other issues. It’s not unusual for someone to start writing a plan and find out while doing it that there is an essential building block they are missing. There are many resources online that can help you write this plan, but the advantage of being in Southern California is that you can seek out incubators, entrepreneurial centers and similar in-person resources to help you refine your ideas and shore up your weaknesses.

Understand State, Federal, and Local Regulations

Southern California does have more regulations in place than many other states, so if you’re coming from somewhere else, don’t assume that you already know what you need to do to stay compliant. If you hope to open a restaurant, you should know that you are only permitted to provide plastic straws in a sit-down restaurant if the customer requests it. You may need a particular license or permit that wasn’t necessary in another jurisdiction where you lived previously. If you are managing a government fleet in California, you need to adhere to state smog check requirements. Fortunately, there may be certain tools that can help you with aspects of compliance. Telematics can help reduce smog checking time, leading to greater efficiency, as you can read about in a guide.

Other Considerations

There are several other things to ask yourself. Will yours be a sole proprietorship, an LLC, a corporation or some other type of entity? Do you need to file DBA paperwork? How will you handle your books? Will you work with an accountant? Do you need to hire people? Do you need office space, or can you start from home? If you’re starting at home, are there any zoning issues to consider? Figuring out all of this up front is much easier than trying to go back and fill in the gaps once you’re up and running.

Getting Funding

If you’re in tech, entertainment, or tourism, you’ve come to the right place, but many other types of industries thrive in California as well. You’ll be able to connect with angel investors and venture capitalists, but those types of funding sources aren’t the right choice for every type of business. The state offers several grants, incentives, and other types of financing to entrepreneurs and companies. There is a sales and use tax exemption if you are a manufacturer promoting advanced transportation and alternative energy. There are Small Business Technical Assistance Centers that can help you find programs local to your city or county that meets your needs.

Tapping into Dreams

Hollywood isn’t the only place in Southern California where dreams are made. Some of the most exciting tech and business innovations have happened in this state. By moving to the area, you’ll be able to connect with like-minded visionaries who see challenges instead of limits and who will be eager to collaborate with you. It’s a vibrant, inspiring atmosphere that will drive you creatively and make you want to aim high. Southern California is a great place to reinvent yourself and to launch your company or relocate your existing one, whatever the industry you’re in.

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