Where do I get a business license/permit?
You need a license to go into business. The type of license depends on the type of business and where your establishment or headquarters will be located. Your first stop should be that city’s business license division. If your business will not be located within an incorporated city, go to the County Business License Bureau. Here are some places to check:
Permit Assistance Center – Downtown
201 N. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90002
Tel: (213) 977-7900
City Planning Department (Zoning Information)
Los Angeles Building & Safety Department (LADBS)
201 N Figueroa Street, 3rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (888) 524-2845
Business License (Business Tax Certificate)
Office of City Clerk Finance Tax Registration Certificate
201 N Main Street, Room 1001
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Where do I get a sales tax permit?
This is also known as a Retail Merchants Certificate or Sellers Permit you can apply for a sellers permit with:
State Board of Equalization
Tel: (800) 400-7115
5901 Green Valley Circle
P. O. Box #3652
Culver City, CA 90231
Tel: (310) 842-1000
Where do I get a tax ID number?
This is also known as an Employer Identification Number, FEIN and EIN. If you plan to hire employees you are also required to obtain a Federal Employee Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) To obtain the registration form and reference documents contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040.
Internal Revenue Services
Tel: (559) 452-4010
How do I register a business name?
On a local level, registering your business name, after doing a search to make sure that it is not already in use, protects you from others who might be using the same name. For more information contact the County Recorder in the county in which your business is based. You can also reserve a name through the Secretary of State’s Office in Sacramento by calling the Name Availability Unit (Recorded Information)
Office of County Clerk – Registrar-Recorder
12400 Imperial Highway, Room 1007
Norwalk, CA 90650
Tel: (562) 462-2177
The Secretary of State
Tel: (916) 654-7960
Los Angeles Branch
300 S Spring St., Suite #12513
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tel: (213) 897-3062
To fully protect your business name and prohibit others from using it, you need to get a federal Trademark. We suggest using a patent attorney for this process. You may call the Patent and Trademark office in Washington for recorded message at (703) 557-3158 or visit their website site http://www.uspto.gov where you can do searches and register.
If you are forming a corporation or an LLC, your business name will get properly registered as a part of forming these entities. If your business is going to be a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you must file a Fictitious Name Statement so you can operate as a DBA (doing business as). To do this, call your local neighborhood newspaper and ask for a Fictitious Business Name kit.
How do I incorporate?
If you are considering becoming a corporation, (either stock or nonprofit), an LLC (limited liabi1ity company) or a partnership (limited, limited liability, or general) you must file with the Secretary of State’s Office. (At this time, all General Partnership Statements filed with the Secretary of State’s Office are permissive and not mandatory). Here are a couple of sites that can help you decide which type of business entity is for you. www.incorporate.com and www.ungerlaw.com. However, we do recommend that you engage a business attorney and a CPA to help you make these decisions since there are legal and tax implications.