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Start a Business


1. Create a Business Plan

A business plan is like a roadmap; it shows you where you are in relation to where you want to be. 

Business Plan Template


2. Choose a Structure

Choosing the legal structure that best suits your business type is a top priority. The most common structures include: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.

Business Entity Types

Location Options

3. Location Options

Determining zoning requirements prior to signing a lease or contract is imperative. You must check with the City to see if the type of business you plan to operate is legal in the desired location.

View eZoning

Choose a Name

4. Choose a Name

You've brainstormed and picked that perfect business name. So what's the next step to make it legal and protect your brand? File a Fictitious Business Name (FBN) with the County of San Diego.

Fictitious Business Name Guidelines

Business Licenses and Permits

5. Obtain a Business License & Permits

The business activity type chosen determines the licenses and permits needed to operate a business legally. Building permits are required when a project involves a new/changed use of the property.

View Licenses & Permits

Tax Information

6. Tax Information

Several types of taxes may be levied on businesses including City business tax, income tax and employment tax.

Tax Information

Hire Employees

7. Hire Employees

Hiring your first employee is a big step and introduces new complexities. As an employer, you must consider labor regulations and payroll taxes at the local, state and federal levels.

Employment Tax Information

Schedule an Appointment

8. Schedule a One-on-One Appointment

For more information on how to start a business schedule a one-on-one appointment with an Economic Development Specialist today!

 Make an Appointment



For additional information please contact us.

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