Are you starting a new business in the state of California? There is a lot for first-time business owners to remember, so here are five things to add to your checklist to help you get started.

#1 Develop a Business Plan

This can be a daunting task for a first-time business owner. If you don’t know where to begin, check out the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website. Registering an account will open you up to many resources the SBA offers to small businesses. Your business plan will be important for everything from helping you have goals to work towards with your company to having something to provide lenders when searching for capital.

#2 Structure Your Company Legally

Before you just decide to go with a sole proprietorship for the sake of simplicity, learn about the benefits of the different types of legal entities. For example, it may better protect your personal assets if you create an LLC, C Corporation, or S Corporation. Also, if you have a business partner, make sure that your paperwork is legally sound before entering into a partnership.

#3 Choosing and Registering a Company Name

If you are not going to be operating under your own name, it’s time to select a name for your business. That means checking to make sure that the name you want to use is available and then registering it. Once you have done that, you can open a bank account or get a credit card in the company’s name. This will further separate your personal assets and the company’s.

#4 Checking Local Zoning Laws

Your local county or city website should give you access to a zoning map. If not, you may have to head down to the county building. This will allow you to acquire the right piece of land for your company or to seek the rezoning of an existing property if necessary.

#5 Acquiring a Business License

Most cities or counties require businesses to renew a license each year in order to do business in the area. In fact, if your business works in a number of surrounding areas, you may need to acquire a license in each city and county you plan to make money in.

Get Help with Your New Business Formation

If you are ready to start a new business, Pokala Law can help you with the many legal aspects of business formation. From selecting the best legal entity type to meet your needs to filing the paperwork that accompanies a business startup, an experienced business attorney can get your business off to a good start. Call 844-695-1487 to get started today.