Starting A Business

There are many important decisions to make, and a variety of rules and procedures to follow, when starting a new business. While there is no single source for all requirements, the following will help you understand what you need to do to start a business in Fort Bragg.

A Good Fit
One of the first things you need to decide is if the business you’re planning is likely to succeed in Fort Bragg. The Community Data section of this web site is a good place to start. You’ll find economic, market and related demographic information about Fort Bragg and Mendocino County that will help you determine if your idea is a good fit for this community.

Make a Plan
When starting a new business, people generally begin with a business plan, a ‘blueprint’ of every aspect of the business, early in the process of starting a business. Contact West Company for free training, consulting, and advice on starting a business in Mendocino County.Visit the Small Business Administration for a tutorial on how to create your plan. 
Find the Right Spot
You’ll need to find a location in Fort Bragg that’s appropriate for the kind of business you want to start. To learn about zoning, to see what locations are zoned properly for your business, or to find real estate resources are available to help with your search, visit the Site Location section of this site.

Apply for a Business License
Businesses also require licenses, some need permits too. Go to the Business License and Permits section of this site to learn what your business needs in Fort Bragg. Visit the California government website CalGold for a general discussion of permits and licenses. .

Decide on a Business Identity
You’ll need to choose a business structure. According to the California Secretary of State's website, the principal types of legal business structures available in California include:
  • Corporation
  • Limited Partnership
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Sole Proprietorship
Visit the Secretary of State's website to learn more about business structures. Then consult a legal representative and accountant before deciding which type of business entity to form.

File Tax & Employer Documents
Your next step will be to file  tax and employer identification documents. Contact the Employment Development Department's Employer Information website for California employer forms and information. Contact the IRS Tax Information for Businesses webpages for help with Federal tax information and forms. For more help understanding these documents contact West Company.