Starting Your Business
As the county’s designated business advocate, the Economic Development Office is working to make Nevada County a place all our businesses thrive - manufacturers, technology, retail and services, merchants, agriculture, cannabis, nonprofits, tourism, and more.
Do you have an idea for a new business? Whether you have a plan for starting a new business or you are just starting to think about whether you want to start or purchase a business, we are here to help.
Depending on the business and your business model, there are various ways to launch a successful business in Nevada County. There are steps you’ll want to take to make sure you are operating legally. Other steps involve making sure you are offering something the market wants.
The following are some things to consider as you are getting started. Remember, you can always contact the Economic Development office at (530) 470-2795 for business assistance, and a friendly connection to available resources.
Market research helps identify if there is an opportunity for your business to be successful, and competitive analysis helps you understand the demand for your business, potential customers, and your competition in the area. To get a better of picture your market, research the following items.
- Location: Where will your customers live and how will your business reach them?
- Economic Indicators: What is the income range and employment rate of your chosen location?
- Demographic Information: What is the age, wealth, size of families, and interests of the competitive market you will be serving?
- Demand: Is there a need for what your business will offer? Does it fall in line with high-growth industries?
- Market Saturation: How many similar options to your business are available?
- Competition: Do you know what other businesses you might be competing with in your market?
To make your search easier, we’ve included some links following these key areas:
One of the most important aspects of your business plan is the structure. It will determine the paperwork you need to file, your personal liability, how much you will pay in taxes, your ability get funding opportunities, and daily operations. A business structure needs to be chosen before registering your business with the State of California.
Common business structures are Sole proprietorships, Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Partnerships, Corporations, and Cooperatives. View the links below to learn more information on how to choose the best business structure for you.
If you are the sole proprietor of your business, you may use your whole name as your business title. However, many business owners choose to use a Fictitious Business Name (FBN) if they have one or multiple partners, a lean-start-up business plan, a creative name idea, or simply desire more security and privacy for their identity.
Registering an FBN is necessary when your business name does not include your last name or any partner’s last name, any verbiage that suggests the existence of additional owners, and when a limited partnership, corporation, or LLC uses a name that is not stated as one of the owners. A “Doing Business As” name (DBA) or “Trade Name” are other terms used for fictitious naming. To learn more about FBNs and DBAs, view the links below.
Additionally, it important to secure your domain name if you plan to have a website name that correlates with your business name. Domain names are available for purchase at domain hosting companies.
Selecting your business location is one of the most important decisions you will make. Having an advantageous location may significantly boost your company’s long-term performance, so consider the following when deciding on a location for your business.
- Zoning: Whether you are buying or renting a property for your business, make sure it conforms to the unincorporated county area or city zoning ordinances.
- Costs: Business start-up cost are largely dependent on the location of your business. Leasing or buying, utilities, taxes, and insurance are common expenses. Additional costs can include local business requirements such as licenses, permits, and taxes.
- Requirements: Location determines whether you need to go to city or county departments to fulfill business requirements. Nevada County does not require business licenses, however, some of the cities within the county to. Common requirements include licenses, permits, taxes, inspections and clearances.
Go to the CalGold homepage to capture everything you need for your business. Start by entering the city or unincorporated Nevada County, and your type of business. This online database provides the specific requirements relevant to your type of business, and it offers links and contact information for the government agencies that administer and issue business licenses, permits, and registration requirements.
Additional information on Nevada County business requirements can be found on our links tab, under the section Nevada County, California.
Registering your business makes it a legal entity, and the process is dependent on your business structure and location. Generally, small businesses only need to register their name with the state and local governments.
- If you are a sole proprietor business entity, filing is not required. The five basic steps you must take to form a sole proprietorship in California include:
- Select a name for your business.
- File a Fictitious Business name statement with the recorder in your county.
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
- Obtain any necessary zoning clearance, permits, and licenses.
- Publish an announcement of your new business entity in a generally circulated publication such as a newspaper.
- If you intend to become a corporation, LLC, or partnership, then you will have to file with the California Secretary of State.
- Businesses with employees, business partnerships, and corporations must also register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Refer to California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CALOSBA) to ensure you are protecting your business, providing for your own personal liability protection, and are aware of your legal and tax benefits.
A business plan is a dynamic document that will serve as your roadmap for establishing your business. Writing a good business plan lays the groundwork for how you want to structure, fund, run, and grow your business., To obtain more information on how to write a business plan, please view the following resources:
To receive local guidance on developing your business plan, contact the Nevada County Economic Resource Council (ERC) at 530 274-8455, and go to the ERC homepage for more information.
Once you have your business plan and local location costs determined, you should determine how you will handle your business start-up costs. Financing options include self-funding, venture capital, crowd funding, small business loans, and SBA approved loans and investment programs.
For small businesses seeking out a loan from a local bank, choosing the right bank for your business and having a good banking relationship are both very important. Once established, stay connected with your banker as you would with other business partners. Share your business plan and goals for your business. Clearly define your expectations and communicate your businesses financial picture so they can recommend a product or service you haven’t thought about.
The Sierra Small Business Development Center (SBDC) identifies funding options for new businesses and will walk you through the steps that turn ideas into successful ventures. Contact SBDC at firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-582-5022 or go to the SBDC homepage for more information.