Consumer Financial Education: Small Business

Starting your own small business or expanding your current on doesn’t have to be a dream – it can become a reality. But it takes savings, planning, money management, marketing and a lot of hard work make your business thrive. Below are some resources to help you get started and to navigate the process of building your own successful business.

Starting a Small Business

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a step by step guide to getting your small business off the ground and off to a good start. Visit their website for a more in depth breakdown of the steps:

  1. Conduct market research: Market research will tell you if there’s an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business.
  2. Write your business plan: Your business plan is the foundation of your business. It’s a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business.
  3. Fund your business: Your business plan will help you figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business.
  4. Pick your business location: Your business location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.
  5. Choose a business structure: The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your personal liability.
  6. Choose your business name: It’s not easy to pick the perfect name. You’ll want one that reflects your brand and captures your spirit. You’ll also want to make sure your business name isn’t already being used by someone else.
  7. Register your business: Once you’ve picked the perfect business name, it’s time to make it legal and protect your brand.
  8. Get federal and state tax IDs: You’ll use your employer identification number (EIN) for important steps to start and grow your business, like opening a bank account and paying taxes.
  9. Apply for licenses and permits: Keep your business running smoothly by staying legally compliant.
  10. Open a business bank account: A small business checking account can help you handle legal, tax, and day-to-day issues.

Further resources:

Small Business Assistance

There are a number of state and federal programs to help entrepreneurs get started and keep going on the path to running a flourishing small business. Below are a few was that you can find the help you need.

Incentives, Grants, and Financing

The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development offers several resources to help your small business, including no-cost, confidential services for incentive and grant navigation. Their team of business consultants will guide you through the available tax credits, grants, and financing assistance options that are available to your business.

For more information, visit their website at:

Disaster Assistance

You never know when disaster might strike, so its important to be prepared for any possible scenario. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your business is covered in case of an emergency.

Step 1: Assess your risk. Every business has unique vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Knowing which disasters are most likely to affect your business can help you to return to operations faster. A back-to-business self-assessment can help you to assess your risks for common hazards such as hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, or even cyberattacks.

Step 2: Create a plan. Your response plan is your roadmap to recovery, so it should be tailored to your business’s specific needs and operations.  It should address immediate priorities and be easy to access.  Checklists and online toolkits are effective resources to help you develop your plan. Consider the following:

Step 3: Execute your plan. Practice your plan with your staff so you’re ready when a disaster occurs.

You should focus on disasters that pose a realistic risk to your small business. For additional information from the SBA, visit their Prepare For Emergencies page. If you need disaster assistance in the form of a loan or grant, visit the SBA disaster assistance page.


The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The DFPI updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be additional resources that also serve your needs.

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Last updated: Jun 22, 2023 @ 12:48 pm