Every business needs to follow a few basic steps to legally operate.
Below are some of the most common licenses and permits to consider:
LOCAL BUSINESS LICENSE
Most cities require you to register a business license and they may tax your business once you reach certain income levels (i.e. $100k year). You can generally register online on your own. For example, if you operate in the city of Los Angeles or San Francisco, you can register here:
If you sell goods, you may need a seller’s permit from the state of California. If you don’t sell goods (i.e. you just provide services), you may be able to skip this step. You can read more about the requirements and registration here:
FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAMES / DBA
If you are doing business using a name that is different than your name as an individual or different than the name of your LLC or Corporation (if you have one), then you may need to register a fictitious business name with your local county. This is also sometimes referred to as getting a “DBA” because you are “Doing Business As” a name different than your legal name. You can register your DBA with Los Angeles or San Francisco County below.
Article: DBAs in a nut-shell.