California Business Startup Guides
Starting a Business in Petaluma, California
Thinking about starting a business in Petaluma, California? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in Petaluma.
Will You Be a Successful Entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is hard work, much more challenging than working as an employee. Are you positive you want to start a business?
Here are three things we recommend you do before you fully commit to starting a new business of your own.
- Speak with other entrepreneurs in Petaluma. They are usually very willing to share their insights on the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
- You should read Starting a Company. It's a good read for those who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur.
- Talk it over with a close friend or partner. Others sometimes know you better than you know yourself.
What Business Are You Starting?
An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. To help you decide on a business type, we encourage you to read Free Business Ideas.
For in-depth how-to guides on how to start specific businesses, browse our Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Opening a Roof Coatings Business guide or our How to Start a Scrimshaw Business guide.
Don't forget that your new startup will be located in Petaluma. Some businesses will do better in Petaluma than others. Make sure you fully understand Petaluma demographics before you lock in on your business idea.
Petaluma, California Demographic Information
Petaluma has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for Petaluma demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Petaluma.
As a new Petaluma entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Petaluma for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.
Forming a Company in Petaluma, California
It's essential that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Without a legal structure for the business, you can be held personally liable for the actions, debts and obligations of your company.
The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.
Incorporating is a very common way to legally create a business entity. Of course, you have to decide which type of corporation to form and where to incorporate. If you are starting a business in California, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in California. In fact, you can incorporate in the state of your choosing. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.
There are many nuances to forming a company. To learn the fundamentals of company formation, browse articles on our site, such as How to Incorporate. You may also want to seek the advice of an lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Petaluma, California, our information on Incorporating in California may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in California.
Raising Money for Your New Venture
Getting your Petaluma business the capital it needs to succeed is not an easy task. Bootstrapping, which means growing the business without outside funding, is the best alternative, but that's not a viable option for many startup plans.
To learn about raising money, we recommend you read the fundraising articles on our site, such as 504 Loans.
Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Skills
Good entrepreneurs recognize that what they know now may not be enough to ensure their future success.
Given that you are starting a business in Petaluma, California, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby California universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also worthwhile to see if there are any Petaluma networking organizations.
As an entrepreneur in Petaluma, you won't be working for the boss anymore. You are the boss.
Owning your own business will be a daunting task, but you can do it.
We are here to help Petaluma businesses to be successful. We want to be there for you to answer your business questions, whether you are a new Petaluma entrepreneur who is just getting started or you are already up and running with your new venture.
More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Petaluma, California
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Petaluma.
- Resources for Petaluma, California Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Petaluma entrepreneurs.
- California Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in California.
- Fresno, California Small Business Development Center - The UC Merced SBDC Regional Network assists Central California entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling, training and business information.
- Los Angeles, California Small Business Development Center - The Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network (LA SBDC Network) is part of the national, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) effort to provide free one-on-one customized consulting services and low-cost training workshops to growing businesses and start-up businesses.
- Sacramento, California Small Business Development Center - As Northern California continues to grow demographically and economically, the Northeastern California Small Business Development Center (NECSBDC) at CSU, Chico is committed to helping communities prepare and plan for future growth.
- San Diego, California Small Business Development Center - The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwestern College serves entrepreneurs and small businesses in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The SBDC provides no-cost business assistance to start-up & existing businesses.
- San Francisco, California Small Business Development Center - The Northern California Network of Small Business Development Centers helps individuals start, manage and grow their businesses.
- Orange County Small Business Development Center - The Orange County SBDC is a leader in providing consulting, training, and technical assistance to the small business community.
Starting-a-Business Guides for Other Cities in California
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