10 Steps to Starting Your Business

Do you have a business idea but aren’t sure where to start? Perhaps you’re unsure about how much capital you’ll need.  Or perhaps you’re unsure about how to eventually market your business.  The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has put together a list of ten steps that can help you take that first step.  These 10 easy steps are a great start that can set the wheels in motion.


  1. Initial Research—get an understanding of the business you’re looking to start and whether there’s a market for it.
  2. Develop Your Business Plan—Business plans are often seen as a painful task that is only necessary when seeking financing but in reality, it can be a useful tool and help you identify potential pitfalls.
  3. Finance Your Business—without adequate funding, your business is bound to fail. There are various organizations whose sole purpose is to help finance your new businesses. Several of them will work closely with you ensure you have a clear understanding of your financial needs and how to implement realistic projections.
  4. Local Licensing Requirements—Various municipalities require that you obtain a business license before doing any business within its boundaries. Make certain that you contact your local government to determine what type of licensing you’ll need.
  5. Register Your Business—The State of California also requires that you register with them once you’ve determined your type of business structure.
  6. State Licensing Requirements—Certain types of business require additional licensing.
  7. Zoning and Permit Requirements—Once you’ve vetted your business idea and are ready to start looking at potential locations, it’s important that you first check with your local government to determine which locations allow for your type of business. Also, you may need a special permit if you’re looking to make significant improvements to the space so be ready to discuss specific details regarding your business.
  8. Tax Requirements—If you’re starting a for-profit business then you’ll definitely be subject to federal income taxes. Consult a tax professional so that they’re able to provide you with a clear picture on potential taxes you’ll be required to pay.
  9. Employer Responsibility—navigating through local, state, and federal employee regulations can be confusing. The State has several resources available that can answer a lot of those questions.
  10. Additional Business Resources—Resources are in abundance.

The SBDC and SCORE are always good starting points.  There isn’t a perfect blueprint on how to start a business, but these ten steps can help you begin your business venture with better ease and direction. You can see the article in its entirety by visiting http://sonomaedb.org/Business-Assistance/Ten-Steps/.

If you have any questions on this or how to start business in Windsor, don’t hesitate to contact Robert Ramirez, Economic Development Manager, at (707) 838-5339, rramirez@townofwindsor.com