Looking to Start or Grow Your Business?

Why California?

California is one of the top 10 states in the areas of high-wage services, fastest growing companies, initial public offerings (IPO), innovation capacity and patents.

California is home to 53 of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies. Since 1963 (when patent records were first established), 432, 404 patents have originated in California which represents 17 percent of all the patents issued in the history of the U.S. and more than twice the number originating from the next closest state. In 2009, over 23,000 patents originated in California, far more than any other state.

California is one of the top 5 states in the area of science and technology- No.1 in Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure & No.3 in Research and Development Inputs.

Industrial Research and Development (R&D) in California totaled $50.6 billion, which represents almost 25 percent of the national total.

California offers a 15-24 percent R&D tax credit to businesses from large shares of federal funding for R&D. The UC Technology Transfer Program is first among the nations’ universities in the number of patents granted and in the number of successfully commercialized inventions, creating more than 1,000 inventions a year.

Three out of the ten NASA centers are located in California – more than any other state. Including, 40 federal laboratories – more than any other state.

California is the No.1 state for venture capital (VC) receiving four times more venture capital than the nation’s average. Last year, California received 51.3 percent of all VC invested in the U.S. far more than any other state.

Foreign companies employ nearly 561,000 California workers and are responsible for 4.6 percent of the state’s total private-industry employment in 2009.

 California is an attractive location for international employer.

CA ranks #1 in the nation for the highest number of employees supported by U.S. subsidiaries with 572,500 jobs and counting.

133,700 of those jobs are manufacturing jobs that have had a “multiplier” effect on the economy, stimulating activity and jobs in other sectors with high input demands from other suppliers. Almost 9% of the manufacturing jobs in California are supported by U.S. subsidiaries.

 The Pacific Rim located in California is one of the largest trade networks in the nation, giving businesses access to the global economy.

California’s export shipments of merchandise in 2011 totaled $159.4 billion, a 25% increase over 2009; returning California’s export totals to pre-recession levels.

California’s largest export market was Mexico, with the state posting exports of $26.04 billion to Mexico in 2011- 16 percent of California’s total exports in 2011. Other top markets include: Canada ($17.2 billion), China ($14.2 billion), Japan ($13.1 billion), and South Korea ($13.1 billion).
The leading export category in 2011 was computers and electronic products, which alone accounted for 29 percent, or $46 billion, of California’s total merchandise exports. Other top exports were transportation equipment ($15 billion) and machinery manufactures ($15 billion).

Small and medium-sized firms generated more than two-fifths (44 percent) of California’s total exports of merchandise in 2007. This was the seventh highest percentage among the states, and was well above the 30 percent national export share.

All twelve metropolitan areas in California exported over $1 billion in merchandise exports in 2012.

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana ($79.8 billion)
2. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont ($31.8 billion)
3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($22.8 billion)
4. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos ($16 billion)
5. Riverside-San Bernardino- Ontario ($10.9 billion)
6. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA ($6.2 billion)
7. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville ($6 billion)
8. Bakersfield-Delano ($4 billion)
9. Fresno ($3.7 billion)
10. Santa Barbara- Santa Maria-Goleta ($2.5 billion)
11. Santa Rosa-Petaluma ($2.1 billion)
12. Stockton ($2 billion)

California is the No. 1 state for attracting foreign direct investment.

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California is an ideal place for companies of all sizes.  If you are looking to start, expand, or relocate your business to Southern California, listed below are some helpful resources and links to help you get started on your business successfully.

Business Start Ups

The following programs provide assistance with business plans, mentorship and coaching, workshops, funding resources, and much more to help you get started on your business venture.

U.S Small Business Association

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.


Mission:  To foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education

Vision:  Every person has the support necessary to thrive as a small business owner

Find a Mentor

Americas Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

America’s SBDC represents America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) – the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States and its territories.

The mission of America’s nationwide network of SBDCs is to help new entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership, and to assist existing businesses to remain competitive in the complex marketplace of an ever-changing global economy.

Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for FREE face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training, on topics including:

•  Writing business plans
•  Accessing capital
•  Marketing
•  Regulatory compliance
•  Technology development
•  International trade

LA Business Portal

The City of Los Angeles is a committed partner at every step of your business. As part of this dedication to service, we offer direct assistance to businesses of all sizes to help them move, start, and grow in L.A.  The Business Portal is a comprehensive one-stop shop that features a wealth of resources aimed at first time or seasoned business owners.  For assistance and support, please contact us.

Urban League of Los Angeles

Founded in 1921, the Los Angeles Urban League is recognizing more than 90 years of service to our Los Angeles communities. The League is the city’s premier organization in advancing equal opportunities on behalf of African Americans and other minority youths and adults through innovative job training, job placement, youth achievement and business development programs.

The Los Angeles Urban League Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center provides small businesses and entrepreneurs one stop access to an array of specialized resources and information. Services offered included business assessment, technical assistance, business planning, marketing and human resource referral, training, and assistance.

The Los Angeles Urban League Entrepreneurship Center helps established minority entrepreneurs obtain the necessary management skills that will enable them to take advantage of new business opportunities and qualify for financing that will lead to higher levels of business growth.

The Los Angeles Urban League Entrepreneurship Center works with private, public and nonprofit resources to build strong, sustainable and successful minority businesses.

Scroll down for detailed listings of resources near you…

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Typically most businesses need an Employer Identification Number (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) to identify their business.  Depending on how you are setting up or structuring your business, your social security number can be used to identify your business as well.  Applying for a Tax Identification number is quick and easy.  To learn more, visit www.irs.gov or click here.

Business Licensing and Permits

Business licensing and permits may be necessary depending on the type of business you are operating.  It is also very important that you get a business license or permit that is relevant to your type of business and business location.  Here are some links pertaining to where and how to obtain a business license in your county.

California Secretary of State

About Business Programs

The Business Programs Division, the largest division of the Secretary of State’s office, supports California Businesses by registering and authenticating business entities and trademarks and enabling secured creditors to protect their financial interests.  The Business Programs Division processes millions of business filings and information requests each year.

  1. E-File Statements of Information for Corporations
  2. Register or Terminate a Business
  3. Corporate Filing Tips
  4. Limited Liability Company Filing Tips
  5. Forms, Samples and Fees for Business Entities
  1. Copies and Certificates of Status for Business Entities (PDF)
  2. Processing Times for Business Filings
  3. Business Search
  4. Delinquency and Penalty Notices
  5. Suspension/Forfeiture Notices

Should I incorparate my business?

Expanding or Relocating Your Business

The California Business Investment Services Unit provides no-fee, tailored site selection services to employers, corporate real estate executives, and site location consultants who are considering California for relocation and/or expansion.  In addition, there is staff is available to help you identify the business advantages of considering California locations for business relocation and expansion.  The CBISU offers a network of regional and local resources to gather essential information and discover which locations offer the most value for your project.

A wide array of consultation services are offered, includes:

  • Financial assistance and loan programs
  • Labor availability and education information
  • State and local permit assistance
  • Transportation and infrastructure information
  • Information on tax credits and other incentive programs

Additionally, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development serves as a company’s liaison to California’s regulatory agencies and local governments throughout the state. See More

U.S Small Business Association (SBA)

6101 W Centinela Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: (310) 642-0836

330 N Brand Blvd # 190
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: (818) 552-3210

5 Hutton Centre Dr Suite 900
Santa Ana, CA
Phone: 714-550-7420
Fax: 714-550-7409

550 West C Street Suite 550
San Diego, CA
Phone: 619-557-7250 or 619-727-4883
Fax: 619-557-5894

603 N. Euclid Avenue
Ontario, Ca 91762
(909) 983-5005
(909) 983-5515 Fax

3780 Market Street
Riverside CA 92501
(951) 781-2345
(909) 983-5515 Fax

15490 Civic Drive, Suite 102
Victorville, CA 92392
(760) 951-1592
(760) 951-8929 Fax


Southern California Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The mission of America’s SBDC is to represent the interests of our members and their SBDCs, by promoting, informing, supporting and continuously improving America’s nationwide network of SBDCs.
Hosted by leading universities, colleges and state economic development agencies, and funded in part by the United States Congress through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, nearly 1,000 service centers are available to provide no-cost business consulting and low-cost training.

4900 E. Conant Street, Building O2, Suite 108
Long Beach, CA 90808
Phone: 562-938-5020
Fax: 562-938-5030
Web Site: www.SMALLBIZLA.org

800 N. State College Blvd., SGMH 5313
Fullerton, CA 92834
Phone: 657-278-2719
Fax: 657-278-7101
Web Site: www.leadsbdc.org

880 National City Blvd., Suite 7118
National City, CA 91950
Phone: 619-216-6718
Fax: 619-216-6692
Web Site: www.sdivsbdc.org

26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, University Center, #258
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Phone: 661-362-5900
Fax: 661-362-5596
Web Site: www.cocsbdc.org

1601 Carmen Drive, #215
Camarillo, CA 93010
Phone: 805-384-1800
Fax: 805-384-1805
Web Site: www.edcsbdc.org

13430 Hawthorne Boulevard
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Phone: 310-973-3177
Fax: 310-973-3132
Web Site: www.southbaysbdc.org

4900 E. Conant Street, Building O2, Suite 108
Long Beach, CA 90808
Phone: 562-938-5100
Fax: 562-938-5030
Website: www.longbeachsbdc.org

3255 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1501
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone: 213-674-2696
Fax: 213-739-0639
Web Site: http://pcrsbdc.org

3035 E. Foothill Boulevard, Room 122
Pasadena, CA 91107
Phone: 626-585-3106
Website: http://pccsbdc.org

2180 Third Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Phone: 909-448-1567
Web Site: http://smallbizla.org

480 North 1st St., Suite 210
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: 408-248-4800
Fax: 408-385-9156
Web Site: http://svsbdc.org

3111 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Phone: 760-340-1575
Website: www.cvep.com

1650 Spruce St., Suite 500
Riverside, CA 92506
Phone: 951-781-2345
Web Site: www.iesmallbusiness.com

65 Enterprise
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Phone: 949-330-6569
Fax: 949-330-6561
Web Site: www.OCTANeOC.org

2130 E 4th Street #160
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714-953-4289
Web Site: http://ochispanicsbdc.com

2323 N. Broadway Suite 201
Santa Ana, CA 92706
Phone: 714-564-5200
Web Site: http://ocsbdc.org

1650 Spruce St., Suite 500
Riverside, CA 92506
Phone: 949-734-5635
Web Site: www.tritechsbdc.org

1850 West Main Street, Suite C
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: 760-312-9800
Fax: 877-459-3540
Web Site: www.ivsbdc.org

2075 Las Palmas Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Phone: 760-795-8740
Fax: 760-795-8728
Web Site: www.sandiegosmallbiz.com

880 National City Blvd., Suite 103
National City, CA 91950
Phone: 619-482-6391
Fax: 619-216-6692
Web Site: www.growmybiz.org

955 Morro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: 805-756-5171
Fax: 805-756-5173
Web Site: sbdc.calpoly.edu

1631 17th Street, Suite 200
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: 661-654-2856
Fax: 661-861-7952
Web Site: www.csub.edu/sbdc

350 S. Bixel Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213-580-7587
Web Site: http://www.bixelexchange.com/


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for over fifty years. Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to our network of 11,000+ volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at very low cost.
Score Los Angeles

330 North Brand Blvd.
Suite 190
Glendale, CA 91203
Ph: (818) 552-3206

Santa Barbara SCORE

Santa Barbara Regional C of C, 104 W. Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Ph: (805) 563-0084

SCORE San Diego

550 West C Street, Suite 550
San Diego, CA 92101-3500
Ph: (619) 557-7272