If you wish to register a business in California, you need to decide on the ownership structure of your business first. The type of business structure (LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership) will qualify you to certain tax benefits so make sure to choose wisely. The next step is to file the Name Reservation Request Form. Make sure you have conducted a business entity name search prior to make sure your chosen name is still available.
Once you decide on the legal structure of your business entity, you need to obtain different legal and documentary requirements for each. For example, the documents needed to establish a sole proprietorship and that of LLCs differ in California. Check in with the California Secretary of State to learn more about the specific documents required to register your business entity.
At this point, you are ready to embark on tax registration. This can be done online at the Board of Equalization website in California (especially if you are in the business of selling). For businesses with employees, you need an Employer Identification Number through the IRS. Other licenses and permits that you need to accomplish in California include general business license (it could vary from one city to another), regulatory licenses and permits, and professional licenses (for businesses that offer their professional service).
The final steps would be to comply with the zoning permits (for businesses with a physical location) and to obtain the necessary business insurances.
Since 2002, California State has 57 counties, with 475 municipal governments, and 2830 special districts. The county government is run by an elected board of supervisors, which also oversees unincorporated towns in the county.
Elected officials run the government operations; they vary in number depending on the population of the county. Most counties have a coroner, sheriff, district attorney, assessor, school superintendent, and treasurer-tax collector. Larger counties also have public works directors, public defenders, planning directors, social welfare service directors, and purchasing agents, which are all elected officials.
Municipalities function under the mayor-council, council-manager, or commission system type of government. Larger cities have 5 to 15 council members, elected on a four-year term basis. The council takes care of the public improvement, budget, and taxation. The elected mayor, on the other hand, oversees different departments of the city and appoints officials.See the main California Page for county links.