Quick Guide: 10-Step Plan to Setting Up Shop In Santa Ana

1. Evaluate Your Needs and Determine Your Location

The City of Santa Ana Economic Development Division
Phone: (714) 647-6987
Website: www.santa-ana.org/econdev/default.asp

The Economic Development Division has information on business incentives, starting a new business, job training and placement assistance, and export development assistance. We are located at 20 Civic Center Plaza Drive, 6th Floor, Santa Ana, California. Working in cooperation with the private real estate community, the City also assists businesses wishing to locate or expand by identifying possible locations and offering incentives. Call to find out if your prospective site is located in the Enterprise Zone, an area that offers tax benefits.

2. Zoning

The City of Santa Ana Planning and Building Agency
Phone: (714) 647-5804
Website: www.santa-ana.org/pba/

The City has established zoning ordinances for both home-based businesses and commercial addresses.

3. Fictitious Business Name (dba)

Orange County Clerk Recorder
Phone: (714) 834-2500
Website: www.ocrecorder.com/services/fictitious

If you intend to name your firm anything other than your own name, you must file a fictitious business name, also called a dba (Doing Business As).

4. Get a Business License

The City of Santa Ana Business Tax Office
Phone: (714) 647-5447
Website: www.santa-ana.org/finance/business/business_license_faq.asp

Any person operating a business in the city must obtain a business license and pay an annual business license tax.

5. Get Important State permits

The Economic Development Division and Business Tax Office can help you determine what other permits or licenses you may need. Contact the appropriate offices listed below.

For Wholesale and Retail business
To apply for a Seller's Permit
State Board of Equalization: (949) 440-3473

For Restaurants and Food Vendors
A Health Inspection is required.
The Orange County Health Care Agency: (714) 433-6000

For Restaurants Serving Alcohol and Liquor Stores
A Liquor License is required.
California Department of Alcoholic Beverages Control: (714) 558-4101

For Some Types of Retail and Manufacturing
South Coast AQMD: (909) 396-2000
Website: www.aqmd.gov

Business Structure
If you are filing as a corporation, S Corporation, Partnership, or limited liability company, you must register.
Secretary of State: (916) 657-5448
Website: www.sos.ca.gov/business-programs/business-entities/

6. Get the Right City Permits

For questions about zoning, environmental review, land use and conditional use permits.
Phone: (714) 647-5804

Planning & Building
For questions about plan check, mechanical and electrical permits.
Phone: (714) 647-5804

Business License
For questions about obtaining your business license.
Phone: (714) 647-5447

Public Works
For questions on public right-of-way, sanitation and recycling.
Phone: (714) 647-5690

Fire Prevention Services
For questions about hazardous materials, underground storage tanks and fire investigation.
Phone: (714) 547-5700

Permit Assistance Team
For questions about which permit to obtain.
Phone: (714) 647-6987

7. Get a Federal Employer Identification Number

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Phone: (800) 829-4933
Website: www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-to-Apply-for-an-EIN

A partnership, corporation or a sole proprietorship with employees requires a Federal Employer I.D. number. A sole proprietorship without employees can use the owner's social security number.

8. Get a State Identification Number

Employment Development Department (EDD)
Phone: (888) 745-3886
Website: www.edd.ca.gov/payroll_taxes/am_i_required_to_register_as_an_employer.htm

The same rules generally apply for a State Tax I.D. number as for a Federal Tax I.D. number. Please refer to the item above.

9. Open a Checking Account for your Business Only

Separate business and personal accounting is essential when you file your tax return.

10. Successful Businesses Have a Business Plan

The small Business Development Center offers a workshop on how to prepare a business plan. For a schedule of low-cost workshops, call (714) 564-5200, or check their website: www.ocsbdc.com