Business Startup Checklist


Step 1: Develop a Business Plan

A business plan is your guide for developing your business. It assists you in analyzing the feasibility of a new business. It is a MUST if you intend to secure a loan, but should be developed even if you will not.

Step 2: Consult with Necessary Professionals

  • Accountant
  • Attorney
  • Banker
  • Insurance agent/broker

Step 3: Decide on Legal Structure

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • LLC
  • S-Corp. vs. C-Corp.

Step 4: Verify and File Fictitious Business Name Statement

You must do this if you do not use your own name in business.

San Joaquin County Recorder/Clerk
24 S. Hunter Street, Room 304
Stockton, CA 95202

Step 5: Obtain a Business License

Download a printable version of the Business License Application

Finance Dept., License Div.
City of Tracy
333 Civic Center Plaza
Tracy, CA 95376

Step 6: Check Zoning Laws and Land Use Ordinances

San Joaquin County Community Development Dept.
1810 E. Hazelton Ave.
Stockton, CA 95205
Phone (209) 468-3120

Step 7: Obtain other necessary Permits or Licenses

(food, liquor, doctor, nurse, contractor, auto repair, etc.)
San Joaquin County Environmental Health Division
304 E. Weber Ave. 3rd Floor
Stockton, CA 95201
Phone (209) 468-3420

Step 8: Apply for a State Employer Tax Identification Number

Franchise Tax Board
31 E. Channel Street
Stockton, CA
Phone (800) 852-5711

Step 9: Apply for a Federal Tax Identification Number

1550 W. Fremont #150
Stockton, CA 95203
Phone (800) 829-1040

Step 10: Apply for Sellers Permit, if reselling a product

Information on how to obtain a Sellers Permit
Board Of Equalization
31 E. Channel Street, Pm. 264
Stockton, CA 95202
Phone 209/948-7720

Please check with the Economic Development Association at (209) 468-3615 for any additional requirements unique to certain businesses.

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