Start Your Business

Start Your Business

Congratulations on your decision to open a business in the City of Elk Grove! The City's business climate, existing and planned projects, customer base, amenities, and overall quality of life make Elk Grove THE place to put your business on the map. Elk Grove welcomes your business and your entrepreneurial spirit and wants to make the process of opening your business as easy as possible. These steps act as a guide to help you open up your business. For a more detailed version, please download at the bottom of the page.

Step 1 - Create a Business Plan

The business plan should provide specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay the borrowed money. Even if you are not seeking financial assistance, a business plan can still play a critical role. A business plan will define your business and clearly identify your goals.


Step 2 - Naming Your Business

Now that you have made the decision to go into business for yourself, you will want to choose an effective business name. A business name is an individual decision you will want to consider carefully.

Step 3 - Register Your Business

There are many ways of organizing your business. You could run your business by yourself, with another person, or as a separate legal entity. Each type of structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. For specific questions about which structure is best for your business, you should consult a qualified tax consultant or an attorney.

Step 4 - Taxes

All businesses in California must fulfill their tax obligation for the state, federal, and local governments. If you are going to be in business, you'll want to know what types of business taxes may apply, including:

  • State and Federal Tax
  • Sales and Use tax
  • Self-Employment Tax
  • Property Tax

It is a good idea to consult with a tax professional before you get started so you will be well aware of what taxes will apply and when.

Step 5 - Finding the Ideal Location

Choosing the location for your business is one of the most important decisions you'll make for the success and sustainability of your business. The popular phrase "Location, Location, Location" is popular for a reason.

Step 6 - Permits and Business Licensing

Once you've found the perfect location, it's now time to obtain any necessary permits and a business license. Before committing to one location or signing a lease, you should do the following:

  • Check the Zoning by calling the City's Planning Department at (916) 478-2265.
  • Check the previous use of the space by calling the City's Building Department at (916) 478-2235.
  • For Business License information, call the City's Business License Office at (916) 478-2211.
  • You can also go online to check outOpenCounter, a customized guide to help applicants identify zoning details for a prospective business location, as well as outlining the permits and fees required to start a business in Elk Grove.

Step 7 - Other Licensing Requirements

  • Air Quality Compliance
  • Specialized Federal Licenses
  • Protecting Your Idea
  • Patents
  • Copyright
  • Trademarks


Step 8 - Hiring Employees

As an employer, there are many requirements you have to consider as you hire your workforce. This is particularly critical if you own a small business without a professional Human Resources Manager that specializes in this discipline. It is also recommended that you stay current on changes in human relation laws.

Step 9 - Ongoing Requirements

State and Federal Mandatory Postings

In California, all employers must meet workplace posting obligations. Workplace postings are requires employers to post information related to wages, hours, and working conditions in an area frequented by employees where it may be easily read during the workday. Additional posting requirements apply to some workplaces. For a list of available safety and health postings, visit the Cal/OSHA publications webpage.