• Welcome to San Clemente Chamber of Commerce!

  • Start a Business in California

    The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce has developed a comprehensive checklist for entrepreneurs. The SCCC checklist will help you determine how successful your California business will be. We welcome you to bookmark this page for quick reference. If you have any questions about starting a business in San Clemente, please email the SCCC or call us at (949) 492-1131.

    Checklist for Starting a New Business

    • List the reasons you wish to start a new business.
    • Identify the niche the business will fill and answer the following questions:
      • What services or products will you offer?
      • Is the idea practical?
      • Will your business fill a need?
      • What companies will your business compete with?
      • What advantages will your business provide that other companies do not?
      • Is there an existing demand for your business?
      • What skills and experience do you have that are relevant to your business?
      • What will the company’s legal structure look like?
      • How will you maintain business records?
      • What type of insurance is necessary?
      • What equipment and supplies will you need?
      • How will you generate profit?
      • What financial or other resources do you have?
      • What financial or other resources do you need?
      • Where in San Clemente will your business be located?
      • What will you name your business?
    • Write a business plan. Keep all plans in writing and ensure they are updated as necessary to meet future financing and growth needs.
    • Write a detailed business budget with profit and loss projections covering the first and second years of operation. You may find it helpful to write two financial plans: one that outlines expected growth and one that outlines a worst-case scenario.
    • Analyze the Orange County market: check licensing requirements and zoning regulations. Decide whether you will operate a sole proprietorship, a limited partnership or a corporation.
    • Define your long and short-term goals, both within San Clemente and possible future expansion.
    • Choose from our team of professionals to work with: an accountant, an attorney and an insurance agent. The SCCC partners are ready to meet with you and discuss your plan of action.
    • Outline your company's financial needs and secure financing. A good rule of thumb is to set aside enough money to operate the business for two years without external income.
    • Register your business with the city, county, state and federal government as necessary.


    When starting a business in the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends:

    Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.

    Step 1: Get Business Assistance and Training

    Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

    Step 2: Choose a Business Location

    Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

    Step 3: Finance Your Business

    Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

    Step 4: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

    Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

    Step 5: Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")

    Register your business name with your state government.

    Step 6: Get a Tax Identification Number

    Learn which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

    Step 7: Register for State and Local Taxes

    Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

    Step 8: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

    Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

    • City Permits - Visit the City's website at http://san-clemente.org/sc and click on "Services", then select "Permits".

    If you have questions, please the City Planning Department at (949) 361-6100 or visit the City's Community Development Department at 910 Calle Negocio, San Clemente.

    Home Based Businesses

    • Learning the city’s zoning or deed restrictions if you are operating a home-based business.
    • Learning California & San Clemente’s restrictions on certain goods produced by home-based businesses.

    Step 9: Understand Employer Responsibilities

    Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

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