Steps to Starting a Business in Sacramento County*
Research your chosen industry or field and assess your readiness to become an entrepreneur
Consult with an attorney or tax accountant to determine what type of legal structure is best for your business
for free advice on research, business planning, financing and more
Research potential locations
Register a Fictitious Business Name
If you plan to conduct business under a name other than your legal last name, you must file a fictitious business name with the Sacramento County Department of Finance
. This applies to businesses in both unincorporated areas and incorporated cities.
Obtain a business license
All businesses in unincorporated Sacramento County, including home-based and internet-only companies, must get a business license. More than 20 types of business require additional special licenses. The Department of Finance Tax Collecting and Business Licensing Division
offers a complete list.
Businesses located in an incorporated city
, should contact that city’s Business License or Revenue Division for information on Business Licenses or Operations Tax Certificates.
Learn about additional Sacramento County permits & regulations
Explore financing options
Connect to utilities
provides electricity in Sacramento County.
The Sacramento Area Sewer District
serves the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County; the cities of Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, and Elk Grove; as well as portions of the cities of Folsom and Sacramento.
There are more than 20 water providers within Sacramento County. Visit the Sacramento County Water Agency search page
to learn which one serves you.
Build and Remodel
For locations in an incorporated City
, contact that City’s Building Department to learn about building permits and inspections.
File Tax Information
Every business in California must submit a yearly Business Income Tax Statement to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). For filing information, contact a private accountant or the FTB
All business owners in California must pay property tax on personal property or fixtures held or used for business purposes. Visit the Sacramento County Assessor’s website
for more information.
Businesses that sell tangible property in California that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail must apply for seller’s permit/resale numbers with the State Board of Equalization
Learn more at Sacramento County’s Business Resources page
*Disclaimer: This guide does not replace the professional advice necessary to start or run a business. Sacramento County strongly encourages all businesses to seek professional legal and financial and real estate counsel when starting, expanding or relocating.