Start a Business

 Congratulations on entering entrepreneurship! California is globally knows as the home to opportunity and innovation; our residents fuel the creative spirit and ideas that power the world.

Whether you are exploring one of our many thriving industries or owning and operating your own business, this can be an exciting and daunting time. From creating a business plan to learning about business taxes, there are plenty of resources that can help you get started and grow when the time is right. Reaching out to your local chamber of commerce is a great way to meet with other business owners, understand local business trends, and grow your ideas. You should also check with your county government for resources (e.g., Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco).

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 Key Terms

Asset: Any item that has value in an exchange. A bank account, a home, or shares of stock are all examples of assets.

Business income: The money a business receives for selling its goods and services is its income.

Entrepreneur: Someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.

Form W-4: A form that the employee completes and the employer uses to determine the amount of income tax to withhold.

Gig: A single project or task for which a worker is hired to work on demand. Some gigs are a type of short-term job, and some workers pursue gigs as a self-employment option.

Gig economy: Generally, an informal term for situations where people are hired for single projects or tasks or for short-term jobs, often through a digital marketplace.

Independent Contractor:  A person performing work who has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. If you are an independent contractor, then you are self-employed.

Lender: An organization or person that lends money with the expectation that it will be repaid, generally with interest.

Liability (a.k.a.: debt): An amount owed to a person or organization for borrowed funds. Loans, notes, bonds, and mortgages are forms of debt. These different forms all call for borrowers to pay back the amount they owe, typically with interest, by a specific date, which is set forth in the repayment terms.

Limited Liability Corporation (LLC): An (LLC) blends partnership and corporate structures. Individuals can form an LLC to run a business or to hold assets. The owners of an LLC are members. LLCs protects its members against personal liabilities.

Payroll tax: Taxes taken from your paycheck, including Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Professional license: Certain professions – including doctors, architects, require a license. This license requires a level of education, experience, and testing requirements and ensures licensees perform their duties to an acceptable standard and provides consumers with a remedy if a service is not delivered.  

Self employed: A person who carries on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor, or is a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business, or is otherwise in business alone (including a part-time business).