How to start a sole-proprietorship business in San Luis Obispo — Quick Start Plan #SanLuisObispo  #soleprop #businessownership

How to start a sole-proprietorship business in San Luis Obispo — Quick Start Plan #SanLuisObispo #soleprop #businessownership

I work with a lot of business owners in San Luis Obispo, and being one myself, I thought I’d right a ‘quick start’ tutorial on how to set up the simplest kind of business — a sole proprietorship.

This article is meant to be a nuts-and-bolts, “what’s needed”, general information in order to create a formal sole-prop business in SLO.

  1. Fictitious Business Name Filing

If you are using a fictitious name, or a doing business as (DBA) name, you will first need to file for it with San Luis Obispo County. Here is the 4 step process outlined: https://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Clerk-Recorder/All-Services/Fictitious-Business-Name-New-Filing.aspx

In short, you’ll need to make sure your fictitious business name isn’t taken then file for the name here: https://crrecords.slocounty.ca.gov/SLOWeb/action/ACTIONGROUP201S3

Then, you need to publish the fictitious business name statement once a week for four weeks in a local newspaper like the tribune. 

Then the newspaper will provide you with proof of publication to the County of San Luis Obispo.

The fee for is about $52. Here’s the link to the county fees: https://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Clerk-Recorder/Forms-Documents/Fees/Fee-Schedule.aspx

2. Acquiring the City Business License. 

You’ll need complete the business application: https://www.slocity.org/home/showdocument?id=8083

You can mail it to: P.O. Box 8112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8112 or drop it off at: 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3249 

If your business address is your home, you’ll need to complete this form and submit it along with your business application: https://www.slocity.org/home/showdocument?id=11454

You as the home owner, or your land lord will need to sign it. The city will post a small sign in front of your home for a couple weeks that a business permit is pending. 

The total cost for the business license for a home-based business located within the city limits is $226.96

Here is the cities “How do I get a business license?” page with more info:

https://www.slocity.org/doing-business/doing-business-in-slo/how-do-i-get-a-business-license

3. Setting up separate Business Checking, Savings accounts.

Next, I would go to either the current bank you use, or search for an online business bank to set-up separate business checking and savings accounts. You will need a copy of your business license for this. These accounts will further legitimize your business by keeping all your expenses and revenue separate from your personal bank accounts.

I also like the idea of starting a separate credit history for your business as soon as possible by applying for a separate business credit card with which you can make business expenses with. Disclaimer: if you are not “good” with credit cards, or have a history of not paying your credit card balance off every month, then it’s not a good idea to put yourself in a position to rack up credit card debt through your business. A credit card only makes sense if you pay off the balance every month so as to not subject yourself to any high interest fees. 

Disclaimer: this article is not meant to be specific advice nor recommendations for anybody, rather general information. 

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I'm teaching a 'Planning for Financial Independence' course at Cuesta College

I'm teaching a 'Planning for Financial Independence' course at Cuesta College