A Step-by-Step Guide to Opening a Business in Los Angeles

A Step-by-Step Guide to Opening a Business in Los Angeles

Thanks to its diverse economic base and the fact that it offers several access routes to national and international markets, Los Angeles is a perfect place to start a business. Here are the steps you’ll need to take before your grand opening, including filing for an LA city business license.


1. Your Business’s Name

Your business name is an important first step; it’ll identify you as an official company in the eyes of the law and your customers. Once you have a name in mind, search to ensure no one else has claimed it. If available, your name can be reserved for up to 60 days and will cost $10 to do so.1


2. Business Entity

Your business’s entity, or structure, will be the next step to opening a business in Los Angeles. The main business entity types are the sole proprietorship, DBA, corporation, LLC, and limited partnership.

The sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure and choosing it means that your business is not separate from you, the owner. You are responsible, from a financial and legal standpoint, for all debts and legal actions.

The corporation is separate from its owners and, because of this, offers a high degree of protection from liability and legal action. The LLC, or limited liability company, offers the benefits of the partnership and corporation, and the general partnership consists of two or more owners who are personally liable for all business debts.


3. FEIN and BTRC

You’ll also need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number—or FEIN—before you open your business. This step is required to file business taxes and open a business bank account. Sole proprietorships do not have to apply for this number, as they can use the owner’s SSN.

You’ll also need to apply for a business tax registration certificate number to pay taxes in Los Angeles.


4. Seller’s Permit

selling tangible goodsIf you will be selling tangible goods like furniture, clothing, or vehicles, you will need to apply for a seller’s permit through the California State Board of Equalization. Once obtained, your permit will need to be displayed at your place of business.


5. Licenses and Insurance

A general LA city business license is required for every business operating in the state of California. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also require licenses to meet safety, building, and other regulations.

Getting insurance coverage for your business is a good idea, as it can protect you from theft, loss, and other types of damage from unexpected circumstances.

Looking to get a city of Los Angeles business license and other permits fast? Don’t risk delaying your business opening; instead, ensure that all errors are eliminated by sending your information to FastFilings. We check your California seller’s permits, applications and documents for errors and completeness before filing directly with the issuing office. Learn more about our easy, 3-step process by visiting us online.



  1. https://www.justbusiness.com/starting-a-small-business/start-a-business-in-california

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