One of life's most exciting and rewarding challenges is owning your own business. It is as much a part of the American dream as owning your own home. Small business owners represent the fastest growing segment of the business community. While the risks are great, the opportunities and rewards are even greater.   

Information included in this guide is general to the state of California and specific to San Luis Obispo County. This guide outlines the different forms of business organization and the establishment of a basic business plan. It assists you in securing adequate financial support, complying with federal, state and local tax obligations and obtaining necessary licenses and permits. Most of all, this guide tells you where to find assistance and whom to call for answers to specific questions.     

How to Start a Business in San Luis Obispo County is designed to give you the information you need before you open your business.     

Remember that getting off to a successful start requires much hard—and somewhat frustrating—work. There are many agencies and organizations whose primary responsibility is to assist you in beginning or expanding your business. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Take advantage of the numerous addresses and telephone numbers included in the following pages.     

The preparers of this booklet hereby acknowledge the significant help from its own members and the Fresno County SCORE organization.