Resources for California Small Businesses

Starting or expanding a business can be both exciting and challenging. Your checklist should include, among other things:

  • Permits and licenses 
  • Business filings 
  • Human resources 
  • Payroll 
  • Health care and other benefits 
  • Insurance 
  • Taxes 
  • Other legal requirements 
  • Recordkeeping 

The State Controller’s Office has compiled a list of resources to assist business owners with programs specific to COVID-19 assistance. Below are the state and federal agency contacts to assist with overall small business needs.


Planning & Finance

Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) 
GO-Biz offers assistance with permitting and regulatory information, workshops, and webinars.
CalGold search site identifies all state, county, and city permits and licenses needed for each type of business.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 
SBA Small Business Development Centers across the state offer free and low-cost professional guidance to entrepreneurs, from business plan development to regulatory compliance.
(800) 827-5722 


Licenses, Permits, Certifications & Filings 

CA Secretary of State 
Receives certain basic business filings for corporations, limited liability companies, and some others; commissions notaries public; and maintains Uniform Commercial Code filings.
(916) 653-6814 

CA Department of General Services 
Certifies small business or disabled veteran business enterprises for state contracting.
(916) 375-4940 

CA Contractors State License Board 
Regulates and licenses the construction industry.
(800) 321-2752

CA Department of Consumer Affairs 
Provides licensing in more than 200 business and professional categories including certain medical and financial professions.
(800) 952-5210 


Labor & Employment 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
Assists with employment eligibility verification (Form I-9), application for employment authorization, and immigration through employment.
(800) 375-5283 

U.S. Department of Labor 
Assists with federal wage and hour issues.
(866) 487-2365 

CA Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner) 
Assists with state wage and hour issues.
(844) 522-6734 

CA DIR, Division of Workers’ Compensation 
Monitors administration of on-the-job injury insurance claims and resolves claim disputes.
(800) 736-7401 

CA Employment Development Department 
Provides unemployment and disability insurance benefits, job placement, and labor market information.
(800) 300-5616

CA Department of Insurance 
Regulates insurance industry and provides consumer assistance with workers’ compensation, liability, and other insurance coverage issues.
(800) 927-4357 

Covered California 
Administers the state’s Small Business Health Plan Option Program under the Affordable Care Act.
(844) 332-8384 


Federal & State Taxes

U.S. Internal Revenue Service 
Provides Employer Identification Numbers and assistance with federal income and payroll taxes.
(800) 829-4933 

CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration 
Issues seller’s permits and administers sales and use taxes, special taxes, and fees.
(800) 400-7115 

CA Franchise Tax Board 
Administers personal income and corporation taxes.
(800) 852-5711 

CA Employment Development Department 
Provides Employer Payroll Account Numbers and administers state payroll taxes.
(888) 745-3886