How to Start a Business in Los Angeles, California

All of the Steps You Need to Start Your Business in Los Angeles

All of the Steps You Need to Start Your Business in Los Angeles

So you would like to start your very own business in Los Angeles, California.

That's great!

It is very exciting and frightening at the same time.

It gives you the power to control what you want to do with your business and be proud that you have something that you own.

However, it's not easy to start a new business and maintain it.

It involves careful planning and deciding on a lot of key decisions, not just financially but legally as well, to make your business successful.

Before starting your own business in Los Angeles, here are some very helpful times to make sure the start of your journey to your business is successful...


Do Your Research

Make sure that the business industry you chose will improve and continue grow. In L.A., the biggest industry is in the entertainment industry and the technology industry.

Other industries include the fashion industry, the automobile industry, the textiles and garments industry, advertising industry and defense industry.

Choose the Best Location for your Business

Los Angeles is a thriving metropolis and choosing the right location for your business may be tricky. However, depending on the type of industry you choose, they tend to be concentrated in a particular area.

For example, technology industries are mostly located in Santa Monica and nearby areas in the West Side of Los Angeles.

Build Long-Lasting Relationships

Foster and care for business relationships. It is very critical that you have the right connections for your business in order for you to succeed.

Attend as much conferences and trainings as you can and make an effort to know experts in your chosen industry. They can provide you great insights and share their experiences with you.
Expect the unexpected.

Expect the Unexpected

And of course... expect the unexpected. All businesses have their ups and downs. Expect to have challenges along the way. Challenges can be in the form of traffic and missing meetings, cost of living and competition with other businesses.


Here are steps on starting your own business in Los Angeles:

1. Plan Your Company’s Business Structure Carefully

  • Set goals for your business. Research and plan what you want to accomplish when starting your business.
  • Utilize resources to acquire business assistance. There are organizations like the Small Business Development Centers that can help you in starting your business. You may set up an appointment with them or attend their events.
  • In the beginning, it is highly recommended to hire a business lawyer because there would be a lot of legal decisions. They would give you advice and feedback on any legal concerns you may have.
  • Choose what type of business structure you would like to have. It could be in a form of a partnership, a corporation, a sole proprietorship or a Limited Liability Company. Here is a handy guide to all of the common business structures.


2. Plan for Your Business

  • Create a business plan. This is a major step in starting a business. You have to make sure everything is detailed, including the financial, manufacturing, marketing, production and managerial information. This is important so that you can show your business proposal to potential partners, investors and other individuals that may be interested in your business.
  • Make sure you have enough financing for your business. It's best to contact financial institutions, banks, venture capital firms and from the government. Additionally, there are lenders that can help you get started with your business. For more information about how you can fund your business, visit
  • Choose your business name. Make sure the name is unique yet easy to understand. It should also reflect the kind of business you have. You may have to think of at least three names and make sure there is an availability of the name you would like.
  • Find the best location. Make sure that your target clients are within the vicinity of your location.
  • Intellectual property protection application. This is not a requirement. However, you may want only your company to use your copyright and trademark name. Please take note that you have to meet certain requirements to be able to do this.
  • Hire a Registered Agent. Registered Agent is an individual or organization who resides in your state of formation who accepts legal documents on behalf of your company. Make sure that the agent lives in California and is able to represent your business. You can purchase a California Registered Agent here:
  • Create an Operating Agreement. This would show a brief summary of the management of your business. This would consist of the members of the company, the management, roles and responsibilities of each member, among other pertinent information. You can ask a business lawyer to create an Operating Agreement for you.


3. Registering Your Business

  • Prepare and file required documents, permits and licenses (if applicable). This would depend on what type of business you would have.
  • Pay the required fees of your documents. Again, the fees may vary depending on the type of business.
  • If you are forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation, you need to register your business with the Secretary of State. Most entrepreneurs choose to hire a business lawyer to form an LLC or Corporation. A business lawyer can help you choose the right business structure and organize, and form your business structure with the Secretary of State.


4. Complete Any Additional Requirements

  • Obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN). EIN is assigned by the IRS and it's used for a number of business needs including: opening a bank account, starting a business, applying for business permits, and filing taxes.If you have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN), you can apply for your EIN online here: However, if you do not have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN), you can have a business lawyer act as a third-party designee to apply for your EIN on your behalf. For more information about how to apply for EIN without an SSN, see here.
  • Register for state taxes and other taxes such as property taxes, employment taxes and corporate taxes. There are selected businesses that need to register for state tax. It would be levied against the business every year. You should talk to an accountant regarding this.
  • Get permits and licenses. There may be some instances where you need to get licenses or permits for your business. Examples would be parking permits, health department permits and sales tax license.
  • Filing periodic reports. Every once in awhile, you need to file reports or updates with the Secretary of State concerning your business. This is called Statements of Information.

Starting a business is never easy.

It's recommended to hire a professional business lawyer to help you establish a solid foundation for your business.


Mollaei Law is a law firm specializing in business law serving businesses and entrepreneurs. We provide legal expertise in all stages of business development by forming LLC's and Corporations, registering trademarks and copyrights, business planning, and answering any legal questions you may have about your business.

To get a FREE consultation from an expert business lawyer, contact Sam Mollaei, Esq., business lawyer, directly by sending an email to or call (818) 925-0002.