Make a Business Plan
1. Evaluate your Needs and Develop a Business Plan
There is no way to eliminate all the risk associated with starting a
business; however, you can improve your chances of success with proper
planning and preparation. A good starting point is to evaluate your strengths
and weaknesses by creating a Business Plan. A business plan is the blueprint
or road map for where your business will travel. Your business plan may
also serve as a tool for raising capital and is usually a requirement
if you plan to apply for a loan or want to attract financial investors.
Below is a list of agencies that can provide a variety of services,
resources and workshops to help you develop your business plan:
Ripon Chamber of Commerce
– Offers a wealth of benefits designed
to attract and support businesses in the community. Provides services,
programs and leadership to promote economic growth and foster a healthy
business environment. For more information, call 209-599-7519 or visit
San Joaquin Delta College Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
new and existing businesses help with financial, marketing, production,
organizational and technical issues. Provides up-to-date consulting,
training and research assistance in all aspects of business operation,
management and start-up. For more information, call 209-943-5089 or visit http://www.delta.edu/.
United States Small Business Administration
– Offers small businesses
a comprehensive and easy to use interactive tool guide intended to serve
as a roadmap for starting a business. Provides numerous electronic links
for additional resources.
Visit their web site at www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html.
2. Check & Clear Zoning Regulations
If your business will be located within the corporate limits of the
city, (commercial building, your residence, etc.) contact the City of
Ripon Planning Department at 209-599-2108 to determine the zoning designation
of your proposed site before finalizing your business location or signing
any lease agreements. All businesses must locate in areas zoned to allow
that particular business activity. Planning Division staff will help
you determine if your business is an eligible use for a specific location
and whether any special approvals are necessary.
Be aware that new business ownership or change in building use may require
modifications to bring the building up-to-current code.
For additional information regarding Planning Permits and Approvals,
contact the Planning Department at 209- 599-2108 or visit the Community
Development Application Packets page. Applications can also be picked
up at City Hall or mailed upon request.
3. Check & Clear Building Requirements
A Building Permit is needed for all new construction in the City of
Ripon. In most cases, a permit is also required for replacement of existing
construction, additions and remodeling. Building Permits are how the
City of Ripon regulates construction to ensure it is safe for occupancy
or use. This is done through the review of plans and periodic inspections
to verify compliance with the California Building Code and local regulations.
A Building Permit Application must be submitted along with the applicable
Owner/Builder Permit Application
Contractor Permit Application
Agent Permit Application
For additional information regarding Building Permits, contact the Building
Department at 209-599-2151.
4. Determine your Business Structure
When beginning a business, you must
decide what form of business entity to establish. The most common forms
of business are Sole Proprietorships, General and Limited Partnerships,
Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies. Each legal
structure offers organizational options which are appropriate for different
personal situations and which affect tax and liability issues. We suggest
you research each legal structure thoroughly, and consult a tax accountant
and/or attorney prior to making your decision.
For additional information, contact the State of California Secretary
of State’s Business Portal at www.ss.ca.gov/business/business.htm.
5. Register a Fictitious Business Name
Any business name that does not include the last name of all the individuals
who own the business or a business name that suggests the existence of
additional owners, such as the words “company” or “association”,
is considered a fictitious business name. In the case of a corporation,
a fictitious business name is any name other than the corporate name
stated in its articles of incorporation. No fictitious business name
may include the words “Corporation”, “Inc.”, “Incorporation” or “Corp.” unless
it is a corporation registered with the Secretary of State.
Every person who regularly transacts business in this state for profit
under a fictitious business name must file a fictitious business name
statement form with the San Joaquin County Recorder’s Office. Non-profit
corporations or associations or charitable organizations do not need
to file. Corporations do not need to file unless doing business under
a name other than the corporate name.
For more information, please call the San Joaquin County Recorder’s
Office at 209-468-3939 or visit www.co.san-joaquin.ca.us/recorder.
6. Pay your Business License Fees
Per Ripon Municipal Code Section 5.04.020, anyone wishing to commence
or carry on any trade, calling, occupation, profession or pursuit, must
first pay the required license fee and obtain a Business License from
the City of Ripon.
Per Ripon Municipal Code Section 5.04.060, certain businesses are exempt
from the business license requirements but may obtain a business license
for a minimal processing fee.
For additional information regarding Business License fees and exemptions,
contact the Finance Department at 209-599-2108 or visit the Business
License page. Applications can also be picked up at City Hall or mailed
7. Obtain Permits and Licenses
Following is a list of additional permits/licenses that may apply to
Air Pollution Control Permit:
Anyone proposing to construct, modify,
or operate a facility or equipment that may emit pollutants from a stationary
source into the atmosphere must first obtain an Authority to Construct
from the local air district. Anyone operating a facility that emits air
pollution must obtain an Operating Permit from the local air district.
Contact the SJC Air Pollution Control District at 559-230-5800 or visit www.valleyair.org for
additional information. For your convenience, applications are available
at City Hall.
Alcoholic Beverage License:
Any business selling alcoholic beverages
is required to obtain an Alcoholic Beverage License. Contact the Department
of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 209-948-7739 or visit
California Department of Consumer Affairs License:
businesses such as accountants, engineers, doctors and dentists require
a State license from the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Businesses
such as barbers, contractors, cosmetologists, security services and auto
repairs are also required to obtain a State license. For additional information,
contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-344-9940
or visit www.dca.ca.gov.
County Health Permits:
A health inspection is required for restaurants
and food vendors. Contact the San Joaquin County
Health Department at
209-468-3420 or visit www.co.san-joaquin.ca.us/EHD to arrange for
an inspection, or to request information and advice regarding health
and environmental safety issues.
For information on firearm’s licensing,
contact the Firearms Licensing and Permits Unit at 916-227-3694 or visit
Fire District Permits:
A Fire Code Permit is required for businesses
located within the corporate limits of the city. Contact the City of
Ripon Fire Department at 209-599-4209 to schedule an inspection.
Hazardous Materials Permit:
If your business utilizes any hazardous
substances, you are required to complete a Hazardous Materials Survey
Form. Contact the County of San Joaquin Office of
at 209-468-3969 or visit www.co.san-joaquin.ca.us/oes for information.
For your convenience, forms are also available at City Hall and, once
completed, can be forwarded to the Office of Emergency Services per your
You must obtain a seller’s permit if you
are engaged in business in California and intend to sell or lease tangible
personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold
at retail. The requirement to obtain a seller’s permit applies
to individuals as well as corporations, firms, partnerships, and so forth.
Both wholesalers and retailers must apply for a permit. For more information,
contact the State Board of Equalization (BOE) at 209-948-7720 or visit
Other Permits & Licenses:
To determine what other local, county,
state and federal permits and licenses your business may need, call the
CalGOLD Business Permits Made Simple office at 916-322-7394 or visit
their web site at www.calgold.ca.gov
8. Tax Information
There are several agencies in the State of California that administer
a variety of taxes. The following is a list of state agencies that can
assist you in determining your tax obligations and provide you with information
about tax reporting and taxpayer rights.
The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) administers personal and corporate income
and franchise taxes for the State of California. If you have further
questions, you can contact the Franchise Tax Board at 800-852-5711 or
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues federal employer identification
numbers and administers federal payroll taxes, including social security,
medicare, federal unemployment insurance and federal income tax withholding.
For more information, call 800-829-1040 or visit www.irs.ustreas.gov
The Employment Development Department (EDD) issues employer account
numbers (sometimes called State Employer Identification Numbers, SEINs,
state ID numbers, or reserve account numbers) and administers California’s
payroll taxes, including Unemployment Insurance, Employment Training
Tax, State Disability Insurance, and California Personal Income Tax Withholding.
For more information, call 888-745-3886 or visit www.edd.ca.gov/taxind.htm
For additional assistance with the tax aspects of your business, you
may wish to attend one of the Small Business Fairs sponsored by the State
Board of Equalization, Internal Revenue Service, Franchise Tax Board
and Employment Development Department. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/tpsched.htm