How to Start a Home Business in California

by Anastasia Zoldak - Updated September 26, 2017
You must have a home office space in order to qualify for IRS home business deductions.

Starting a work at home business in California is not complicated, but is does take research and planning. The high cost of renting office or store space in California makes starting a home business extremely attractive. Due to the high costs of off-site businesses a home based business franchises or Internet business is often more profitable and requires less start-up financing than traditional businesses in California. The state encourages new business growth by offering free business start-up support and financial assistance through the California Business Web Portal.

Best Practices

Write a business plan for a successful home business. Define, organize, and finance are the main reasons to write a business plan. The process of writing a business plan always uncovers hidden costs, government regulations, and helps the home business start-up understand everything that is needed to run a successful home business. To get information on California state small business financing, regulations and grants visit California's Internet site, The California Business Portal.

Set up the home business’ accounting procedures. The way a business handles its financing determines the level of success for the home business. All home businesses require some funding for advertising, maintaining inventories, and home business operations. Accounting also plays a critical role in the success of a home business. Purchase a good business account package based on the type of home business.

Products such a Quicken, Peachtree, and Microsoft all have business accounting products that offer a variety of features. Having a set account procedure will help in get files organized for taxes, track expenses, and determine profitability. The California Tax Service Center offers small home businesses a free resource to help understand California’s tax codes and regulations.

Review and comply with all regulations and restrictions for home businesses. Certain home businesses require licensing, permits and registration in California. In addition, counties and cities also have local regulations and licensing that a home business must follow. Running a home business without the proper permits and licensing can result in fines and even jail time. Calgold is California informational site for business permit information, while the California Department of Consumer Affairs offers information on any professional licensing needed as a home business owner. Prior to opening, your home business make sure to contact these agencies as well as your local county and city for additional licensing and permit requirements.

Buy business insurance. Business insurance is required for business permits and home business owners often overlook it. Business insurance critical in protecting personal assets especially when the business operates out of the home, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent for advice and a possible referral to an agent who specializes in business insurance.

Set up the home business. When setting up a home business or office it is important to understand the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's tax guidelines for a home business or office. IRS Publication 587 for Home Business Tax Deductions is an outstanding resource when setting up a home business. The tax requirements and information provided in IRS Publication 587 are vital when seeking the maximum amount of home business tax deductions. Tax deductibles include a portion of the home's mortgage, the purchasing of telephone systems, Internet connections, a portion of the home's utility costs and other office supplies.

California also has regulations on establishing a green home business, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery offers information, regulation data, advice, and grants on how to run a green business. Following these green rules when establishing a home business can help to avoid fines.

About the Author

Anastasia Zoldak is an experienced freelance writer and researcher based in Chicago. She has been a professional writer since 2007. Zoldak has an undergraduate degree in business, which she has used in a variety of industries, including retail, sales and recruiting. Prior to becoming a writer, she ran a successful business.

Photo Credits

  • Man Using Laptop at Home image by evillager from Fotolia.com
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