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Starting a Business in Folsom


Step 1 – Develop a Business Plan 

A business plan is not required to obtain a Folsom Business License, but it is a valuable tool to help you evaluate your idea, estimate costs, and determine the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal. A detailed plan is usually required to apply for a loan or to attract financial investors. Online websites like the Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) offer sample business plans. http://www.score.org/

Step 2 – Determine your Business Structure 

For operating and business reporting purposes, it is important to determine if you will operate your business as a sole proprietor, partnership (2 or more owners), corporation (1 or more stockholders/officers), or some other form of business entity.

If you want to establish your business as a corporation, or a LLC, you must contact the Corporation Division of the California Secretary of State’s Office. They can supply you with all the information and forms you need.

State of California Secretary of State’s Office: 1230 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 653-6814.  http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/be/ 

Step 3 – Find a Location for your Business and Contact Folsom Planning Division 

A commercial real estate broker and/or real estate attorney can assist you with site selection, lease negotiations, and formulating the lease agreement.

FedCorps located at the Chamber of Commerce building in the Historic District (http://www.folsomchamber.com) can also help you with site selection and retaining professional services.

Before signing a building property lease or purchase agreement, contact the City of Folsom Planning Division to determine the zoning of the site, and whether or not your type of business is a permitted use for that location. In some cases, a Conditional Use Permit or other entitlement may be required.

Also be aware that a Building Permit will be required, for any improvement done to the space you purchased or leased.

Design Review:

Businesses involving any use changes or exterior building changes must obtain Planning Division approval prior to a Building permit.

Design Review Submittal Application:


If you plan to operate your business out of your home, you will need to obtain a Home Occupation Permit in addition to your Business License. Home Occupations are permitted for limited types of businesses and contain various requirements and restrictions. Contact the Folsom Planning Division or refer to the Chapter 17.61 of the Folsom Municipal Code: http://www.codepublishing.com/CA/Folsom/html/Folsom17/Folsom1761.html#17.61

Business License and Home Occupation Application: /civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=17375#page=

Folsom Planning Division: 50 Natoma Street,Folsom, CA 95630,  (916) 355-7214

Folsom Building Division: 50 Natoma Street,Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 351-3555

Step 4 – Register a Fictitious Business Name 

If you create a name that is different than your own legal name, you will need to file a fictitious name with the Sacramento County Clerk-Recorder Department, before obtaining a Business License.

Sacramento County Clerk-Recorder Department: 700 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 874-6644, http://www.saccounty.net/Business/default.htm 

Step 5 – Tax Reporting 

All businesses are required to file both state and federal tax returns. Contact the California State Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service to learn about more specific requirements.

If you sell a product, you should contact the California Board of Equalization to assist you in determining whether you need a Seller’s Permit.

Whether self-employed or an employer with one or more employees, you must also pay Social Security Taxes.

Internal Revenue Service: 4330 Watt Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95821, (800)-829-3676

California Board of Equalization: 3321 Power Inn Rd, Suite 210, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916)-227-6700 or (800)-400-7115, www.boe.ca.gov

Step 6 - Obtain a Business License Application 

Business License Applications are available in the Folsom Finance Department and Community Development Department. The Business License tax varies for different types of businesses. The City of Folsom Finance Department can inform you regarding the applicable fees. Please visit Business Licenses on our website for the most up to date forms: /depts/management_n_budget_(formerly_finance)/business_licenses.asp

Businesses operating out of a residential location or home are required to obtain a Business License, as well as a Home Occupation Permit. Home Occupation Permits require the second page of the Business License application to be completed. Please visit Business Licenses on our website for the most up to date forms: /depts/management_n_budget_(formerly_finance)/business_licenses.asp

Every Business License Application and Home Occupation Permit requires approval from the Planning Division prior to be submitted to the Finance Department.

The Business Tax is not intended for regulation. The payment of this tax and its acceptance by the City and the issuance of a license shall in no way relieve the taxpayer from compliance with all applicable laws of the City.

Folsom Finance Department, 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 355-7312

Folsom Planning Division, 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 355-7214

Step 7 – Obtain Other Permits and Licenses 

Building Permits:

If you intend to alter, remodel, relocate or install any structural, electrical, plumbing or mechanical portions of the building, you will need to obtain a Building Permit from the Building Division of the Community Development Department.

Plan Check and Building Permit Application: /civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=6456

Sign permits are required for any sign on the outside of the building including permanent and temporary signs or banners. Planning Division approval is required along with Building Division approval for a sign permit to be issued. (Building Division approval not required for Temporary Sign Permit)

Sign Code: /civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=9205#page=

Sign Permit Application: /civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=16159#page=

Temporary Sign Permit Application: /civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=2283

Folsom Building Division, 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 351-3555

Folsom Planning Division, 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 355-7214

Folsom Accelerated Small Tenant Improvement Review (FASTIR) for Business and Mercantile Occupancies:

The City of Folsom FASTIR process was created to allow customers and their designers to schedule one-hour appointments on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with appropriate City staff to review plans for eligible minor and moderate commercial interior tenant improvements and demolitions. /civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=13494#page= 

Building Division: 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 351-3555 

Fire Permits:

If you intend to change the use of a building; use or store any hazardous materials; engage in any hazard process; alter, modify, relocate or install any fire sprinkler system, fixed fire protection system, fire alarm system; open a place of assembly, school, or healthcare facility Fire Department permits may be required. Completing a “Statement of Intended Use” will assist in determining what exactly is required for your business. /civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=8501#page

Fire Department: 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 351-3453

Seller’s Permit/Resale Number:

If you intend to sell or lease tangible personal property (wholesale or retail), for a temporary period lasting no longer than 30 days at one or more locations, a permit is required from the California State Board of Equalization.

California Board of Equalization: 3321 Power Inn Rd, Suite 210, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916)-227-6700 or (800)-400-7115, www.boe.ca.gov

Restaurant and Food Vendor Permits:

A health inspection is required for restaurants and food vendors. If you will be selling food, a permit is required from the Sacramento County Environmental Health Department.

Sacramento County Environmental Health Department: 10590 Armstrong Avenue, Mather, CA 95655, (916)-875-8440

Sale of Alcoholic Beverages:

If you will be selling alcoholic beverages, a license is required from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

State of California Alcohol Control Board: 3321 Power Inn Rd, Suite 230, Sacramento, CA 95826, (916)-227-2002

Import/Export Permits:

If your business will involve the import or export of products with other countries, you may need an Import/Export Permit from the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection: http://www.cbp.gov/

State License:

Many professional businesses such as accountants, engineers, insurance and real estate agents and brokers, doctors and dentists require a State License from the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Businesses such as barbers, cosmetologists, security services, and auto repairs, are also required to obtain a State License.  

California Department of Consumer Affairs: 1625 North Market Blvd, Suite N 112, Sacramento, CA 95834, (916) 445-1254 or (800) 952-5210, http://www.dca.ca.gov/ 

Contractor License:

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) receives and processes applications for new licenses, additional classifications, changes of license records and license renewals.

The Contractors State License Board: PO Box 26000, 9835 Goethe Road, Sacramento, CA 95826, 916-255-4450 or 800-321-2751 

Second Hand Dealer License:

A secondhand dealer license is required in addition of a business license for the resale of precious metals. Secondhand dealer licenses are issued by the Department of Justice. (Form JUS 125: Application for Secondhand Dealer or Pawnbroker License)

Step 8 – Hire Employees 

If you hire employees, register with the California Employment Development Department. They will provide you with the necessary forms and answer any questions you may have regarding responsibilities.

You must also register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to receive an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

As an employer, you may be required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. You may obtain this insurance through your own insurance agent or the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF).

California Employment Development Department: 7001 A East Parkway, Room A, Sacramento, CA 95823, (916) 654-8706

Internal Revenue Service: 4330 Watt Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95821, (800)-829-3676

State Compensation Insurance Fund: http://www.statefundca.com/employers/NewBusiness/Index.asp

Step 9 – Get Connected 

Folsom Chamber of Commerce: 200 Wool Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 985-2698, http://folsomchamber.com/

Score Counselors to America’s Small Business, www.score.org. Provide free and confidential business advice and low-cost workshops.

Folsom Post Offices: 1015 Riley Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 983-0371 or 25025 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, CA 95630, (916)351-1151

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E): 1-(800)-743-5000 or 1-(800)-468-4743 PG&E  

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD): 6301 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95817, 1-(877) 622-7683

City of Folsom Utilities Department: To find out how the utilities (water, sewer, garbage) are billed when you are moving into a Folsom location, please contact the Folsom Utilities Department Office: 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 355-7272

Step 10 – Save Money and Energy

To help your business and the community, Sacramento Municipal Utility District offers a wide variety of incentives and financing options to encourage investment in energy efficiency for products such as:

-          Office Equipment
-          Servers and data centers
-          Lighting
-          Heating and cooling systems
-          Refrigeration
-          Food Service equipment
-          Motors and controls
-          Solar water heaters
-          Dry cleaning/wet cleaning
-          Loans, etc...

Visit their website to learn more: https://www.smud.org/en/business/save-energy/rebates-incentives-financing/

Pacific Gas & Electric also offers to get money back for your business with various rebates and incentives. Money-back Programs and Resources, as well as Rebates catalogs by Technology are available on their website: http://www.pge.com/mybusiness/energysavingsrebates/rebatesincentives/

PG&E Business Customer Service: 1-800-468-4743 

The Irrigation Association offers Business Management Resources to help you run your business profitably and differentiate your company in the marketplace. Visit their website for more information: http://www.irrigation.org/Resources/Business_Management_Resources.aspx 

The City of Folsom has a limited number of sanitary sewer fee credits available for future businesses to offset sewer connection fees for the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD). Please contact the Engineering Division of the Community Development Department regarding requirements and procedures for applying for potential sewer fee credits for your business.

Engineering Division: 50 Natoma Street, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 351-7251


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