Creating an online business in California can be a great way to sell, market, and advertise your business goods and services. The following steps detail how to start a online business in California: 

  1. Choose a business structure you want to operate under such as sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.
  2. File the Formation documents with the California Secretary of State.
  3. Choose a unique business name.
  4. Get a domain name after your search if the domain name is available
  5. Obtain a Federal Tax ID from the Internal Revenue Service website.
  6. Set up your website 

What Permits Do I Need?

Even if your business is online, all regulations to a regular business will apply to your business online. In California, you would need a General Business License if you were based in the unincorporated area. If you are selling goods in your online business in California, you have to obtain a California Seller’s Permit.  To obtain a California Seller’s Permit, the California business, corporation, or LLC must complete and file a California Seller’s Permit Application with the California State Board Of Equalization. If the sales will be ongoing, you should apply for a “Regular” sales permit.

What Kind Of Taxes Will I Pay?

If you have an online business in California are selling goods online and some of your customers are located in California, there are Internet Sales tax that you need to be aware of and collect from your customers. In California, if you are an online retailer that is located within California and make a sale through your website to a customer in California, you are required to collect sales tax from the California Customer. 

Does My Home Need to Be Zoned for Business?

If you have an online business in California, but not a physical location that you do business out of you do not have your home be zoned for business. However, if you do business out of your home and online your home-based business needs to be zoned. You need to search your county’s zoning maps to determine the zoning ordinances you need to comply. 

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Starting a online business in California can have its obstacles.  An experienced California business lawyer can assist you regarding selling products online, tax liabilities, and business licensing requirements. A business lawyer can also advise you on the different business management forms such as a corporation, LLC, or partnership when forming your online business in California.