Marin SBDCSan Rafael, CA

Helpful Links and Tools

Resources By Topic:

Business Planning | Permits and Licenses | Local News Inventions/Intellectual Property | Trademarks/Copyrights | Import/Export | Financing | Government | Legal/Taxes | Human Resources/Payroll | California Businesses | Other

Business Planning Resources

Start and Manage Your Business - SBA's website has  diverse resources fand templates to help you start , grow and manage a business  - Example plans and other resources.

SCORE - The Service Corp of Retired Executives offers resources for starting and owning a business.

Financial Template - This Excel workbook has a 12 month P&L statement, creates a breakeven analysis, a cash flow projection, and a balance sheet from the data you enter into the P&L. 

Living Wage Estimate - An excel spreadsheet where you can enter your personal expenses and the spreadsheet will estimate how much you need to make each month to cover your financial oblibations. It can also calculate how much cash flow per hour you need to cover your draw and taxes.


Permits and Licenses

California Secretary of State - The Secretary of State’s office maintains registration and all updates of California state trademarks and service marks.

CalGOLD - Offers direct internet links and contact information to state, local, regional, and federal permitting authorities for more information. Assists you in finding appropriate permit information for your business.


Local Media Resources

North Bay Biz - Monthly magazine dedicated to exclusive coverage of business in the North Bay area of California (Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties).

North Bay Business Journal - A weekly publication and online business news for the north San Francisco bay area counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Marin.

Press Democrat This Sonoma County daily newspaper includes current news and archive files by subject.


Inventions and Intellectual Property, Trademarks/Copyrights Resources

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office- Information, research and registration of U.S. patents.

U.S. Copyright Office - Research and register a copyright.


Import/Export Resources

U.S. Commercial Service - resources and advisors to help with exporting

SBA Exporting - SBA provides counseling, training and financing to small businesses looking to increase sales and profit by taking their businesses global. 

Guide to Exporting  - The primary federal government exporting site to better serve beginning exporters.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - A more detailed classification system that covers the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, NAICS codes allow for closer comparisons than SIC codes. Almost all business research is easier if you know your SIC and NAICS codes (some agencies and publications, including the SEC, still use SIC).

Tradeport Comprehensive international trade information, trade leads, and company databases. Guides you through the export process.


Financing Resources

Funding Information  – Overview of different funding options for business. - A good site to use when searching for Federal grants funding.

SBA Loan Programs - SBA offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes. Take some time to study the programs described on this site to see if you qualify to participate.​

National Venture Capital Association Member Directory - The NVCA serves as the definitive resource for venture capital data and unites its member firms through a full range of professional services.

SBIR/STTR Funding - Can be used to pay for research and development for innovative companies.

Minority Business Development Agency - Funding and other resources for minority owned businesses.


Contracting with the Government Resources

Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) -  Advising and resurces for contracting with the government

Business Matchmaking - The naton's premier public-private initiative supporting procurement opportunities for small business in every industry.

How to Do Business With California State Government - Brochure from the California Department of General Services explaining the four-step process.  

Finding Government Customers - Contracting opportunities listed by the SBA.

Federal Business Opportunities - The single government point-of-entry (GPE) for Federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000. 


Legal and Taxes Resources

Forming a corporation in California - An outline of the steps you need to follow in order to form a corporation (specifically, a "C corporation") in California.

FindLaw's Small Business Law - legal information, guides, sample forms, and other legal resources.

What New Business Owners Need to Know About Federal Taxes - IRS links to basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business, as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions.

California Tax Service Center - Forms and services you need as a California taxpayer.

Nolo - Nolo is the nation’s leading provider of do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and small businesses.


Human Resources and Payroll

U.S. Department of Labor - The Department of Labor provides compliance assistance to small business through “elaws”, an interactive exchange that allows small business owners to ask questions about labor laws.


California Business Resources

Bay Area Council - The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. It proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone.

California Chamber of Commerce - The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. This site links to local chambers of commerce.

California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program - Ten initiatives provide a variety of solutions for business development and workforce training needs to strengthen on-the-job performance and business competitiveness.

California Department of Consumer Affairs — Licensing and Permit Information - Information on types of state licenses required and how to obtain them. DCA licenses in more than 100 business and 200 professional categories, including doctors, dentists, contractors, cosmetologists and automotive repair facilities. It includes 40 regulatory entities that establish minimum qualifications and levels of competency for licensure. They also license, register, or certify practitioners, investigate complaints and discipline violators.

California Department of Finance - This web site provides economic forecasts, county profiles and economic indicators for the state’s fiscal matters.

California Electronic Job Listing Service This California state service is an Internet system for linking employer job lists and job seeker resumes.

California Employer Advisory Council The CEAC and local Employer Advisory Councils (EAC) are recognized and accepted by employers and government as the premier information resources for the employer perspective on employment and other workforce development issues.

California Employment Development Department - A direct link to job placement and referrals, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, employment and training, labor market information, employment taxes and more.

California Employment Training Panel ETP is a California State agency that funds training that meets the needs of employers for skilled workers and the need of workers for good, long-term jobs.

California Healthcare Foundation - Everything small business owners and their advisors need to know about offering health insurance. An unbiased resource on cost estimates, tax savings, coverage options, legal rights, and more.

California Labor Market Information -  Information by geographical area, subject or industry including occupational and career information, employment by industry, wages, and industrial classifications.

Sonoma County Economic Development Board Resources The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) provides information and referral services to help local businesses to start up, succeed, and grow. Site includes a Business Assistance Guide, Resource Guide, International Resource Guide, Doing Business with the County, Expanding/Relocating in Sonoma County.


Other Business Resources

Business.USA.Gov - Official business tools and resources of the U.S. Government.

SBA's Women's Business Center - Find the Women's Business Center, designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses, nearest you.

Disaster Preparedness Plan Template  – A document to help create an emergency plan More info on Disaster Plan 


FaxZero - Send faxes for free to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

FreeConference – Free conference calls and free online meetings with HD audio, video, and screen share.

Shopify's Free Business Resources - Shopify offers free business tools to help you run your business. Currently there are 21 tools to assist small business with creating templates for bills of lading, shipping labels, purchase orders to calculators for business loans, profit margins and advertising campaigns.


U.S. Federal Trade Commission - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices. The FTC offers creative, practical, plain-language business education publications that are a cost-effective and business-friendly way to obtain compliance with the law.

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.