15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 610 Encino, CA 91436
15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 610 Encino, CA 91436
Personal, Affordable Payroll Services, Bookkeeping, and Tax Processing for Small Business throughout Los Angeles County.

The Essential Small Business Startup Checklist

You have a great idea for a small business you want to open in Los Angeles but you don’t know where to begin. Before you open your doors for business, you need to ensure you have everything properly prepared and ready. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the process ahead, here’s a checklist that will get you started in the right direction.

1. Get Your EIN

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is the number the federal government will use to identify your business. There is no cost to sign up for an EIN, and doing so will ensure that you are able to file your tax returns accurately. However, an EIN may not be required if you are a sole proprietorship and do not have employees. If you think you need or want an EIN to keep business and personal activities separate, apply for it first.

2. Choose a Business Structure

Next, you will have to choose and set up your business structure. Some common structures for small businesses include:

• LLC (Limited Liability Company)
• S Corporation
• Partnership
• Sole Proprietorship
• Corporation

Each of these structures has benefits and drawbacks that you will need to consider to make the right decision for your business.

3. Determine Your Tax Year

The tax year for your business is the period from which you calculate your taxable income. This is 12 calendar months either from the date you start your business or from January 1. An accounting firm that is familiar with Los Angeles small business law will be able to help you determine the best tax year for your needs.

4. Choose an Accounting System

If you don’t set up an accounting system at the start of your business journey, tax season is going to be incredibly difficult. Establish your bookkeeping system from day one to make this easier on yourself. Consider partnering with a small business accountant for help with your bookkeeping.

5. Register for California Sales and Employment Taxes

Before you begin operations, make sure you have a business license and are ready to pay taxes. CalGOLD offers help with applying for permits, and the California State Board of Equalization offers seller’s permits and use tax accounts. The California Tax Service Center has the information you need to register and pay income, payroll, sales and use taxes, and other fees connected to Los Angeles small business endeavors.

6. Prepare for Employment Taxes

If your business is going to have employees, have them file Form I-9 and Form W-4 so you can collect employment taxes. These forms are available for free from the IRS.
Do you have further questions about how to start your business? Contact Accounting Tax Payroll Partners today at 818-436-2775 for more information about Los Angeles small business regulations, bookkeeping, taxes and more!