Starting a business in Irwindale

New Business Guide 101

Starting a business can be a daunting task. We are here to help! Learn how to get your business started using these 10 steps.

  1. Prepare and Plan

    Preparation and planning are critical to the success of your business. Begin thinking of how you will turn your dream into a reality and create an effective business plan that includes financing, marketing, implementation and beyond.

  2. Choose a Business Structure (Entity Type)

    Your entity type influences how much you pay in taxes, your personal liability, your ability to raise money and your day-to-day operations. Carefully choose the entity type that will give you the right balance of legal protections and benefits.

    Here are some common entity types to choose from: Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Partnership (Limited, Limited Liability, and General) and Sole Proprietorship.

    Visit to learn the details about each entity type.

  3. Choose a Business Name

    Choose a business name that captivates what your business offers and targets your prospective clients. Note that corporations, LLCs, and limited and limited liability partnerships must comply with statutory name requirements.

  4. Research a Location

    The location of your business is vital to your success. Contact our Planning Department at (626) 430-2208 to inquire whether your proposed business use is allowable on a particular parcel before you commit to any long-term lease or property purchase.  

  5. Register your Business

    Your entity type will determine what is required to register your business with the California Secretary of State’s office.

    Corporation – you must file Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State’s office.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC) – you must file Articles of Organization (Form LLC-1) with the California Secretary of State’s office.

    Partnerships – Limited Partnerships must file a Certificate of Limited Partnership (Form LP-1) and Limited Liability Partnerships must file an Application to Register a Limited Liability Partnership (Form LLP-1) with the California Secretary of State’s office. General Partnership’s registrations are optional. Should you choose to register a General Partnership, file a Statement of Partnership Authority (Form GP-1) with the California Secretary of State’s office.

    Sole Proprietorship – There are no formation documents filed with the California Secretary of State’s office.

    Visit to find the forms and fee schedules to register your business with the Secretary of State.

  6. Register a “dba” or Fictitious Business Name (if Necessary)

    If a business chooses to do business under a name that does not include the surname of the individual owner(s) and each of the partners or the business name suggests the existence of additional owners or the nature of the business is not clearly evident by the name of the business, you will need to file a “dba” or “Doing Business As.” This is also known as a Fictitious Business Name. Contact the County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office to register a DBA.

  7. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is your Federal Tax ID. It is like a personal social security number for your business. If you intend on having employees, you will need an EIN. An EIN is also used to pay federal taxes, open bank accounts, and apply for business licenses and permits. You will apply for an EIN with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    NOTE: Sole Proprietorships are not required to obtain an EIN and may use their Social Security Number in lieu of.

    If you will be an employer, you have obligations such as payroll taxes, wage withholding requirements, state disability insurance and unemployment insurance. Visit the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) to find out more information on the requirements as an employer.

  8. Obtain Specialty Licenses and Permits

    The nature of your business will determine what types of permits, licenses and certificates you will need. Below are some common permits: 

    • If you intend to sell tangible goods, including retail and wholesale, you are required to obtain a Seller’s Permit from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).
    • If you intend to produce or sell food, contact the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health for all appropriate permits.
      All businesses that conduct services in Irwindale will need to apply for a business license with the City of Irwindale. A certificate will be issued and mailed once all forms are submitted, all approvals are completed, and fees are paid.

      If you will be building a new structure or renovating an existing structure:
    • Contact our Planning Department at 626.430.2208 for the required design reviews and plan checks.
    • Contact our Building Department at 626.430.2205 for building permits, building inspections, and a certificate of occupancy.
    • Contact our Public Works Department at 626.430.2203 for proposed roadway/infrastructure improvements.
    • Contact Business License Division at 626.430.2252 to apply for and obtain a business license. 
  9.  File your Taxes 
    Your entity type will determine what taxes you must pay and how you pay them. Check with the IRS for federal tax requirements and the  California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for state tax requirements.

  10. Begin Building your Business
    After you have secured any necessary permits with our Building, Planning and Public Works departments and have obtained a business license, you may begin BUSINESS! Remember to keep up to date with expiration dates of permits and licenses and file your taxes in a timely fashion.

Please note we are not providing legal advice nor do we guarantee success of a business from these steps. It takes a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, grit, planning, preparation and even some luck.

We are here to support your success. Your success is OUR success in Irwindale!