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Business Start-up Resources

The list of resources below provides entrepreneurs with contact information for agencies that can help entrepreneurs plan, finance, site, and market a successful business in San Diego.

City of San Diego Resources

The City of San Diego provides general information on starting and operating a business, significant resource materials, market research information, small business troubleshooting, and regulatory, permitting and licensing information. The most important resource is the City's Office of Small Business, which acts as a clearinghouse for small business assistance information.

Information, Research and Program Assistance
  • City of San Diego Office of Small Business
    1200 Third Avenue, 14th Floor
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Phone: (619) 236-6700
    Fax: (619) 533-3219
  • City Library
    820 "E" Street
    San Diego, CA 92101
    (619) 236-5800
Business Tax Certificate
Zoning, New Construction & Remodeling

Private Resources

There are a number of private organizations that provide business assistance information, market research, technical assistance consulting and networking opportunities.

General Information, Research and Networking
Small Business Consulting

County of San Diego Resources

Many businesses that operate a business in the City of San Diego must also work with several County of San Diego agencies to successfully complete the process of opening a business. For instance, many businesses will need to file a fictitious business name through the County.

General Information
Fictitious Business Name
Property Tax Information
Zoning Information
Health Permits
Air Pollution Control


State of California Resources

Many City of San Diego businesses will need to work with state agencies if they intend to incorporate their business, sell alcohol and other goods, hire employees, etc.

Resale Number - Seller's Permit
Payroll Taxes
Worker's Compensation
Alcohol Sales Licensing
Incorporation Information
  • California Secretary of State
  • Sacramento Office
    1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    (916) 657-5448
  • Los Angeles Regional Office
    300 South Spring Street, Room 12513
    Los Angeles, CA 90013
    (213) 897-3062

U.S. Federal Government Resources

The federal government provides a host of pertinent information and services to small businesses, including consulting services, tax information, export information and wage and hour information.

Income Tax Information
  • Internal Revenue Service
    880 Front Street, First Floor
    San Diego, CA 92188
    Information: (800) 829-1040
    Forms and Publications: (800) 829-3676
    (The IRS's small business tax guide is an invaluable tool for tax planning)
Employment Eligibility
Export Information
  • Department of Commerce
    U.S. Export Assistance Center
    9449 Balboa Avenue, Suite 111
    San Diego, California, 92123
    Phone: (858) 467-7032
Import & Customs
  • U.S. Customs Service
    Airport and Seaport (619) 685-4304
    Otay Mesa Border (619) 690-7696
    San Ysidro Border (619) 690-8800
    Tecate Border (619) 938-8300
Wage & Hour Information
Social Security Information
Small Business Services
  • Small Business Administration
    550 West C Street, Suite 550
    San Diego, CA 92101
    (619) 557-7250
    Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Consulting Services
    (619) 557-7272


Financial Resources

Several financial resources exist for small businesses in San Diego. However, loans are generally not available to start-ups. Most loan programs require that businesses have at least one year of history.

For additional information on financial resources, visit Financing Your Business.

Loan Programs
Micro Loans
  • ACCION San Diego (requires at least six months of business operation)
    Phone: (619) 795-7250, Fax: (619) 795-7260
Matching Grant Programs

Additional Resources