Contra Costa SBDCPleasant Hill, CA

Starting Your Business

Key Steps Before You Start...

1. Research Your Market

The Contra Costa County Library has a wealth of information of particular value for doing market research, including numerous databases and GIS data. See Market Data under Resources.
Also see County Economic Information.

2. Evaluate the Opportunity

Model your income and expenses using this Business Simulator (Excel).
See Free Tools and Software below for useful calculators and research tools.

3. Writing Your Business Plan

Read this Section-by-Section Guide
Look for detailed information about specific business topics under Information by Industry and Topic.

4. Do Your Financial Planning

Overview of Financial Statements
Sample Income Statement
Sample Balance Sheet
Sample Cash Flow Report
Also see Free Tools and Software below for useful financial planning tools.

5. Protect Your Business

Fictitious Name Search

6. Form Your Business

Select a Business Structure
Get Permits & Licensing
Check Codes & Charters
Check Compliance Requirements
Tax Information
Also see City Information below

Learn How to Start Your Business

Check our Calendar for upcoming business seminars, events, etc.

Our local Colleges and Universities also offer excellent courses on a wide range of business-related subjects - see below.

Get connected! Chambers of commerce and local business associations are excellent ways to network and learn from other experienced business owners. See listings below under Organizations.


Check Out These Useful Portals for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

All About Franchises - Contra Costa County Library
An excellent set of resources for researching franchise opportunities.

Industry/Business Profiles, Tax Tips, Statistics - IRS Business Portal

Topical Business Advice -
Topic-specific definitions, descriptions and discussions on many aspects of
starting and running a business.

Entrepreneurship: The Kauffman Foundation / Center for Entrepreneurship
Excellent knowledge bank for first-time and experienced entrepreneurs.

Apply Now

It all starts here. Review our client process, complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.


As concerns continue about coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re here to help you navigate available resources, answer your business questions and be a trusted partner for your business
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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.