How to Start a Business in Humboldt County, CA - Lost Coast Populist - lostcoastpopulist - 2023
How to Start a Business in Humboldt County, CA
  • Check out Donnie Creekmore's Profile Page !!
  • There are 1 comment(s) get in there and SPEAK !!
  • 08/22/2023

Read: 16 min

Learn how to start a business in Humboldt County in six steps with links to resources and more. Take out the headache and anxiety with this guide!
How to Start a Business in Humboldt County, CA
  • Check out Donnie Creekmore's Profile Page !!
  • There are 1 comment(s) get in there and SPEAK !!
  • 08/22/2023

Read: 16 min

Learn how to start a business in Humboldt County in six steps with links to resources and more. Take out the headache and anxiety with this guide!

Article

Welcome to the vibrant community of Humboldt County, where breathtaking landscapes meet a diverse and thriving business environment. Are you feeling the pull of entrepreneurial spirit, ready to embark on a journey that promises both challenges and rewards? Well in this handy guide we will show you the steps you will take to start a business in Humboldt County.

Recently my wife and I decided to start our own ecommerce / B2B Wholesale business here in Humboldt County and the process was somewhat confusing and at many times counterintuitive. The experience left me feeling compelled to make the community a guide that brings all of the necessary pieces into one place so other mom and pop entrepreneurial spirits like us can make their dreams into a reality.

By the end of this “how to start a business in Humboldt County” guide you will be able to launch a business locally with confidence you’ve made the right choices and without losing your mind in the process.

How to start a business in Humboldt County IN SIX STEPS – Introduction

Initiating Your Entrepreneurial Dream:

Starting a business in Humboldt County is an opportunity to contribute to the local economy, bring innovation to life, and create your own path to success.

This guide will walk you through the essential steps to transform your business idea into a reality, and perhaps even make your mark in the heart of Northern California. Whatever your dreaming, this guide should help you figure out how to start a business in Humboldt County.

TAKE ME TO THE STEPS!

The Significance of Small Businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of any community, and Humboldt County is no exception. They embody the dreams, aspirations, and hard work of individuals who believe in their vision.

Every shop, service, and product offered by a small business contributes to the tapestry of this county, creating a unique blend of character and culture.

Beyond economics, small businesses foster connections, generate jobs, and infuse innovation into the local landscape. As you contemplate starting your own venture, remember that your contribution extends beyond the confines of your storefront; it ripples through the lives of those around you.

TAKE ME TO THE STEPS!

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Odyssey

The path to entrepreneurship might seem intimidating, but it’s important to remember that every business, no matter how successful it becomes, started with a single step. As you walk through the process of establishing your own business in Humboldt County, keep in mind that challenges are part of the journey. Learning how to start a business is a lifelong, valuable asset. The more you learn how to start a business the more opportunity you have to take ideas and turn them into realities. Jobs are created when our community learns how to start a business because it is each and every local business which, in there own way, contribute to the health and wellbeing of the community.

TAKE ME TO THE STEPS!

If you have lived in Humboldt County for a long period of time you may have experienced some who express anticapitalistic views, which are unfortunately common among folks who have leftist political tendencies. However, you will find through the experience of learning how to start a business, and then successfully becoming a business, that opportunity flows from capitalism in many forms.

It is imperative that you keep an open mind, shed any idealism or nihilism to business and instead let the path teach you how to start a business and then work your hardest to have that business align with your core values while still providing a sustainable profit margin for the company. In the future when you know how to start a business in Humboldt County, you can teach others how to start a business wherever they live with some general guidance and in turn help those you know take the great ideas they have and make them into realities we all can enjoy.

Embrace them as opportunities to learn and grow.

How to Start a Business in humboldt – The STeps

STEP-1 Choose Your Business Structure:

Your business structure is the foundation upon which your venture is built. Take time to explore different options, considering factors like ownership, liability, and taxes. Your decision will influence various aspects of your business’s future. The following video has some good general tips and guidelines to help you make this important decision.

business structure - how to choose the right structure for your business

STEP-2 Obtain a Business License:

Every legitimate business in Humboldt County requires a business license. This license is more than just a legal requirement; it’s a symbol of your commitment to the community and its growth. Whether online or at the county treasurer’s office, securing your license is a crucial step.

Before you start your application you will need to decide what type of business license you will apply for, which fall into 4 categories, based on factors such as location and customer traffic. If you are uncertain which license applies to your business, you may call the Tax Collector’s Office for more details: (707) 476-2450

STEP-2A Choose a Business License Type

STOREFRONT LISCENSE

Storefront License

Any nonresidential or commercial space where a business is operating needs a Storefront Business License. Customer traffic is typically allowed. Inspections and additional permits may be required by the Departments listed below. 

Application Fees

  • $422.00

Required Forms

Approval

Your application will be sent to the following county departments.  A license cannot be issued without the approval of all applicable departments.

Important Note

If you own, operate, lease, or lease to a business that serves the public, then you are covered by the ADA.  Be sure you understand your Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Obligations prior to opening your business.

Apply Online

Use this link to apply online for a Business Licenses or make a payment for a License.

Business License Web-Application Supplemental Form

License Update

To update an existing license, complete and return the County of Humboldt Business License Update Form (PDF). Updates cannot be processed for a change of location, a new application is required. 

Resources

MOBILE LICENSE

Mobile License

Most businesses conducted from a residence fall in this category. The Planning Department may require a Home Occupation Permit. Customer traffic and employees are not usually allowed. The Planning Department defines a typical Mobile business as a “lawn care”.

Application Fees

  • $233.00 ($314.00 when food or drink is involved)

Required Forms

Permits

Additional permits may be required before your application can be approved.  Contact the county Planning Department if you are uncertain.

Approval

Your application will be sent to the following county departments.  A license cannot be issued without the approval of all applicable departments.

Apply Online

Use this link to apply online for a Business Licenses or make a payment for a License.

Business License Web-Application Supplemental Form

License Update

To update an existing license, complete and return the County of Humboldt Business License Update Form (PDF). Updates cannot be processed for a change of location, a new application is required. 

Resources

SPECIAL LICENSE

Special License

A Special License is for any business with a physical base not located in unincorporated Humboldt County or any business whose purpose is as an independent contractor for an already established licensed business. (Example: Booth space in a hair salon) If applying for an independent contractor license you must provide a copy of the business license of the already established licensed business along with the completed application.

Fees:

Total: $74.00; $155.00 if food and/or drink is involved

  • Application Fee: $40; add $81 if food and/or drink is involved
  • License Fee: $30
  • State Disability Fee: $4

Required Form

Booths:

Booth rental in a licensed Storefront business also requires a Special Peddler’s License

Approval

Your application will be sent to the following county departments.  A license cannot be issued without the approval of all applicable departments.

Apply Online

Use this link to apply online for a Business Licenses or make a payment for a License.

Business License Web-Application Supplemental Form

License Update

To update an existing license, complete and return the County of Humboldt Business License Update Form (PDF). Updates cannot be processed for a change of location, a new application is required. 

Resources

CANNABIS LICENSE

Cannabis Licenses

Any business involving cannabis.

Required Forms

Approval

Your application will be sent to the following county departments.  A license cannot be issued without the approval of all applicable departments.

Apply Online

Apply online for a Business Licenses or make a payment

Business License Web-Application Supplemental Form

License Update

To update an existing license, complete and return the County of Humboldt Business License Update Form (PDF). Updates cannot be processed for a change of location, a new application is required. 

Resources

**When filling out the online application for a business license it will ask you for an APN, which is a required field.

This is a parcel number based on your proposed business address.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to do this. Click the button below depending on the device type you are currently using, then adjust the map until it is over your home or address where the business will be located and write the number down.

image 2 | how to start a business in humboldt county, ca | lost coast populist

APN CAN BE FOUND HERE

STEP 2B APPLY FOR BUSINESS LICENSE ONLINE:

Once you’ve gone through the online process to apply for a business license it will create an account for you. Make sure and save the login credentials it provides you upon completion. You can use those to access your account by following the link below:

Create or Sign In to Account Profile with Humboldt County


STEP-3 Register Your ‘FICTITIOUS’ Business Name:

A name is more than a label; it’s an identity. If you’re NOT using your own name for your business, register a fictitious business name that resonates with your vision. This step is an essential part of branding and establishing your presence.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTERING YOUR BIZ NAME

The Clerk-Recorder’s Office is open for all services between the hours of:

8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

*Except County Holidays.

Documents to be recorded, Clerk filings, copy order requests, and vital records certificate requests may also be submitted by any of the following:

  • Drop box located outside the Clerk Recorder’s Office door. Self service forms are available on our forms page and next to the drop box.
  • US Mail or Express mail
  • VitalChek online service (vital record copies only)
  • Questions? (707) 445-7593 / clerkrecordergeneral@co.humboldt.ca.us

To avoid delays due to rejection of your FBN, please take extra care to complete the form before submitting.

Note:

The most common reason for rejection of FBN’s is a missing “resident’s street address” in part 3 of the form!

2023 Fee Schedule

Who Should File?
Persons doing business for profit under a fictitious name (which does not include surname in business name).
The statement must be filed in county of principal place of business. The statement may only be filed in other counties when the requirements for filing in the county of principal place of business have been met. If this is the case with your filing, please provide a copy of the fictitious business name statement filing from the county of your principal place of business.

Non-profit corporations, organizations or associations are not required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement

Requirements:
Owner must sign (corporate officer if corporation; manager or officer if limited liability company; general partner if partnership; trustee if trust).

Street address of principal place of business and county must be listed.

Corporations must include give the address as set out in its articles of incorporation on file with the Secretary of State.
Limited liability companies must give the address as set out in its articles of organization on file with the Secretary of State.

Important: If registrant is a corporation or LLC, a copy of the articles from the Secretary of State, with matching names and addresses, must be provided to the County Clerk at the time of filing.

All owners and their residence addresses must be listed.

Filed copy of statement must be published once per week for four consecutive weeks in an adjudicated newspaper in Humboldt County. See fictitious business name statement instruction sheet for a list of general circulation newspapers.
Publication must begin within 45 days of filing.

If not begun in this time frame, you will be required to submit a new filing and pay the fee again.
There is no waiver of the fee.

Filing Fees:

Base Filing Fee $50
Second & additional business name (each) $10
Second & additional registrant (each) $10
Abandonment & Withdrawals (flat fee) $40
Note:

Accepted Forms of currency are cash, money orders or checks, made payable to the Humboldt County Recorder. Credit or debit cards now accepted as a form of payment for in-office transactions. A 2.95% service provider fee ($2 minimum) will be charged per card transaction. This is not a county fee.

Forms and Instructions:
Fictitious Business Name Statement – Instructions
Fictitious Business Name Statement – New/Renewal
Fictitious Business Name Statement – Withdraw Partner
Fictitious Business Name Statement – Additional Name Form
Fictitious Business Name Statement – Abandonment


STEP-4 Secure an EIN:

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is not just a number; it’s your business’s tax identity. If you plan on hiring employees or operating as a corporation, obtaining an EIN is vital.

The process is pretty straight forward. You can begin the application here:


STEP-5 Navigate Permits and Licenses:

Depending on your business type and activities, you might need additional permits and licenses beyond your business license. Ensuring you’re compliant with local regulations is essential for a smooth operation. This is something you will need to navigate on your own, contacting Humboldt County to inquire what if any permits and licenses you will need beyond what we’ve covered here.

In the process of getting this far you may have already been informed of one or more of these, or that there are none in addition to those found here. Whatever that answer may be will be determined on your unique business.


STEP-6 Build a Strong Financial Foundation:

Just like the sturdy roots of a tree, your business’s financial structure is vital. Open a dedicated business bank account, set up efficient bookkeeping practices, and safeguard your venture with appropriate insurance coverage.


Unleash Your Brand

Now that you’ve learned how to start a business and you’ve accomplished every step, you’re business almost certainly needs a website. Lost Coast Populist is obviously a website and since you are reading this here, we would love the opportunity you create the website for your brand or business.

If you’d like to scratch our backs for helping you through this journey with this handy “how to start a business” guide, than CLICK HERE to send us an email. Tell us about your journey, how this post helped, and your ideas for the website. We will respond back ASAP and help you create the best website for your brand or business.

We are skilled at web development that scores highly on GTmetrix, and speed.web.dev – so you know your website will come out ranking its best!

With the groundwork laid, it’s time to unveil your business to the world. Develop a website that captures your essence, craft a marketing plan to spread the word, and engage with fellow businesses to create a network of support.


Harnessing Resources for Your Entrepreneurial Odyssey

Starting a business is not a solitary endeavor; it’s a collaboration with your dreams and a partnership with your community.

Discover a multitude of resources in Humboldt County to fuel your journey:

Crafting Your Entrepreneurial Legacy

Starting a business is more than a transaction; it’s the commencement of your legacy. As you embark on this exhilarating journey, remember that the challenges you face are stepping stones toward your success.

Humboldt County welcomes your innovation, your passion, and your dedication. By following the steps outlined in this guide and harnessing the resources available, you’re positioning yourself for a future of fulfillment, growth, and positive impact.

I hope you’ve learned how to start a business and that, although it may be a time consuming and somewhat tricky path at first, once the path has been journeyed the rest is typically a downhill ride. Now that you’ve learned how to start a business in Humboldt we urge you to take that first step—transform your vision into reality, and let Humboldt County be the canvas upon which you paint your entrepreneurial masterpiece.

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About:

Donnie Creekmore is a father of three amazing boys, and a proud husband to his wife. Donnie is a proud American Patriot, website designer and admin, successful businessman, and an all-around great guy!
Click here to visit this Author's Profile
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