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Determining Your Business StructureBusiness Licenses

Determine Your Business Structure

In addition to obtaining a City business license, there are State and County filing requirements when opening a business.

Determine a Business Name

The name you choose for your business is important. Aside from making sure that the name clearly describes your business, you need to ensure that the name is not already being used. If the name you choose is anything other than your own legal name, you are required to file a fictitious business name statement. The statement is filed with the County of Santa Barbara Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

Find more information on Fictitious Business Names.

County of Santa Barbara
County Clerk & Recorder’s Office
1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 568-2250

Identify a Legal Structure for Your Business

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies must register with the Secretary of State. Your choice of legal structure will affect your income taxes and personal liability. Contact your accountant or attorney for advice and assistance in determining the best legal structure for you and your business. 

California Secretary of State
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-6814

Other Government Agencies

State Board of Equalization Sellers’ Permit (sale of goods)
State Franchise Tax Board (non-profit organizations)
County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department (food and drink establishments)