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Government Agencies | Chambers of Commerce | Licenses & Permits | Fictitious Business Name | Market Research | Non-Profit Resources | Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights | Selling to Government Agencies
State of California
- CalGold California Home Page - calgold.ca.gov
- Controller’s Office Guide for Financial Opportunities for Businesses
- State of California Depart. of Consumer Affairs - dca.ca.gov
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) - eastbay.score.org
- Young Entrepreneur Guide - sba.gov/tools/learning-center-view-course/364041
- U.S. Census Bureau - census.gov
- U.S. Small Business Administration - sba.gov
- U.S. Small Business Advisor - business.gov
- Bplans.com - bplans.com
- Entrepreneur.com - entrepreneur.com
- FindLaw for Business - smallbusiness.findlaw.com
- Nolo for All - nolo.com
- Quicken.com - quicken.com
- Small Business Help Center - helpbizowners.com
- Exit Strategies - exitstrategiesgroup.com
- An MBA Student's Guide to Entrepreneurship - onlinemba.com/entrepreneurship-guide/
- Immigrant Business - immigrantbiz.org
- Health Coverage Information for California Small Business Owners
- Business Insurance - businessinsurance.org
- Working Solutions - workingsolutions.com
- Business Credit Cards - businesscreditcards.com/bootstrapper/business-credit-card-resources/
- Info about MBA Programs - mbaonline.com
Local Chambers of Commerce function as a TRADE ASSOCIATION for member businesses and professionals. Included in their services, to members, are business education, promotion, legislative advocacy, referrals, networking opportunities and community events. In addition, Chambers serve as the primary source for community information. This information is subject to change.
BENICIA Chamber of Commerce
601 1st Street, Suite 100, Benicia, CA 94510
PHONE: (707) 745-2120
DIXON Chamber of Commerce
220 N. Jefferson Street, Dixon, CA 95620
PHONE: (707) 678-2650
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN Chamber of Commerce
1111 Webster Street, Fairfield, CA 94533
PHONE: (707) 425-4625
FILIPINO-AMERICAN Chamber of Commerce of Solano County
PHONE: (707) 745-8473
RIO VISTA Chamber of Commerce
6 N. Front St., Rio Vista, CA 94571
PHONE: (707) 374-2700
SOLANO HISPANIC Chamber of Commerce
PHONE: (707) 643-5037
VACAVILLE Chamber of Commerce
300 Main Street, Vacaville, CA 95688
PHONE: (707) 448-6424
VALLEJO Chamber of Commerce
427 York Street, Vallejo, CA 94590
PHONE: (707) 644-5551
LOCAL BUSINESS LICENSE
In order to OPERATE A BUSINESS within any city located in Solano County, whether it is from a store, factory, office or your home, you must have a VALID BUSINESS LICENSE. The type of license depends on the NATURE OF YOUR BUSINESS and is renewed every six months or annually. Contact the City Clerk's office if your business is located within city limits and the County Clerk for unincorporated areas.
City of Benicia
PHONE: (707) 746-4225 - https://benicia.hdlgov.com/
City of Dixon
PHONE: (707) 678-7000 - http://www.ci.dixon.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=158
City of Fairfield
PHONE: (707) 428-7509 - http://www.fairfield.ca.gov/gov/depts/cd/business_licenses.asp
City of Rio Vista
PHONE: (707) 374-6451 - http://riovistacity.com/new-business-information/
City of Suisun City
PHONE: (707) 421-7328 - https://www.suisun.com/departments/administrative-services/business-licenses/
City of Vacaville
PHONE: (707) 449-5129 - http://www.ci.vacaville.ca.us/business/business-licenses
City of Vallejo
PHONE: (707) 648-4310 - http://www.ci.vallejo.ca.us/cms/one.aspx?pageId=22460
For unincorporated areas:
Solano County Tax Collectors Office
PHONE: (707) 784-7485 - https://www.solanocounty.com/depts/rm/business_licenses.asp
STATE BUSINESS LICENSE
Some occupations such as ACCOUNTANTS, COSMETICIANS, CONSTRUCTION or SPECIALTY CONTRACTORS, ELDERLY CARE FACILITIES, OPTOMETRISTS, REAL ESTATE AGENTS, or PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION companies, etc. may require state licensing through a State of California governmental agency. Find out what licensing board governs your profession by calling the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210 or visiting dca.ca.gov.
File a FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME only if the business name you have chosen is different from your own LEGAL NAME. For example, if your legal name is John Jones and you have chosen a name that includes your last name ("John Jones House Repair" or "Jones House Repair"), then you do not need to file.
In general, if a business name does not have the LAST NAME of all OWNERS, differs from the incorporation documents, or implies greater ownership, a fictitious name is involved. Adding words such as "and company," "son/daughter," or "associates" implies IMPLIES MORE THAN ONE OWNER and is treated like an assumed name. (You should first look up your proposed business name -- in as many places as possible -- to be sure NO OTHER BUSINESS is using that name. Use of a business name legally owned by another company may be an infringement of the other business owner's rights. Some examples of places to research would be your local phone directory, chamber of commerce, county clerk, the Internet, State of California Secretary of State Trademark Division, and/or the federal Patent and Trade Mark Office.)
Your fictitious business name statement must be PUBLISHED IN A NEWSPAPER of general circulation in the county where the principal place of business is located. The statement must be published once a week for four successive weeks and an affidavit of publication filed with the County Clerk within 30 days of publication. The forms are available from the COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE.
County Clerk - Solano County
675 Texas Street, Suite 1900, Fairfield, CA 94533
MARKET RESEARCH & PLANNING
MARKETING plays a crucial role in the SUCCESS of any business. To develop an effective marketing plan, it may be helpful to research and gather various facts on your target customers, competition and industry.
- Consult US Census Data
Federal Census Bureau statistics are extremely useful for viewing regional demographic information. In addition, State of California and your local Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Department has details on population trends, payroll statistics, etc. Use this information in determining the size of your market.
- Connect With Other Business Owners
The internet contains numerous industry-specific newsgroups, chat rooms, and forums comprised of business owners who share their experiences and are ready to answer your questions. Discussion groups often center on specific business topics such as start-up costs, pricing strategies, sales figures, and marketing methods. Use the below search engines to conduct a key word search for your industry, service and/or product.
- Contact Trade & Professional Organizations
Trade and Professional Associations exist for every type of business. Trade groups conduct research on trends, customer profiles, marketing methods, pricing strategies and the economy. They also publish member directories useful for tracking down your competition. Trade publications often run articles on recent research reports and publish their own proprietary market data. Many are now featuring e-zines (online magazines) that contain informational articles for your use.
- Read Newspaper, Magazines, Trade Publications
Periodicals are an excellent source for industry statistics and competitor information. Business publications such as the Wall Street Journal can give you information on business trends and economic issues that may impact your business. Local newspapers and business journals can provide you with information on your local scene. - findarticles.com
RESOURCE AGENCIES FOR NON-PROFITS
Solano Community Foundation
744 Empire Street, Suite 240, Fairfield, CA 94533
PHONE: (707) 339-3846
The Impact Foundry
2031 K Street, 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95811
PHONE: (916) 569-8555
CompassPoint Nonprofit Services
500 12th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94607
PHONE: (510) 318-3755
The Foundation Center - Resource for Searching Grants
312 Sutter Street, Suite 606, San Francisco, CA 94108
PHONE: (415) 397-0902
PATENT, TRADEMARK & COPYRIGHT DEFINITIONS
- A PATENT is a PROPERTY RIGHT granted to the inventor of an invention.
- A TRADEMARK is a WORD, NAME, SYMBOL, or DEVICE, or any combination thereof, adopted and used by a person to identify goods made or sold by him/her to distinguish them from goods made or sold by others. A SERVICEMARK is the SAME AS A TRADEMARK except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.
- A COPYRIGHT is a form of PROTECTION provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. Copyrights are registered by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.
The Brooks Walker Patent and Trademark Center
The BROOKS WALKER PATENT and TRADEMARK CENTER operates as a self-service program. Resources for conducting a patent or trademark search include: Patents from 1790 to the present, computer searching of patents and trademarks, indexes to historical patents and trademarks, official Gazette of the Patent and Trademark Office from 1872 to present, annual report of the Commissioner of Patents from 1790 to 1872, and all current PTO forms, publications, and regulations. - sanfranciscoptdl.wikidot.com/the-brooks-walker-patent-and-trademark-center
Patent and Trademark Center
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
PHONE: (415) 557-4400 - sfpl.org
The State of California Secretary of State's Office
The SECRETARY of STATE'S OFFICE maintains registration and updates of CALIFORNIA TRADEMARKS and SERVICE MARKS. The Trademark Unit also registers other filings such as container brands, laundry marks and the names of farms, ranches, estates or villas.
1500 11th Street, Suite 345, Sacramento, CA 95814
PHONE: (916) 653-4984 - sos.ca.gov/business/ts/
The US Patent & Trademark Office
The U.S. PATENT and TRADEMARK OFFICE is an excellent resource for official patent and trademark information.
General Information Services Division
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Crystal Plaza 3, Room 2C02, Washington, DC 20231
PHONE: (800) 786-9199 - uspto.gov
Library of Congress Copyright Office
COPYRIGHTS are registered by the COPYRIGHT OFFICE of the LIBRARY of CONGRESS.
101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington DC, 20559
PHONE: (202) 707-3000 - copyright.gov
LOCAL, STATE, & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
SELLING GOODS and SERVICES to local, state, and federal government agencies can be interesting, lucrative, and challenging. However, to get started in government contracting, you do have to learn the basics. In addition to the workshop training and one-on-one consulting provided by the Solano College SBDC, there are a variety of on-line resources. The following are procurement resources for local, state, and federal assistance:
US Small Business Administration - https://www.sba.gov/contracting/what-government-contracting
Northern California Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) - http://norcalptac.org/
Norcal PTAC assists with research of government agencies who are buying your products and/or service and helps develop marketing strategies and everything else you need to sell to federal, state, and local government agencies.