Solano SBDCFairfield, CA

Helpful Links and Tools

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General News/Media Inventions/Intellectual Property | Trademarks/Copyrights | Import/Export | Financing | Business Planning | Government | Legal/Taxes | Human Resources/Payroll | California Businesses | Documents/Forms | Diversity & Inclusion | Other


General Resources

Business.USA.Gov - Official business tools and resources of the U.S. Government

SBDCNet - Business information, help, and examples

SBA Office of Advocacy - An independent voice for small business within the federal government, the watchdog for the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and the source of small business statistics

SBA's Women's Business Center - Find the Women's Business Center, designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses, nearest you

Disaster Preparedness Plan – resources to help you understand and create disaster preparedness plan 

California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Business Portal – “Whether you are interested in starting and growing your business, finding applicable incentives or looking for financial assistance to operate your business, the California Business Portal is here to help!”


News/Media Resources

The 100 Most Underrated Small Business Blogs​ -  A list of 100 underrated small business blogs that compile original, unique, and invaluable content on a regular basis, despite being lesser known

The Wall Street Journal - Start-up information and databases of businesses for sale and venture capital. Wealth in the form of money or assets, taken as a sign of the financial strength of an individual, organization, or nation, and assumed to be available for development or investment - The online magazine for entrepreneurs and small business owners - Magazine with start-up ideas, resources, and articles - Innovative educational tools and informative resources covering the latest issues and insights affecting entrepreneurs

The Balance - A comprehensive site with articles written by experts in their field including business practices, general business, industry specific information, and small business

North Bay Biz - Monthly magazine dedicated to exclusive coverage of business in the North Bay area of California (Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties)

North Bay Business Journal - A weekly publication and online business news for the north San Francisco bay area counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Marin

Press Democrat This Sonoma County daily newspaper includes current news and archive files by subject


Inventions and Intellectual Property, Trademarks/Copyrights Resources

Inventing 101 - Free Online Course By Stephen Paul Gnass

How to protect your invention while pitching it. - From protecting your inventions, ideas, and product names to the public domain and fair use rules, you can find everything about intellectual property in articles and information here

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office- Information, research and registration of U.S. patents

California Secretary of State - The Secretary of State’s office maintains registration and all updates of California state trademarks and service marks

U.S. Copyright Office - Research and register a copyright


Import/Export Resources

SBA Exporting - SBA provides counseling, training and financing to small businesses looking to increase sales and profit by taking their businesses global

Office of International Trade - Many exported and imported products are regulated by federal agencies. If you export or import the following types of products, you may be required to obtain specific licenses and permits or complete additional paperwork - The primary federal government exporting site to better serve beginning exporters

Centers for International Trade Development (CITDs) - CITDs are the state's top source of trade assistance. CITDs offer a variety of free or low-cost programs & services to assist local companies in doing business abroad. These include one-on-one technical assistance and consulting, market research, training and educational programs, trade leads and special events

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes - If you know the SIC code for your business or industry, you can research employment, productivity, import/export, etc., for that industry. SIC codes were established in the 1930s primarily to help measure and compare statistical information

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - A more detailed classification system that covers the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, NAICS codes allow for closer comparisons than SIC codes. Almost all business research is easier if you know your SIC and NAICS codes (some agencies and publications, including the SEC, still use SIC)

Tradeport Comprehensive international trade information, trade leads, and company databases. Guides you through the export process


Financing Resources

Business Loan Application Checklist – Use this checklist to make sure you have the typical items required for any small business loan application - A good site to use when searching for Federal grants funding

SBA Loan Programs - SBA offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes. Take some time to study the programs described on this site to see if you qualify to participate

8(a) Business Development Program Suitability Tool - Respond to a series of questions to determine if the 8(a) program is for you

National Venture Capital Association Member Directory - The NVCA serves as the definitive resource for venture capital data and unites its member firms through a full range of professional services

SBIR/STTR Funding - Can be used to pay for research and development for innovative companies

Trends in Venture Capital Funding in the 1990s – A report about who supplies venture capital, who receives it, and how is it changing the U.S. economy, written by Nicole R. Onorato, former intern in the SBA’s Office of Advocacy

Business Loans from California Capital

More financing resources from the Solano Small Business Development Center.


Business Planning Resources

Start and Manage Your Business - SBA's website has resources for helping you, including templates for planning a business and advice blogs

Small Business Resources in Northern California - SBA Handout

Small Business Start-Up Guide for Northern California - SBA Handout and Center for Business Planning - Sites that have sample plans and writing tips

CalGOLD - Offers direct internet links and contact information to state, local, regional, and federal permitting authorities for more information. Assists you in finding appropriate permit information for your business

Business - It can be hard to understand the associated terms and concepts. With over 20,000 definitions, search this site for a specific term, or choose a general category and read a definition for any word

SCORE - The Service Corp of Retired Executives offers informational sites along with online expertise in starting and owning a business

Sonoma County Economic Development Board Resources - The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) provides information and referral services to help local businesses to start up, succeed, and grow. Site includes a Business Assistance Guide, Resource Guide, International Resource Guide, Doing Business with the County, Expanding/Relocating in Sonoma County

More business planning resources from the Solano Small Business Development Center.


Government Resources

Business Matchmaking - The nation's premier public-private initiative supporting procurement opportunities for small business in every industry

Procurement Opportunities for your Small Business - If you have been considering contracting your services to the procurement marketplace, this webinar, hosted by the Northern California SBDC, tells you all you need to know about resources and leads for business matchmaking with federal, state, and local government agencies, how to prepare for a business matchmaking conference, how to get paid, etc.

Practical Guide to Doing Business with the Federal Government - Includes a directory of federal procurement offices in California

Useful Government Contracting Websites - SBA's list of small business issues and information via the Internet

California Department of General Services - Central location for businesses wanting to do business with the State of California. Information about minority certification, etc.

How to Do Business With California State Government - Brochure from the California Department of General Services explaining the four-step process

Finding Government Customers - Contracting opportunities listed by the SBA

Minority Business Development Agency - Web portal dedicated to helping small businesses benefit from minority certifications

Federal Business Opportunities - The single government point-of-entry (GPE) for Federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000. Government buyers are able to publicize their business opportunities by posting information directly to FedBizOpps via the Internet and commercial vendors seeking Federal markets for their products and services can search, monitor, and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire Federal contracting community


Legal and Taxes Resources

Forming a corporation in California - An outline of the steps you need to follow in order to form a corporation (specifically, a "C corporation") in California - NOT maintained after June 2018

FindLaw's Small Business Law - legal information, guides, sample forms, and other legal resources

What New Business Owners Need to Know About Federal Taxes - IRS links to basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business, as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions

California Tax Service Center - Forms and services you need as a California taxpayer

Nolo - Nolo is the nation’s leading provider of do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and small businesses

LegalZoom - LegalZoom is the nation's leading provider of personalized, online legal solutions and legal documents for small businesses and families. Form an LLC, incorporate a business, make a will, register a trademark, get legal advice, and more online


Human Resources and Payroll

Hire an Employee in California Checklist - North Coast SBDC's comprehensive list is applicable to businesses located throughout Northern California

Solano Workforce Investment Board - The Workforce Investment Board of Solano County offers programs and services to provide employers access to qualified workers, and equip job seekers to compete in today's job market. 


California Business Resources

Bay Area Council - The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. It proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone

California Chamber of Commerce - The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. This site links to local chambers of commerce

California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program - Ten initiatives provide a variety of solutions for business development and workforce training needs to strengthen on-the-job performance and business competitiveness

California Department of Consumer Affairs — Licensing and Permit Information - Information on types of state licenses required and how to obtain them. DCA licenses in more than 100 business and 200 professional categories, including doctors, dentists, contractors, cosmetologists and automotive repair facilities. It includes 40 regulatory entities that establish minimum qualifications and levels of competency for licensure. They also license, register, or certify practitioners, investigate complaints and discipline violators

California Department of Finance - This web site provides economic forecasts, county profiles and economic indicators for the state’s fiscal matters

California Electronic Job Listing Service This California state service is an Internet system for linking employer job lists and job seeker resumes

California Employer Advisory Council The CEAC and local Employer Advisory Councils (EAC) are recognized and accepted by employers and government as the premier information resources for the employer perspective on employment and other workforce development issues

California Employment Development Department - A direct link to job placement and referrals, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, employment and training, labor market information, employment taxes and more

California Employment Training Panel ETP is a California State agency that funds training that meets the needs of employers for skilled workers and the need of workers for good, long-term jobs

California Healthcare Foundation - Everything small business owners and their advisors need to know about offering health insurance. An unbiased resource on cost estimates, tax savings, coverage options, legal rights, and more

California Labor Market Information -  Information by geographical area, subject or industry including occupational and career information, employment by industry, wages, and industrial classifications



Financial Templates - This Excel workbook has a 12 month P&L statement, creates a breakeven analysis, a cash flow projection, and a balance sheet from the data you enter into the P&L. It is based on the handouts from our Financial Pre-Venture Workshop

Living Wage Estimate - This is an excel spreadsheet where you can enter your personal expenses and the spreadsheet will estimate how much you need to make each month to cover your financial obligations. It can also calculate how much cash flow per hour you need to cover your draw and taxes

State Small Business Guide - This publication identifies the key sites for small businesses interested in doing business with the state and finding financial resources offered by the state government

Contracting with the California State University System - Information needed to contract with California State University system

More documents and forms from the Solano Small Business Development Center


Diversity and Inclusion Training


Diversity and Inclusion Training Video

Other Business Resources - A meta-site with links to marketing-related topics

FaxZero - Send faxes for free to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada

FreeConference – Free conference calls and free online meetings with HD audio, video, and screen share

iReuse – Recycling service for businesses to be notified about local, used furniture and supplies for their offices. Great for new or expanding small business, and sometimes free for non-profits

Moving Your Business Online – The Internet can seem like a daunting place when considering moving your business online. This checklist will help you enter the online business world and give you access to customers you may have never been able to target

EMV Chip Informational Webinar - Learn all about EMV chip technology: what chip technology is, how it works, what the impacts are to merchants who accept payment cards at their businesses, and what these businesses need to do to be prepared

Strategies for an Economic Downturn - Be proactive in any cash crisis with our no-nonsense checklist to maximize profit and market share anytime, especially when times are tough

Shopify's Free Business Resources - Shopify offers free business tools to help you run your business. Currently there are 21 tools to assist small business with creating templates for bills of lading, shipping labels, purchase orders to calculators for business loans, profit margins and advertising campaigns

U.S. Census Information - Very useful census data available for market research

U.S. Department of Labor The Department of Labor provides compliance assistance to small business through “elaws”, an interactive exchange that allows small business owners to ask questions about labor laws

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency The EPA offers small business advice on how to keep the environment clean and how to comply with environmental regulations

U.S. Federal Trade Commission - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices. The FTC offers creative, practical, plain-language business education publications that are a cost-effective and business-friendly way to obtain compliance with the law

U.S. Small Business Administration - Valuable information on federal programs for small businesses as well as loan program details. Complete listing of SBDC’s throughout the country

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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.