Solano SBDCFairfield, CA

Small Business Resources

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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


Online Business Resources for Entrepreneurs with a Disability

Government Agencies

Local Agencies

State of California

Federal Government



Chambers of Commerce

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

BLACK Chamber of Commerce of Solano County
836B Southhampton Road, Suite 351, Benicia, CA 94510
PHONE: (707) 421-5721

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


Licenses & Permits


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 -

City of Dixon
PHONE: (707) 678-7000 -

City of Fairfield
PHONE: (707) 428-7509 -

City of Rio Vista
PHONE: (707) 374-6451 -

City of Suisun City
PHONE: (707) 421-7328 -

City of Vacaville
PHONE: (707) 449-5129 -

City of Vallejo
PHONE: (707) 648-4310 -

For unincorporated areas:
Solano County Tax Collectors Office
PHONE: (707) 784-7485 -


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


Fictitious Business Name

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
(707) 784-7510


Market Research


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. and

  • 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.

    Business & Professional Associations -
    Business Topics -

  • 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. -


Non-Profit Resources


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


Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights


  • 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. -

Patent and Trademark Center
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA  94102
PHONE: (415) 557-4400 -

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.

     Trademarks/Service Marks
     1500 11th Street, Suite 345, Sacramento, CA 95814
     PHONE: (916) 653-4984 -

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 -

Library of Congress Copyright Office

     Copyright Office
     101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington DC, 20559
     PHONE: (202) 707-3000 -


Selling to 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 -

Northern California Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
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.

Apply Now

It all starts here. 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.


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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.