Starting a New Business

Members Offering Resources:

New Business Support

Business Consultants

Website Design


Checklist for starting a business

Develop a Business Plan

Your nearby Small Business Development Center has been established to help business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. Their goal for new business owners is to help them do the careful planning required to minimize the risks of launching a new enterprise. The Napa Valley College Small Business Development Center provides Professional Business Counseling, Excellent Low Cost Workshops, Information & Resources and an Annual Rx for Business Program.

    Napa Valley College Small Business Development Center
    2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy. Bldg 330
    Napa, CA 94559
    (707) 256-7250
    Fax (707) 253-3068


Join your local Chamber of Commerce

The Napa Chamber of Commerce functions as a trade association for member businesses and professionals. Included in their services to members are business education and promotion, legislative advocacy, referrals, networking opportunities, community/business events and the primary source for community information. One of the first things a new business owner should do is join the Chamber and take advantage of its networking and referral opportunities.

    Napa Chamber of Commerce
    1556 First Street, Suite 104
    Napa, CA 94559
    (707) 226-7455
    Fax (707) 226-1171


Consult with necessary professionals

As a business owner, you will want to establish a relationship with several outside professionals. You will need to set up bookkeeping procedures, choose your legal structure and set up agreements and contracts, obtain financial information and financing, obtain insurance coverage for liability, fire, theft, workers’ compensation, etc., and find a location for your business to take place.

File a Fictitious Business Name Statement, if applicable, with the County Clerk

Also, publish the notice with a local newspaper and file and affidavit of publication with the County Clerk within 30 days of publication.

        Napa County Clerk – Recorder
        900 Coombs Street, Room 116
        Napa, CA 94559
        (707) 253-4246
        (Find link on County website for filing Fictitious Business Name)

        Newspapers qualified to publish fictitious Business Names:

        Napa Valley Register
        1615 Second Street
        Napa, CA 94559
        (707) 226-3711

        St. Helena Star
        1328 Main Street
        St. Helena, CA 94574
        (707) 963-2731

        Weekly Calistogan
        1360 Lincoln Avenue
        Calistoga, CA 94515
        (707) 942-4035

        The American Canyon Eagle
        Published weekly each Tuesday
        Box 333
        3429 Broadway, suite C-1
        American Canyon, CA 94503
        Newsroom Tel: 707.256.2210 / Fax: 707.254.3240

Obtain a business license from the City Hall Collection Department

The City of Napa requires businesses doing business in the City to pay a business license tax. The tax on most businesses is based on gross receipts earned and must be renewed at the end of the applicable period.

        City of Napa Revenue and Collections Department
        955 School Street
        Napa, CA 94559
        (707) 257-9508

Check the parking/Zoning laws and land use ordinances that might apply

Napa Planning Department, Community Services Building
    1600 First Street, Napa
    (707) 257-9530


Apply for a State Employer Tax Identification Number

If your business will pay wages, contact the tax office for a State Identification #. Contact them also for disability insurance tax, state withholding tax, and unemployment insurance tax. Ask for the California Employers Tax Guide (Form #DE 44)
    Tax Office
    50 D Street
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    (800) 852-5711; Forms (800) 338-0505

NOTE: These are not all of the requirements necessary to start your business. For more information regarding requirements, contact the NVC-SBDC.
    Napa Valley College Small Business Development Center
    2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy. Bldg 330
    Napa, CA 94559
    (707) 256-7250
    Fax (707) 253-3068