Business Resources

The Secretary of State's office is often asked what other agencies a business entity may need to contact to ensure proper compliance. The following is a list of the agencies most often referenced. In addition, we have included several links to websites that may assist you in your business endeavors.


State Agencies & Programs

CalGOLD (California Government Online to Desktops)

To assist you in finding the appropriate permitting information for your business, the CalGOLD database provides links and contact information that direct you to agencies that administer and issue business permits, licenses and registration requirements from all levels of government.

Department of Business Oversight

  • Division of Financial Institutions: Information relating to credit unions, industrial loan companies, banks, savings and loan associations or savings banks.
  • Division of Corporations: Responsible for the regulation of securities, franchises, off-exchange commodities, investment and financial services, independent escrows, consumer and commercial finance lending, and residential mortgage lending.

Franchise Tax Board

Information relating to franchise tax requirements, penalties and suspensions/forfeitures.

State Board of Equalization

Information relating to sales or use tax liability, special taxes and fees, property tax administration, and franchise and income tax appeals.

Employment Development Department

Information relating to unemployment insurance, disability insurance and employment tax.

Department of Consumer Affairs

Information relating to licensing requirements at the state level for specific business entities.

Department of Insurance

Information relating to requirements for insurance companies, agents and brokers.

State Bar of California Office of Certification

Information relating to registration of law corporations and limited liability partnerships. Also provides links to county bar associations that have lawyer referral services.

Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers' Compensation

Information relating to worker's compensation requirements.

Department of Justice, Registry of Charitable Trusts

Information relating to charitable trusts and public benefit corporations.

California Tax Service Center

Provides a one-stop shop for tax assistance, including information about income tax, payroll tax, sales & use tax, and other taxes and fees for businesses.

State Controller's Office, Unclaimed Property (PDF)

California's Unclaimed Property Law requires corporations, businesses, associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies (referred to as "Holders") to annually report and deliver property to the State Controller's Office after there has been no activity on the account or contact with the owner for a period of time specified in the law. The most common types of Unclaimed Property are:

  • Wages and commissions
  • Vendor payments
  • Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Uncashed cashier's checks and money orders
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Matured or terminated insurance policies
  • Estates
  • Mineral interests and royalty payments
  • Trust funds and escrow accounts

California Business Investment Services (CalBIS)

Provides tailored site selection and investment counseling services for businesses, real-estate executives, and site selection consultants considering California for new business investment and expansion.

Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Provides a one-stop shop for business assistance.

California Chambers of Commerce

Provides contact information for local California Chambers of Commerce.

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Federal Agencies & Programs

Internal Revenue Service

Information relating to federal taxes and employer federal identification numbers.

  • The Employer ID Numbers (EINs) webpage provides specific information on applying for an EIN, making a change in the application for an EIN, or canceling an EIN.
  • The Tax Information for Retirement Plans webpage provides information for Retirement Plans Community, Benefits Practitioner, Plan Participant/Employee and Plan Sponsor/Employer.

USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal

Offers a centralized place to find information from local, state, and federal agency sites.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Information regarding starting and managing small businesses.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Information regarding importing and exporting issues related to the U.S. Customs Service.

U.S. Department of Commerce

Information regarding national industrial standards.

U.S. Copyright Office

Information regarding the national copyright system.

Export.gov

Provides resources from across the U.S. Government to assist American businesses in planning international sales strategies.

BusinessUSA

Information and services provided by the U.S. government for the business community.

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County Agencies

California Counties

The county agency where the principal place of business is located provides information relating to city/county business licenses, fictitious business name requirements, zoning, building permits, etc., dependent on business entity activities. To determine the applicable county agency, please refer to the list of California counties provided on the California State Association of Counties website.

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