Legal Structure

4. Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide whether you are going to form a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, non-profit or cooperative. SBA's guide on determining business structure is a good resource.

If you will be starting a corporation or a limited liability company, you must contact the California Secretary of State's Office and they will supply you with all the information and forms that are necessary. It is optional for general partnerships to file with the Secretary of State and sole proprietorships are not required to file.