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Starting A Business

Thank you for your inquiry to the Small Business Development Center.  We have a two-step process that we recommend for first time business owners.

Step 1 is to develop your business idea.  There is a worksheet included in our start up packet called “Evaluating Your Business Idea” that will assist you in this process. Click here to down-load a copy of our packet. Your responses will help determine if you are ready for the next step, or if you need to re-evaluate your business idea. This document is an excellent precursor to the development of your Business Plan.

Please attend a SCORE Pre-Business Workshop if you need to evaluate your business idea further.  SCORE works out of local Chambers of Commerce.  The Santa Cruz County SCORE Chapter has developed workshops designed specifically for first-time business owners in Santa Cruz County:,

Step 2 is to develop your Business Plan.  You can access a list of our classes including: Basic Recordkeeping ($35 fee), Writing the Best Business Plan ($35 fee), and Online Presence / Social Media Marketing ($35 fee) under Seminars in the left-hand column.  Pre-registration is required.  In addition, the main branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library and the UCSC campus library have resources for Business Plan development as well. Also available, is our "Guideline for Preparing a Business Plan" presented here as a Word document for your use and convience.

Once you have developed a good rough draft of your Business Plan, the SBDC can provide you with free and confidential advising services to help you get where you want to go.  If, after reviewing this information, you find you have additional questions, please call our office at 831-479-6136 and we will be happy to assist you.

OpenCounter is a useful resource for starting a business in the city of Santa Cruz, CA.

City of Santa Cruz has launched Business Roadmap to Help Entrepreneurs in Santa Cruz when opening a new venture.

Good luck to you in your small business venture!