Business Planning

Main Credit does not require a business plan, but encourages you to develop and regularly update one.  In general, here is what a good business plan contains.  Need help?  Consider contacting one of the great people at the Service Corps or Retired Executives,

General Business Information

Business Planning


         Give a detailed description of the business and its goals.
         Discuss ownership of the business and its legal structure.
         List the skills and experience the owners bring into the business.
         Discuss the advantages this business has over competitors.


         Discuss the products and services the company will offer.
         Identify customer demand for your products and services.
         Explain how your products and services wiill be advertised and marketed.
         Explain your pricing strategy

Financial Management

         Explain your source and the amount of initial equity capital.
         Develop a monthly operating budget for the first year.
         Develop an expected return on investment and monthly cash flow for the first year.
         Provide projected income statements, and balance sheets for a two year period.
         Discuss your break-even point.
         Explain your personal balance sheet and method of compensation.
         Discuss who will maintain our accounting records and how they will be kept.
        Provide “what if” statements addressing alternative approaches to problems that may develop.


         Explain how the business will be managed day to day.
         Discuss hiring, personnel procedures.
         Discuss insurance, lease or rent agreements, and issues pertinent to your business.
         Account for the equipment necessary to produce your gods or services.
         Account for production and delivery of products and services.


         Summarize your business goals and objectives and express your commitment to the success of your business. Once you have completed your business plan, review it with your business associates and other professionals.

Licensing and Registration


Contact the city where your business is located.  If you are unsure of who to talk to or are in an unincorporated area contact your County Clerk.  Also check with the County Clerk about the name you plan to use and to register your fictitious business name.  For most of you, your County Clerk can be reached as follows:

          Santa Barbara County:,  (805) 568-2550
          Ventura County:,  (805)654-2263
          Los Angeles County:,  (800) 815-2666
          Orange County:,  (714) 834-2500
          San Bernardino County:,  (909) 387-8322
          Riverside County:,  (951) 486-7000
          San Diego County:,  (619) 238-8258

Your business will require a Federal Tax Identification number.  To get one call the IRS at (800) 829-4933 or go to

Before hiring employees you will want to have a California employer account number and tax rate information.  Contact the Employment Development Department at (888) 746-3886 or visit them at

To sell taxable items you will need a Resale Number issue by the State Board of Equalization.  Contact them at (800) 400-7115 or go to

For building codes, permits and zoning contact the Planning Commission and the Department of Public Works for your county.  Your County Clerk will know how to reach them.

Finally, if you do not know what types of permits are necessary for your business see the California Government Online to Desktops (CalGold) website at  CalGold offers direct internet links and contact information to state, local, regional and federal permitting authorities for guidance.


Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents


Trademarks are names or symbols you use in your business and are subject to regulation by both state and federal governments. Register yours through the Patent and Trademark office, 800-786-9199. See if it needs to be renewed.


Copyrights protect the thoughts and ideas of creative people like those who start businesses, and helps prevent illegal copying of written matter, works of art and computer programs. For more information contact:

US Copyright Office,,  (202) 707-3000
US Library of Congress:,  (202) 707-5000


The US Patent and Trademark office has information and publications to help protect all kinds of ideas for products and services. Contact them at 800-786-9199 or