Santa Cruz SBDCAptos, CA

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. 

Click here to download a copy of our guide. 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, 831-621-3735.

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 Services.  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 convenience.

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. Read their Freelance/Consultant Guide here.

Good luck to you in your small business venture!

Apply Now

It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.