Santa Cruz SBDCAptos, CA

Small Business Resources

Santa Cruz SBDC Resource Guide


Santa Cruz County Online Resources:


General Online Information:


How-to Online Information:

  • OpenCounter Santa Cruz Permitting Portal
  • has business planning samples and processes online, as well as webinars
  • Business Plan Outline from the Small Business Administration
  • is the definitive destination for business planning information on the web. Find, view, download and edit sample business plans optimized for the Web


Business Licenses, Permits and Regulations:

Home-based businesses operating in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties do not require a business license. However, because each county has different requirements and zoning regulations, be sure to check with us.

License and Permit Information for Santa Cruz County (pdf file)

City of Santa Cruz: Licenses and Permits for Businesses and Business License Tax Application


Financing a Business:

We work closely with local lenders and have information on the various loans available, including:

  • All SBA Loan Programs
  • Micro-loans for start-up and existing businesses
  • Agricultural loans
  • Export financing

Read:    How To Qualify For A Loan     Opportunity Funds For Client Loans   


Non-Profit Startup Resources:

  • You can hire an attorney or paralegal to help

Call the Santa Cruz Bar Association for a referral at (831) 425-4755 or online at

  • Do it yourself:  A great book listed on this webpage that will walk you through the incorporation process and the forms you need to submit to the state and IRS for Non-profits.
Cabrillo College Extension: Starting Your Own NonProfit 


Additional resources:

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.


As concerns continue about coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re here to help you navigate available resources, answer your business questions and be a trusted partner for your business
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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.